Jason Tramm. Jason is a passionate conductor and promoter of music with more than a few titles attached to his name. He tells Kevin and Carol how he keeps himself busy with his passion as well as remaining a dedicated father.
Patrick is currently the First Horn chair for THE LION KING on Broadway. When he’s not playing for the pride, Patrick can heard in various gigs not only throughout the country, but throughout the world. A graduate of Manhattan School of Music, he has been playing on Broadway for a few decades, and has also managed to rack up a few participation Grammy’s for his involvement in works produced by the New York Philharmonic, and the Metropolitan Opera. In addition to being a wonderful french horn player, Patrick finds continued creativity through his exploration of conducting as well as composing. We were fortunate enough to have him provide an expert of his haunting composition, Meditations on Manhattan. A longer cut off his music is generously supplied at the the very end of the podcast. Listen in to hear some great stories from this fantastic individual.
Alex Bender, freelance Trumpeter joined us in the studio, we started by talking about custom mouthpieces then moved quickly into equipment and how he started playing the trumpet. He shared his childhood memories of his exposure to music which forged his love for playing all styles of music. He always knew he wanted to be in New York City playing on Broadway since 8th grade, this goal allowed him to direct his path to his current career. Being accepted for a Masters in orchestral trumpet at the Manhattan School of Music, and landing a job on a cruise ship at the same time he deferred school for a year and took that year on the cruise ships to study on his own, learning to play jazz, big band and while continuing to studying orchestral excerpts. We talked about; his current warm-up practices, auditions, focusing on sound, continuing to study with various teachers and networking for jobs on Broadway.
Michelle Baker, second horn at the Metropolitan Opera for the past 25 years, detailed her job description and her role in the horn section. We talked about the brands of horns the members of the section play, the daily challenges of keeping up the “chops,” her warm up method and daily maintenance plan, how she maintains playing when taking time off and returning to playing, her learning plan for the new seasons repertoire, how to figure out what works best for your own playing, the level of preparation needed for auditions and concerts, what she looks for in choosing students, how to build trust/confidence for concerts or auditions and how she spends her downtime.
This weeks guest, violinist, Joyce Hammann, sits down to discuss her own journey from being young and broke to playing on Broadway. Paying rent by playing music on street corners, to eventually playing Phantom of the Opera for 25 years and becoming the Concertmaster. Joyce lets us in on the duties of being a concertmaster: knowing when to step in, and when to let problems solve themselves. She also opens up about how crossword puzzles and the quite support of her colleagues helped her through her own rough patch dealing with “the pressure of perfectionism.”
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.
Composer Christopher Cerrone, a member of the composer collective ‘Sleeping Giant’ talks about the range of instrumentation of his compositions and the challenges of writing an opera. Being drawn to the voice and using his love of literature he combined the two and found himself writing for the voice. He started writing an opera without much foresight and shares his process, and recommendations of what he learned through the process. From the age of about 16 he fell in love with classical music and started writing music without any compositional training, but found his way to NYU then to Manhattan School of Music for his musical training. Christopher talks about; networking in the music world and how it has lead him to be composing primarily on commission, the collaborative process with performers and it’s importance in the compositional process, difficulty of writing compositions that are difficult and finding a balance of playability, instrumentation, getting a piece played a second time and after the premier and advice to young composers today.
Dr. Yupin Hsu combines her expertise as a musician and occupational therapist to guide musicians to greater awareness of how to use our bodies. She offers practical advice for musicians; being aware of the signals the body sends, when the body is being over used. Conditioning is essential for musicians to maintain a body that supports the demands of practicing. We talk about who to turn to for guidance when muscles start feeling fatigue, how performance anxiety and intense study can contribute to injuries and the consequences of taking drugs such as beta-blockers.
Oboist and Photographer Matt Dine shares his story on how a physical injury launched his career as a New York Times Freelance Photographer. As an oboist for American Ballet Theater and Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, most of his time is spent as a photographer and filmmaker. He shares his stories about his love for the Oboe and the Oboe community, including the movie he made of “Delmar.” Melting his love of the visual and musical, he has created interesting projects blending the two. Matt’s choices were clear from the start after graduation as he forged his own way in creating an active career in Manhattan.