During our conversation with Jack Schatz, Trombonist, we learn just how networking was done in the 80s which still holds true today, playing your best and saying yes. Jack started as a piano student and tells the store of how he became a monster of the the low brass world of jingles, studio work, broadway and orchestra gigs. In his “spare” time Jack managed to beat cancer, teach at the college level and have a family in the big apple. In the Fall, Jack is taking on new adventures on the faculty at SUNY Purchase.
Dr. Tara O’Connor lit up the studio (as she does every place she goes) with her joviality and quick wit. In the interview it became apparent that if you really love what you do, you never need a “vacation”. Aside from teaching at numerous high-level music programs and performing in many prestigious professional performance ensembles, she makes time for personal music projects she believes in. As a flutist (not “flout-ist”) she had never felt the gravitational pull of the orchestral establishment being artistically fulfilled and free to blaze her own path as she has done so successfully. In our interview, you will not be able to help but be inspired and energized by her apparent love of music and the flute. And cooking. And photography.
Woodwind Quintet – “Windscape” members, Tara Helen O’Connor, Randall Ellis, Alan R. Kay, David Jolley and Frank Morelli joined us for a lively conversations about their collaboration for over two decades of performing. We talked about their start, their first program and how they became associated with the Manhattan School of Music. Known for their thematic programing, they discuss how they; create arrangements, the process in road testing their new arrangements, finding new music, create programs and how to talk to an audience. We also spent time on the mundane logistics of getting five busy people together for rehearsals and how they have learned to rehearse efficiently. Throughout our conversation they focused on the importance of offering great music to audiences and focusing on the audience’s experience. From our conversation you can hear how much “joy” they have working together and their mutual esteem as colleagues allow them to work together so effectively.
We were delighted to have Oboist James Austin Smith share so many facets of his active career. First he talks about his steps to choosing the oboe and a career path, which steered him from an undergraduate double degree in political science and oboe to a Fulbright Scholarship in Germany, then back to the United States for a Masters at Yale. James talks about the difference of the European style of oboe playing and auditioning and how experiencing this led him to vary his career trajectory which is always goal driven, but how the path to that goal can be diverse. He shares his ideas about programing and the importance of being thoughtful about repertoire choice. Speaking candidly about his realization that he didn’t want the orchestral oboist path and finding his relevance in the music world, following a new route to a career. As a teacher he talks about how he focuses his students on the most important skills needed for a successful career.