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Trumpet Discussion Discuss Hard Working Trumpet Players in the General forums; I was watching the circus the other night. I got more than my money's worth listening to and watching the ...
  1. #1
    Piano User
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Godley, Texas

    Hard Working Trumpet Players

    I was watching the circus the other night. I got more than my money's worth listening to and watching the 9 piece band. They played several different styles of music. The trumpet player played the 2 hour show with a blazing sound. They play 2 shows Thursday and Friday, 3 shows Saturday and Sunday, and then do the same for the second week. Then they pack up and go to another town and do it all over again. I talked to him after the show. He said they travel together for 2 years and pretty much keep up the same pace. I congratulated him and told him my hat is off to him.
    What other gigs are this tough?
    My hat is off to all you hard working trumpet players!

  2. #2
    Pianissimo User Scatmanblues's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    West Texas

    Re: Hard Working Trumpet Players

    Yup, circus gigs are tough. That's how Harry James built his chops.

    I think any gig that is not primarily a musical performance is incredibly challenging (pit orchestras for plays, backing bands at theme parks, dance bands) because the choice and pacing of the music is not build around the strengths and limitations of brass players. For example, pit orchestras for plays and musicals often have to play in keys and at tempos designed for vocalists, and sometimes even have to learn different versions of the same songs for different leads who prefer different keys. There tend to be lots of key changes, odd meters, and tough entrances (high "G#" at "pp" after a 5-min break followed by a polka followed by some nice lyrical pedal tones in F -just kidding, but not by much). One of the hardest gigs I ever played was in a pit orchestra in college -followed very closely by a one-time polka band gig.


  3. #3
    Forte User larry tscharner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    dubuque iowa

    Re: Hard Working Trumpet Players

    I couldnt agree more! Ive always admired circus musicians for their fortitude in playing in dust, heat and other adversities. I swear they have cast iron lips and make it look fun in silly costumes. If I could play that hard for that long I'd be tickeled to death and looking for easier gigs and more money. Now cruise ship work, thats the ticket
    Larry tscharner!
    M J Klashen The Yankee 1923
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  4. #4
    Forte User Bob Grier's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Greensboro, NC

    Re: Hard Working Trumpet Players

    Having played the RBBB Circus years ago I know it's the most demanding on the chops playing job there is. Year after year the same lead players would come to town with the circus. I've played 100s of musicals and I do like the demands on skill that they bring to the job. While some can be demanding on the chops (West Side Story) the real challenge is in reading ( multiple quick tempo, key changes) multiple style changes, musical judgement. very fast stops and starts on cue. With touring companies you get one rehearsal. local performances you'll have maybe 5 rehearsals.

    I really enjoy the challenge. Oh! and the money of course.
    Bob Grier, An Old Pro
    Web Cam trumpet & jazz improvisation lessons

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