So, who are you, anyway?

Discussion in 'Introductions and Greetings' started by Manny Laureano, Oct 3, 2005.

  1. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

    Sep 29, 2004
    In my never-ending quest to know more about you folks, I've decided to ask you this question and hope you have a bit of fun with this:

    Who are you?

    What I want to know is not the typical inflated bio stuff. I mean, who influenced you? Where did you grow up? When did you start? Why did you pick the trumpet? Were your parents crucial to your choice or non-factors? What were some of the life-changing experiences that determined who you are today musically?

    Add to your post as you see fit on a day-to-day basis. My hope is that we all get to know each other better and maybe find out we have more in common that differences.

    Here, I'll start:

    I'm Manny Laureano but my given name is Manuel. No middle name. I was named after my godfather, Manuel Diaz. My folks are from Puerto Rico and they moved here in 1948 after the death of my sister whom I never knew as I was born in 1955.

    I loved to sing when I was in school and the trumpet became my voice in Junior High School (for you on the other side of the Atlantic, that begins in 7th grade in NYC where I was born). After a week of buzzing on the mouthpiece without a horn to play I started and loved it because it was something that I could do. I was pretty geeky but not about anything important. Music became that important thing.

    A gentleman named David Rosenthal gave me a scholarship on behalf of the NYC public school system to study with Jimmy Smith, then of the NY Philharmonic. Jimmy was great. He let me bring in anything I wanted for a whole year; band music, solos, songbooks. He let that be the way until he told me to go get an Arban book, my first method. He eventually changed my mouthpiece to a 2 1/2 C from the 7C I was playing. He also was the one who went, along with my dad, to help us pick out my first bach Bb. Serial # 54230. Has anyone seen that horn? :-( What an idiot... never should have sold that. My first public solo was "A Trumpeter's Lullaby" by Leroy Anderson.

    I auditioned for the High School of Music and Art and it was great to be amongst all those other geeks playing trumpet. There, I met two very important people, Sidney Baker (nee Beckerman), formerly of the Chicago Symphony, and Jack Laumer who was my first link to Vacchiano as he was a student of his. Sid Baker taught me the importance of good work habits and Jack Laumer informed me that Vacchiano was NOT going to teach me how to play like Rafael Mendez, a "disappointment" at that point in my life. I just couldn't understand why someone wouldn't want to play like Mendez!

    (I'll continue another time. I want to write more about what it was like being in High School in NYC in the 70's.)



    The time when I took up the rtumpet was a wonderful time in that there was so much for me to listen to evereywhere. Herb Alpert was huge and could be hear on commercials, radio, and TV. Al Hirt was present with his own TV show and the trumpeter for the Green Hornet TV show. Rafael Mendez was a constant on Spanish Radio because they used his "Vie en Rose" for a commercial that played several times a day but I didn't know who it was as a little boy. The New York Philharmonic was on TV every few months on Sunday afternoons, The Boston Pops was on Saturday nights on PBS.

    When I was given the trumpet as my instrument to play in Junior High School, I was first given only a mouthpiece which I had to buy. It was an "Artcraft" 7C. I took it home and started buzzing it. That wasn't enough, so, I put a straw in the stem and pretended to play trumpet. It wasn't until I taped a little funnel to the end that I was happy. When I finally received the instrument I was able to play a true sound and not what I was hearing around me. I highly recommend that for any kid that has never played. You'll find out if he/she has an ear before they ever touch the horn.

    At Music and Art High School, it was wonderful to be surrounded by 1500 other geeks like myself that lived, breathed, and ate music. I learned so much between playing in the concert band, jazz band, school orchestra, and All-City High School Orchestra. My lessons with Jimmy Smith were the foundation for what I was to accomplish later in life. Jimmy was such a gentle soul. He played 4th and Utility for the Philharmonic and made it his mission to prepare me for Vacchiano at the "Yard". I was a very naive student, having no background in classical music save for whatever I learned with him and at school.

    More later...


    If there's one person who deserves ackowledgement for making me the player I am today it's someone who is retiring from the LA Philharmonic and formerly of the Baltimore Symphony. Rob Roy McGregor was a profound influence on my playing before I started studying with Vacchiano and served as a fabulous summer "Warm-up" to a new kind of teaching. Rob taught me how to take a proper breath and explained why. He taught me a way to tongue that was clear yet not overloaded with pressure. He taught me to play the Hindemith Sonate and why it was such an important piece philosophically. In short, he expanded my thinking about playing and was the first teacher I had that I could hear play solos, play in the orchestra, and play chamber music on almost a daily basis at camp. He helped me "grow up". As he now welcomes retirement after so many years of serving music I'm happy to say how glad I am that he was a part of my musical life.

    The other player I haven't written so much about is Mel Broiles.

    Mel was the frosting on the cake that really had a tremendous influence on who I became. Mel was an individual; brash, determined, and not at all afraid to make his musical statement his way. We sight-read every lesson, as I did with Vacchiano. He explained transposition to me in a way that made more sense to me which is why Vacchiano sent me to Mel. I loved hearing him play! We would have our lessons in the basement of the Met in a room that rang forever. Mel told me that he wanted to inflate the students opinion of his sound so that when they left they would hear that sound ringing in their heads and try to capture it away from that environ. With me, it worked, I don't know about anybody else. I left those lessons more in love with the sound of the trumpet than the last. We played studies from St.Jacome, Sachse, Peretti, Arban, and Caffarelli. Lots of transposition! He was the perfect adjunct to Vacchiano as he loosened up some of the rules that Vacchiano wouldn't let me get away with but I learned how to keep the two apart. It made me a more versatile and sensitive musician playing for those two different musicians. Mel has had his detractors but that's the risk you take in being an individual and going against the flow. I loved the guy. He also gave me tickets to my first opera, Manon Lescaut by Puccini.

  2. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    I'm Patrick Gleason. I, like my father, was born in Imperial, Nebraska. My grandfather was born in 1894 in a sod house on a homestead along the northern banks of the Frenchman river, about 10 miles from Imperial, so as you can see, my family has a long history with Chase County, Nebraska, and the town of Imperial.

    One of my earliest influences in music is a gentleman who now goes by the name and title Dr. J. Gordon Christensen, or just Mr. C for short. He was my kindergarten-6th grade music and chorus teacher. Like Manny, I've always enjoyed singing too. He has had an immeasurable influence on my life and in my music, but I'll get back to him in a bit.

    My first instrumental music influences were the school band concerts. I had three older sisters, two of whom played all through high school. At the time, there were more kids in the band in my highschool than not, and the band had a strong program, ranging from about 75-100 kids, depending on the year. I used to climb up to the very top of the bleachers at the concerts and sit on the commentators platform. I loved the huge sounds of both the concert band and the jazz band, and I used to love to watch Kurt Johnson play drums. (He was VERY good, but sadly, he stopped after high school.)

    Probably my biggest influence for the trumpet in the beginning was my older sister Kathryn. She was four grades older than me, and was playing a beater King cornet that we had gotten from a cousin. (I still own it.) I initially started band playing alto saxaphone because I had an older cousin who was a very good sax player, and I wanted to be like him. But back to my sister, she was very successful with the horn, regardless of how bad it was, and when she hit 8th grade, she hit my parents with an ultimatum: get me a new horn, or I quit! Money was tight (even my sax was a used Conn) and since the King cornet had almost no trade in value, my mom asked if I would be willing to allow them to trade the sax for a new horn for my sister, and then I would then switch to playing her old cornet. I agreed. She got a Yamaha YTR 73(X)T, (supposedly designed after the Schilke B1) and I got her cornet. Anyway, back to why she was my influence, not only did I start playing trumpet because of her, I was constantly working to improve so that I could play some of the things that she could play. She was an excellent trumpet player and I don't think she realizes just how good she was - sadly, she too stopped playing after high school.

    Up until 7th grade, I was always good enough to be either 4th or 5th chair among my peers - among the best, but certainly not THE best in my grade. One day in 7th grade after a situation much to long to describe, my band director at the time, Jeff McQuistan, basically told me "Pat, you can play, you just don't practice." So I started practicing and by the time 8th grade rolled around, I was first chair for most of the year. I know I'm probably getting too detailed, but there are a couple of key events in my life that led to my continuing to pursue the trumpet, and I would be remiss not to include them.

    As I got into high school, I continued to improve, regardless of the fact that I really didn't study trumpet - I just played music! After my Freshman year in high school, the band started a decline that picked up speed and if it wasn't for J. Gordon Christensen, I would not have gone anywhere with the horn. He accompanied my contest solos when I was in high school, and he also started inviting me to play for church on Sundays where he was the Organist. (Side note: J is a faboulous classical organist and holds ALL of the degrees from the American Guild of Organists - no easy task!) He kept pushing me by giving me music to play that I thought was too hard for me at the time, but he always insisted that I could do it and he pushed me further musically in High School and beyond than anyone else. He is my mentor and friend, and since he is an only child bachelor, it is already pre-arranged that I will be the one to care for him if and when he becomes infirm with age.

    But back to the trumpet, one of my biggest mistakes in High School is that I focused on music and trumpet to the exclusion of just about everything else, to include my grades, and although I graduated, I was no academic superstar, although I probably could have at least made the honor roll. As my time in High School drew to a close, the decision about what to do next loomed, and at the time, I simply didn't want to have to worry about it, thus, when an Army Recruiter stopped on my doorstep, and after one thing led to another, I wound up auditioning for the Army Band program. I played in two Army Bands in the Washington DC area for 10 years. I played a lot of neat jobs and met a lot of neat people, but eventually it wore thin. Enough was enough, and I decided to leave it. It wasn't all bad either - without the Army band program, I wouldn't have met my wife, I wouldn't have my kids, and I wouldn't live where I do - an area chock full of outstanding musicians and where gigging opportunities abound.

    I like to joke that I got my "education" in music from the Gigging School of Hard Knocks. I'm short on real education, but long on gig experience, and I believe that there are things about music and gigging that you just can't learn in college. That being said, I'm only an ok player although I have always been able to hang with the ensembles that I have gigged with, but one day I hope to continue that education in music for real, because I also believe that there are things about music that you just can't learn on the gig. At the moment, I'm just not willing to sacrifice the time away from my family for academic pursuits.

    More later!
  3. Bugleboy21

    Bugleboy21 Pianissimo User

    Feb 23, 2005
    Fort Eustis, VA
    "Too well-traveled"

    My friends have always called me "Larry Dean." Not "Larry" or "Dean," but both names in a row! My father was a 26 year retiree from the US Army as a tanker (this fact severly changed my life, though I didn't figure that out until the last couple years). My mother came from Taiwan. I never knew how musically inclined her family is until I attended college and she updated me on my relatives and their musical fortune in Taiwan....lots of violinists and pianists! I grew up in Fort Hood, TX and Schweinfurt, Germany.

    My brother, David, played the trumpet and he caught me in the garage with his ole Bundy Bb when I was 9. He handed me a beginner method book and did my best impression of him! I probably should have practiced way more from then and through HS, but I was always distracted by the same things that get every teenage boy. But, I managed to do well and decided to study music in college.

    I met Jack Laumer (Texas State University, also see above!) at a weekend clinic for All State Audition music. He blew me away and quickly squelched any thoughts of going to UT in Austin. So, in 1994, I enrolled and was again blown away. The talent there was really great. I had a hard time making the Wind Ensemble, but my coaching in orchestral lit and transposition landed me the Prinicpal chair from my 2nd year and on. There was a time when I was going to give up the pursuit of music, mainly because I was confused as to why I could sit in the orchestra but not even get the last chair out of the Wind Ens.

    It was at this point that I was selected for the ITG orchestra audition finals in 97. Again, I was blown away and probably shouldn't have competed up against Christopher Sala and Tony Prisk. They were the example of what serious grad students sound like. Their playing has never left my head. Also, it was in Sweden that I met the late Armando Ghitalla. We connected for a lesson the next Spring. I learned more about myself during that 2hr lesson then I did in all the time at Southwest Texas St (by the way, we all hate the name change to Texas St.) He was a wonderful and caring man. I loved the way his eyes lit up when I would actually play something right!

    Like most musicians, I starved when I left school and after a lot of bad money decisions, I ended up selling all my horns one by one to buy bread. After I sold my last Bb, I found myself in the US Army recruiter station in San Marcos. 6 months, lot of miles marched, and thousands of rounds fired, I ended up in an Army band in San Antonio. One year later, I was in the sands of Baghdad, trumpet and rifle in hand.

    Most would say that being at war is the worst a military musician can do. It WAS tough. But, with no distraction from TV and bars, I practiced more then than I ever have. Also, I proved to myself how much pressure I can handle. I've posted on this subject before so I'll be brief. I can still perform at a high level even after travelling with all my combat gear, get shot at, and hike around for my gig site. This experience in Iraq has greatly fueled my fire to hit the auditions again. See you out there soon!
  4. Solar Bell

    Solar Bell Moderator Staff Member

    May 11, 2005
    Metro Detroit
    I am not a bum, I'm a jerk. I once had wealth, power,
    and the love of a beautiful woman. Now I only have two things. My
    friends and... uh... my trumpet. Huh? My story? O.k. It was never
    for easy for me. I was born a poor black child. I remember the
    days sitting on the porch with my family singing and dancing,
    down in Mississippi.

    Well, HEY!!! You said have fun with it!!!

    Ok, ok....

    I am Chuck Willard, born in Detroit, MI in 1952. I was the first boy in the family after four girls. I was follow by another girl and two more boys. I guess THAT'S the other thing my dad did well! My father was a prominant trumpet player. I started playing trumpet at age seven. My first teacher was Edwin (Gladney) Head, a soloist with Leonard B. Smith's Detroit Concert Band. He was a great player and teacher. We really didn't have the money for private lessons when I was growing up. I learned by listening to my dad. He was not a teacher, but I always brought music home from school and he always play it. I listened VERY well. My dad very frequently took me on gigs with him from the time I was about ten or so. I was fortunate to be able to listen to and meet some of the best muscians to come through Detroit.

    I was not a natural on the trumpet, but in a big family, always competing for my dad's attention, I used the trumpet as my stepping stone to him. I worked at it and as a result always played first chair. In school as well as in the district, all-city and all-state honors bands.

    I auditioned for, and went to the prestigious Cass Tech High School in Detroit. It was, through most of the 1900's one of the best schools in the U.S. It rivaled The School Of The Performing Arts in New York. I studied trumpet with Harold Arnoldi there. My last year of high school my dad took me out of Cass and had me go to a different school as Cass did not offer any jazz or big band music.

    I won scholarships to Interlochen MI and to the University of Michigan as a music major, trumpet performance . (and Dr. Revelli was SCARY!)

    I started playing professionally at age sixteen, and with all of my dad's contacts I got a lot of jobs.
    My first pro job was a disaster! I get to the gig and the keyboard guy says "You can read, right?" I said "Anything you have."
    Well that wasn't quite true, I could read but not transpose! He was one unhappy camper! A four piece gig, piano, trumpet, bass and drums and I could not transpose. This was 1968, there were not transposing keyboards then!
    We had a long night.
    You better belive that in two weeks time I was the world's best C to Bb reader in the world. Never wanted to let my dad down again, or cause HIM to look bad.
    I had the pleasure and ordeal of working two summers on a local cruise ship, the Bob-Lo boat Columbia. I played with my dad, Chuck Willard, drummer Joe Vitale (the drummer on the Lone Ranger's theme song) and the famous Chuck Peterson. I studied hard with Chuck those two years. Chuck was a trumpeter with Artie Shaw, Glenn Miller and Tommy Dorsey. He did the famous "Trumpet Duel" with Ziggy Elmann on TD's "Well Git It".
    If you haven't heard THAT one, You should! Chuck was one of the finest pure trumpet players I ever heard. What a player!!
    The first thing he ever said to me (and I did not know who he was) was "So you're Chuck Willard's kid. Play me a G" I took my trusty new Yamaha YTR 735 and played a G. He said "Not that #*&*%!! G, this one!!" He grabs my horn with it's Martin 10 mouthpice and nails a high G! I just stood there and laughed. I never heard one of those six inches away from my nose, pointed right at me. He said "If you were my kid, you'd be the best #*&*%!! trumpet player in the world!!" Then he tried to make that happen.

    More to follow.

  5. tpter1

    tpter1 Forte User

    Jan 12, 2005
    Northern New York
    I'm Glenn Roberts. I was born on Long Island, NY in Patchogue in 1964. As I was growing up, my mother was always taking us (I have one brother) to concerts and she had lots of Dave Brubeck records that we listened to. I still hear Paul Desmond's sound in my head. I signed up for cornet in 4th grade because my brother already played trumpet. Just enough like him, but not enough to be called a copycat. My grandfather was a trumpet player, too, but he never played for us. He gave it up after serving in WW2. Both of my parents are musical. My mother was a violinist (quite good, from what I gather) and my father played tuba (he studied with Walter Ebersold; hope I spelled that right), bass (he even made all state), and sang in the choir (I think).

    When I got to 5th grade, my parents split up, and it was a hard time for me. I quit playing trumpet for a year, and basically shut down for many years. I went back to trumpet in 6th grade. It was then that I discovered Drum Corps (this is 1977). I marched with a small rinky-dink corps, using a G/D valve-slide bugle (thumb equates to 1st valve, pull a slide for second; no third valve combinations). I moved up to Bridgeport Connecticut the year after, and that was where I was introduced to DCI level competition, touring, and Herbert L. Clarke's book. That was by the high school band director...i was in hs band in 7th grade because there was no middle school band in Elias Howe Middle School at that time. The hs band didn't even do concerts. Pretty sad. I ended up heading down some dark paths beginning with my experiences there; made some bad choices. Very bad.

    I marched drum corps, not really caring about anything else (that was the only musical challenge I had). I moved back down to Long Island with my mother in my junior year of high school, determined to "turn my life around". Old habits die hard, and I changed for a short while, but then went from bad to worse.

    My senior year brought about a new band director. He had a profound impact on me; he picked great music, and was really good at getting us to pull it out of ourselves. I also made a good freind in the corps who was attending Berklee, a really good trumpet player who marched with the corps, who upon graduation from there with a performance degree went to Queens College Aaron Copeland School for a masters in composition. (We unfortunately lost touch). He also had a huge impact on me, musically. It was him who introduced me to real Salsa and how it works (the clave, the mambo, how they talked about keys as "this is in La" or "This is in Mi"). I had heard it alot in Bridgeport, being around the corner from the mostly Latino neighborhood, but never really took the time to understand it. Those 2 people came about right at the right time. Funny how that happens. Everything I did from that point forward leads to where I am and who I am now. My grades were too low to get me in to any kind of 4 year college, and I had never taken any private lessons, either. So I went to the local community college, and applied for there computer science degree. I had taken computer math in high school, and had a feling those things would be big in the future. :D (We used Commodore Pets with cassette tape drives! My first computer class in Bridgeport had no computer at all; the day the printer arrived (yes, it came before the computer) was a BIG day for us!). The computer program was full, so I applied for the music department. 3 years later (and no associates degree), I finally got some lessons with Mr. Dave Naylor. He started me rolling on some Colin, Arban, and (ick) the Gianinni for my audition I bought my first professional horn (a Yamaha 6345), and a Bach 3c, and got myself straightened out enough to go to the Crane School of Music for a Music Ed. degree, and then a Masters in Performance.

    At Crane, I studied with Dr. John Ellis. His sound had a HUGE impact on me. I never heard anything like it. It was so warm and rich and relaxed; it is still my aural model of tone. I loved it there, and made some great freinds there, as well.

    It was also there that I met my wife, and were it not for her, I would be "sitting on a park bench" "spitting out pieces of my broken luck" ;-)

    We have four children now: a girl, age 11, who plays clarinet like her mommy; a boy, 10, who just started trombone this year; another boy, 6, who started trumpet last summer to "grow up and be like the guy on that website" (yes, Manny, that's you) ;-), another boy, 4, who just started pre-k and wants to play clarinet (we have an old Conn and some fibercane reeds).

    I love to play my horn. Through everything, it seems to be the glue that held me together; the thing that finally ended up forcing me on the right track. That message, that lesson, is the core of who I am, and why I will never give up on taking auditions I have no snowball's chance of winning; and maybe someday I will win one. It's why I am dedicated to teaching music; a connection I never really made until this moment. (This site really pulls things out of a person...) I enjoy photography, specifically nature and landscapes (I love the photos Art Wolfe takes), and we as a family have just discovered a love of camping.
  6. Kenzo

    Kenzo Pianissimo User

    Nov 18, 2003
    Bristol, Connecticut
    My name is Kenneth Roe, most folks call me Ken or Kenny. I was born in New York City in 1965. My parents moved to New Jersey for a brief time then moved to Connecticut. I started playing guitar in the 3rd grade and heard Jack Sheldon on television and decided I wanted to play trumpet.

    I did the whole routine, joined the school band, private lessons, etc. Guitar kind of fizzled out. One day I'll get back to it. After high school I tried the part time college thing and trying to freelance. It wasn't happening and I was really down about playing the horn. I visited my local Army recruiter and signed up to be an M1 Abrams tank crewman. I put the horn down, went to Fort Knox then off to Germany. While in Germany I was sent to Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. It was during this time I realized playing trumpet wasn't so bad afterall.

    I finished my hitch, started playing again and began studying with Roger Murtha. I joined the local Army Reserve Band (I met my wife in this band-she was playing clarinet and sax) and decided to go back to school. Roger sent me to study with Daniel Patrylak so I went to the University of Connecticut.

    After UCONN I went on to study with William Vacchiano and Joe Mosello. My career took off from there. Two years ago my wife and I adopted a 13 year old boy. I am extremely fortunate to have a great family and to be able to provide for them playing the trumpet.

    Thanks to everyone for making this board a great hang!

  7. cornetguy

    cornetguy Mezzo Forte User

    Sep 12, 2005
    Saint Paul, MN
    My name is Franklin Hotzel. I was born in Chicago in 1968. I went to a Christian day school in Chicago, and sung in the children's and later adult choir at the church it was affiliated with. I am a member of a new Lutheran church that just started in suburban ST. Paul last year and still sing in the choir there. My High school was at an arts magnet school on the near north side. I attended College at DePaul and VanderCook College. My priamary influance while growing up were Herseth, Brian Perry (principal Lyric Opera) Adelstien, Gary Bordner and Susan Slaughter. At DePaul I studied with Ross Beacraft. My major was Education and Theory Composition. I had to take classes for MN teaching license at St. Thomas here in St. Paul where I studied trumpet with Matthew George and Chris Volpe.

    Currently I live in Suburban St. Paul, and work as a substitute teacher in several suburban districts. (got budget cut out of position a couple years ago...)I play in the Saint Paul Civic Symphony and also on the board of directors. I also play in the Exultate orchestra. Usually second but this past season have been catapulted into the principal for a program with both and as a soloist (Haydn with Exultate)

    Mrs. Hotzel is a member of the Minnesota Chorale, so she has worked with the MN Orchestra and the SPCO on such things as Mahler, Verdi, Ravel, Beethoven, Handel, Mendelssohn, Brittan, Bach etc.
  8. Bear

    Bear Forte User

    Apr 30, 2004
    I am Tim Baird. A nickname I have picked up is Bear because I am a big guy and love animals, especially Bears and Wolves. I was born at Ft. Knox, KY but since my dad was military (Army) we moved every few yrs and I eventaully landed in Ft. Hood, TX, where he retired a few yrs later. I started trumpet in 8th grade as I was mainly playing football before that.
    During my 7th grade yr I saw a concert of Dizzy on TV and I just thought it was really kewl. I told my dad I wanted to play trumpet and the next yr I was in band. It seems I had a natural knack for it and quickly progressed. I've never taken "private lessons"... a fact which I wish was not true. I think of how more in touch with my musical soul I could be if I had a real teacher. Anyways, throughout highschool I quickly moved up the ranks in both band and athletics. Starting tenth grade I was first chair everything (concert/marching, we didn't have a jazz). Then my junoir yr I was involved in a bad car wreck. Football was over. The only people who came to see me in the hostpital were those friends I had made in band, so I never regret not being able to play football. I was out of commission until the summer of my senoir yr. I still graduated on time cause the school sent teachers to the hospital and whatnot.
    Anyways, I graduated and had no clue what I wanted to do. All I knew was that I liked music and Mr. Frank Coachman (my highschool dir, now Deputy Director of TMEA) played such a huge role in my beginnings that I said I wished to become a music educator. So, I figured he went to Tech, so can I.
    Freshman yr I come on campus and am introduced to jazz. Naturally leaning that way I quickly jump in and get my feet wet. Sophomore yr, I don't really get along with the trpt teacher but I still kick it doin' my thing and am playing lead/principal in all I auditioned for (Jazz, marching, pep, concert, trumpet choir, symphonic band). Things just take off from there.
    I meet some really neat people through the past couple yrs and now am just enjoying the final semester before I graduate. Now I'm strictly playing lead for jazz in school and some rock gigs with some groups outside of school and of course I'm in my church band. Throughtout the yrs I've really been leanin' more towards performance but I know that's silly, lead players are a dime a dozen. Anyways, I'm just ready to graduate and get a real job! Tower of Power here I come! j/k.
  9. Oldgreentoad

    Oldgreentoad New Friend

    Aug 30, 2005
    Portland, OR
    I'm Jason Simpson. I'm 39 years old and have been playing the horn for a whole eight weeks. I was born and raised and in Portland, OR. I moved back to NYC in my early twentties to pursue a career in Ballet. I lived in the lower east side for about six years, and that was definitly a real education after growing up in Oregon! I danced until I was 30 at which point they usually stick a fork in you and your're done. Currently, I'm back in Oregon going to Grad school in Physical Therapy. Why did I get into the horn? I've always loved music and have always enjoyed listening to great trumpet players. I also love the physical nature of playing the horn and it damn sure is a challenge! A lot like dancing really. Its a great feeling when you hit the center of the note and the horn just comes alive. So far I've really enjoyed using that part of my brain again, and interacting with artistic people again has been great as well. Gotta get to work, but I'll try to post again later.
  10. Meldog

    Meldog Pianissimo User

    Nov 24, 2004
    Blaine, ME
    My name is Adam William Metzler and I am 26 years old. I usually go by my full name because about 6 years ago due to family issues I took my Mothers maiden name and also changed my middle name to my Grandfathers name so I like to go by my full name because I am very proud of it. Meldog is an old nickname that most my friends still use in referring to me. My last name use to be Melroy so I guess they just took the Mel and added dog..LOL. I grew up in Avon, NY which is just south of Rochester, NY.

    I had the first opportunity to pick out an instrument in 4th grade and I tried out the tuba. It was a brand new tuba and I dropped it while it was on my lap. The band director yelled at me so badly I decided not to do band. The next school year there was a new director, so I told them what happened and they said here, try something smaller and handed me the trumpet. I wasn’t serious about trumpet until around 10th grade. I was told by my teacher that I was doing solo-fest so I decided I wasn’t going to make a fool of myself and would actually practice. Lo and behold I actually had fun and made all-county band. From that day on music was just who I was and what I did. I had a ton of family issues so music allowed me to escape all of it which my director gladly helped. I wasn’t able to afford lessons so I was taught to a point by my director who played flute and self-taught.

    I went to the University of Maine for Music Ed. And trumpet wise spent my first few years being exposed to the trumpet world and unlearning numerous bad habits that I picked up from not having a teacher. I also stumbled across my second love, conducting. My final 3 years at UMaine I was assistant conductor of the UMaine Pep Band which was a blast, especially doing a televised game. Umaine will always be my school no matter what school I go to. After I graduated in 04’ I moved back to NY where I grew up and I am currently principal trumpet in a very small community orchestra called the Avon Symphony, I am also webmaster for the site. I also play in a great community band which is probably the best community band I have personally heard called the Honeoye-Fall Community Concert Band. I am trying to rebuild my private studio which has been tricky. I had seven students in Maine but having trouble getting started down here. Currently I am looking for a teaching job, preferably a high school band director job but I’ll do anything that puts money in the bank right I have also begun my Masters in Music Ed at Nazareth College in Rochester NY where I am once again studying privately. I am also being asked quite frequently to play at events which is a nice change of pace. After my Masters and a few years teaching I plan to go for my doctorate in conducting at Eastman (hopefully.) Well that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!!

    Adam W. Metzler

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