S03E05 – Thomas Boulton

About our Interview with:

Thomas Boulton. Thomas is a very busy NYC area Freelance Trumpeter. Through his busy schedule, he makes time to teach Privately as well as in the NY Philharmonic’s Teaching Artis program.

Links to learn more

S02E07 – David Creswell

About our Interview with

Violist David Creswell, talked to us about his path to being a very active freelancer in New York City, from Broadway to the New Philharmonic.  He shares his love of how the viola can be the conduit of so much color in an ensemble and how he followed his career goals to pursue an orchestral career.  Personal connections and auditions lead to him establishing a network and the skills needed to be successful in freelancing.  The pros and cons of a permanent job and the diversity a freelancing career offers (teaching, chamber music, Broadway, orchestra, recordings, pop).  David shares his interest in tuning, teaching, and his teaching of eurhythmics and viola at Juilliard.  While he still takes auditions for jobs, he shares his reasoning on why to take an audition and how he prepares.  We talked about; skills for filling in as a substitute in orchestras, time management skills needed for a freelance career and the priorities that ensures success.

Links to learn more:

David Crewel
David Crewell

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S02E05 – Dean LeBlanc

About our Interview with Dean LeBlanc

Dean LeBlanc, associate clarinetist at the Metropolitan Opera and freelancer joined us for a lively conversation about so many aspects of clarinet playing. We talked about the various instruments he plays, mouthpieces, C-clarinets, reeds, bells, playing in a section, playing in varying acoustics, barrels, freelancing on Broadway, adjusting to various acoustics and how he started his freelance career.

Links to learn more

Met Orchestra Bio Page

Selmer’s Website

Artist’s Website Conn-Selmer


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S01E45 – Kyle Zerna

About our interview with Kyle Zerna

New York Philharmonic’s Assistant Principal of Timpani and Percussion, Kyle Zerna talks about his position and audition process. We discussed his; transition from being a student to immediate professional, the logistics of practicing and learning, the organization of the percussion section, the importance of consistency across all the nine percussion instruments for auditions, path to choosing percussion as an instruments and how he was consistently motivated with new instrument discoveries within the percussion family, recent discovery of his ability to Deejaying and the parallel to playing percussion, timpani tuning and how his teaching has enhanced his own playing.

Links to learn more about Kyle Zerna


Kyle Zerna

S01E36 – George Curran

About our interview with George Curran

George Curran, Bass Trombonist for the New York Philharmonic shares his journey to being one of the newest members of the orchestra. Coming from the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra he talks about settling into his new position in New York and becoming part of the Philharmonic family. We talked about so many topics with George; the logistics of being a one year-orchestral substitute, the importance of self assessment for fitting into a section, the stress of living in the city and making the transition from Atlanta, sound proofing within a New York City apartment, choosing to play the Bass Trombone, his educational path and the importance of having a clear career strategy and goal, his process for preparing for auditions and how to handle the large amount of repertoire needed, mental preparation for auditions, the importance of understanding style and context of excerpts, playing to the space in auditions and the necessity of recording in different acoustical settings.

Links to learn more about George Curran


George Curran

S01E31 – Sherry Sylar

About our interview with Sherry Sylar

Sherry Sylar joined us for a lively conversation about her responsibilities over the last 30 years as the Associate Principal Oboist at the New York Philharmonic. She shares many stories of how she is often called in at the last moment to perform for all the principal parts, as well as playing the Oboe d’amore and English Horn. Among the topics we talked about; the various musicians committees at the New York Philharmonic, her path to the New York Philharmonic and her audition process, performance anxiety and the art of preparation, teaching and how it has affected her playing and how to practice, reed making, oboe brands, her process of recording a solo cd, managing the large amount of repertoire in practice and how she found her way to choosing the oboe.

Links to learn more about Sherry Sylar


Sherry Sylar

S01E20 – Ethan Bensdorf

About our interview with Ethan Bensdorf

New York Philharmonic, Acting Associate Principal Trumpet, Ethan Bensdorf shares the most important experiences that lead him to be the musician he is today. Talking about his audition that lead him to the NY Philharmonic position, he tells the qualities that he puts foremost in an audition and performances. Ethan explains how his perspective has changed about auditions and what is most important. He comments on the elusive “consistency”, confidence, interpretation, rhythm, sound and the recent common practice of not choosing a winner of auditions. Maintaining the quality of performance is always the goal once winning the job and he talks about how he manages this everyday, creating a balance of practicing, teaching and life. On the job training and how one reacts to these mistakes is the best way he has learned to maintain his position and continues to learn everyday. He comments on stepping in for Phil Smith after his retirement, how he balances the stress of the job, how a change of repertoire for the Philharmonic creates a fun change from the concentrated performances and how to organize practicing.

Links to learn more about Ethan Bensdorf

Ethan’s NY Philharmonic Page

Ethan Bensdorf Headshot
Ethan Bensdorf Headshot