Calling all female trumpet players out there!

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by trumpetgirl13, Oct 18, 2010.

  1. MFfan

    MFfan Fortissimo User

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    Sep 13, 2006
    Kalamazoo, Michigan
    Back in my high school days, 57-60, we had 2 girls in the concert band cornet section. One also played in the orchestra, who is still a friend. No one I knew thought a thing about it. We had only boys in the Marching Band. At Michigan State, there were no girls in the marching band at that time, but many played in the various concert bands. I didn't know any personally.

    These days in the KCB, we have 4 ladies in the 13 member trumpet section, with a wide range of age, but all good players, most products of Western Michigan U. Our principal has been a woman for many years who just retired from a long time area high school program. There are few problems in our 100 piece band, a supportive "family" for many years for my wife and I.
     
  2. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    In the many years that I have been playing, I have played in several ensembles with "girl" issues. One was an orchestra with Sergiu Celibedache conducting. He flatly refused women in leadership positions and his contracts let him get away with it. The Berlin Philharmonic refused Sabine Mayer even although the conductor Herbert von Karajan tried to get her in.
    In another ensemble, we had a lady who simply did not cut the mustard and continually pulled the "equal opportunity" card to try and get something that she did not deserve. In another we had a pregnancy and the orchestra tried to offer the lady a lighter load (letting her pick what she wanted first instead of just following the standard scheduling) until she gave birth and had taken the maternity leave. She got a real attitude like the orchestra was trying to "demote" her or something. Then there has been a fair share of the non woman specific "accidents" (sex) where one or both parties suffer the washout.

    I really believe for the most part the music world is closer to equal opportunity than any other field. The hard part is clearly identifying what constitutes the equal level of playing or the proper "personality" for the section. It is safe to say that most players with "something to prove" do not end up on the winning side anywhere. Those that are very qualified AND confident get the opportunities regardless of gender.

    T13, I can't comment on the sexual abuse except to say that even in the mid 70s at a very fine music school that I attended, we did not have such issues. Afterwards in an Army Band in Germany, we also did not have any of these issues. If somebody would have an axe to grind, it would be me as there have been several opportunities that I lost due to the opposite sex simply being a better player than I was. Actually, there was nothing lost as playing second with better players can make you grow up.

    It would be interesting to speak with some of those "enemy" students from back then. There could perhaps be some valuable clues for you that had nothing to do with your playing. Now that time has passed, maybe there is a bigger picture.
     
  3. trumpetgirl13

    trumpetgirl13 New Friend

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    Oct 6, 2010
    Hamilton
    Well I don't speak to those "enemy" students anymore. But I do keep in touch with the guys who did treat me well and not as their sex object.. I remember one day playing in brass ensemble I was standing next to some guys who were sitting, and while I was playing I felt a hand up my skirt.
    I was 18, cute, long blond hair and blue eyes, and around boys 18-20 with ragging hormones... Although the stuff that really offended me was from my teachers.

    Luckily now I am surrounded by people who don't look at my sex, I have a few issues with one of the men in the band I play in now, but I have been told by others that they see me as a threat as I moved up the ranks so fast and was given a ton of solos..
     
  4. Markie

    Markie Forte User

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    trumpetgirl sez:
    Then college started and it was a totally different experience. Was basically sexually abused by students and teachers, and never taken seriously as a trumpet player. Was told my only option to play was to move to LA and join the all female big band.
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    I see this as a respect and saving face thing. If it were me, I'd sleep, eat, and breathe trumpet everyday and study my opponents until the day I could stomp the monkey spunk out of each and every person who dis'ed me. Of course this might not be the best path for you. My friends say, I'm a little competitive and you might not be that way.
     
  5. trumpetgirl13

    trumpetgirl13 New Friend

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    you have to be confident before you can be competetive, and confident I was not..... and I wasn't confident as a person either back then... so I was an easy target....
    Now if someone makes a sexual remark I say something right away We had a young blonde come to one rehearsal recently and all these comments were being made behind her back by the men - I DID NOT let that fly.... It was kinda gross too as these men were old enough to be her grandfather. I think part of the reason I don't get stupid remarks to me anymore is because I am confident in me and my playing ability now.
     
  6. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    I am not sure that it will ever be possible to eliminate the effects of an attractive person (man or woman) - especially if they make a point out of highlighting those attractions.

    I often question the Barbie effect and the necessity of miniskirts, pushup bras and the like for very young women. Even later, the question about what is "appropriate" is different to each of us. I am not sure how much the size of the target is increased when something "looks" like an opportunity. This should not be an excuse for poor behaviour, but think about it: why are candybars, cigarettes and small toys at EVERY checkout counter on the planet. The marketers take advantage of the moment. Kids see something that they are taught to want - at their fingertips! That is what we are taught from the first days our mother takes us shopping. Is it possible that we do not realize what we communicate until it is too late? Too late in this case means when someone else crosses a border that we may not have made clear.

    I just got back from a concert tour to Ireland and Scotland. We had a very attractive lady playing second violin in the orchestra. The way she spoke and dressed seemed lightyears apart to me. I asked her about it. She always had noticed that guys watched her, but never really thought about the reasons because she felt good wearing that type of clothing.

    It seems to me that before a hand moves up a skirt that other signals would have been present.

    Don't get me wrong, there is absolutely no excuse to invade someones intimate sphere. It is often possible to head off trouble though before it occurs by understanding the terrain.

    Are you really sure that the stupid remarks are not there behind your back?

    As far as moving quickly up the ranks, that is an issue for the conductor. It is often a real problem when the section mates perceive a new person getting a bunch of responsibilities before they have proven their loyalty to the ensemble. We had a similar thread recently here by a guy who had just joined a band and thought that his playing abilities alone should get him a better chair. Many of the responses were to the effect that you pay your dues first, establish yourself as a keeper in the ensemble and THEN look for opportunities to move up. Once you are accepted that is far easier and not accompanied by tainted opinions.
     
  7. Markie

    Markie Forte User

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    rowuk sez:
    I am not sure that it will ever be possible to eliminate the effects of an attractive person (man or woman) - especially if they make a point out of highlighting those attractions.
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    Its impossible to eliminate. What out trumps sexual attractiveness? Nothing.
    What sucks more than verbal abuse due to one's sexuality? Other than maybe cancer, probably nothing.
    My daughter plays trumpet and I'm not looking forward to the day when some half baked, bloated, cheese eating band director says to my daughter "You'll be on clarinet this year"
    Of course S#** will hit the fan and I'll do my best to show in a court of law that the decision the band director made to move my daughter to clarinet (or any other instrument) was based on sexual stereotypes. I'll do everything in my legal power to make sure the band director becomes a fianacial liability to the school system.
    Why be so hard?
    1) Its the right thing to do
    2) I love to win in situations like this
     
  8. JohnSchmitt

    JohnSchmitt New Friend

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    Last edited: Oct 19, 2010
  9. LuckilyCarolyn

    LuckilyCarolyn New Friend

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    My very first year in beginning band, I was one of two girls that the director always called out for being great- telling us that we were in tune, with good tone, and that the rest of the band should be like us. We both worked hard, practiced for the chair placements- And got 5th and 6th chair in our section.
    I went up to the postings, in my band director offices, and almost started crying because all the boys that had beaten us didn't care about band, didn't work very hard, and frankly weren't very good.
    The band director, looked me right in the eye, and SHE said "Oh, Carolyn. Don't worry. Girls never get first trumpet."
    Did that hurt? Yeah. Was it fair? No. Did I work my butt off so that I could have first chair my entire high school career along with lead in jazz band, a spot in our community big band and symphony orchestra? Yeah. And every time I think about that woman, I want to show her the most recent postings, laugh in her face and show her how the other girl from beginning band and I are first and second chair.
    Next year when I go to college, I really hope it won't be like that. But unfortunately that's not the only crappy experience I've had. Thankfully that's the only time it came from an Adult...But honestly. It's 2010. That sort of thing is just..unnecessary.
     
  10. Markie

    Markie Forte User

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    Jan 4, 2009
    Clarksburg, WV
    Lucky sez:
    We both worked hard, practiced for the chair placements- And got 5th and 6th chair in our section.
    I went up to the postings, in my band director offices, and almost started crying because all the boys that had beaten us didn't care about band, didn't work very hard, and frankly weren't very good.
    The band director, looked me right in the eye, and SHE said "Oh, Carolyn. Don't worry. Girls never get first trumpet."
    -----------
    That's exactly why discreetly recording conversations is such a great thing.
     

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