December 2018
















One of the things that helps my playing came from a touring experience with the Chestnut Brass. Chestnuts definitely were foodies. We would search out some particular food and focus on it; like we had a banana cream pie year. I now do that with my trumpet practice too. Yes, there is a collection of basic things that I do each day and some special items for upcoming performances. Yet, I always have a project topic that I will spend time on each month. I am still focusing on double tonguing at the moment.

I follow James Clear’s blog for inspiration and in his latest posting he was talking about reading more books every year. Basically, it is what I do for my special trumpet topic. Find 20 minutes everyday and make sure your mind is fresh and do your topic. For me rotating topics keeps my concentration at a high level and helps to ensure success. A little amount of time just for your own self-improvement. You deserve it. Pick a topic and find the time. I like to use a timer; do what needs to be done and then move to the next item. It has really made a difference for me these last few years.

Please give this a try.  It could make a terrific New Year’s Resolution.

Read the article by James Clear or sign up for his blog.



Sometimes you hear something and think, how did they do that? With the trumpet, the answer usually is more thoughtful practice. But, maybe not always! Yann Maresz’s Metallics is worthy of your attention. I love the playing of both players, Clément Saunier and JaeChang Pedro Sung. After hearing the first performance, I immediately went to see how many other people were playing this piece. I started to think I needed to get my music listening moved into a higher gear. I had gotten lazy and was not searching hard enough for edgy new works for the trumpet.

You can do your research and learn about the composer Yann Maresz. You may not find Metallics to your taste, but you should admire the amazing playing and the commitment of the players to learn such demanding repertoire.


Yann Maresz, Metallics – Clément Saunier – Ensemble intercontemporain
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“Metalics” for Trumpet & Electronics by Yan Maresz Trumpet : JaeChang Pedro Sung (성재창) Computer Music Design : IRCAM Electronics Sound Diffusion & Computer Music Control : CREAMA


Of Interest

Matthias Pintscher, sonic eclipse – Ensemble intercontemporain

Clément Saunier, trompette; Jean-Christophe Vervoitte, cor


Holland Baroque & Eric Vloeimans ‘Carrousel’


Handel: Coronation Anthems – Ode for St Cecilia’s Day – Les Arts Florissants, Paul Agnew Full


William Vacchiano

Pedagogy and Method Books


Robert Vanryne: Virtuoso Trumpet Music Forgotten Treasures, Vol 9


Re Visited

This month? Yes, I played scales, arpeggios, lip flexibilities and such. Mostly I reaffirmed my love of music and my desire to practice more and harder!


J.S. Bach: 3. Partita (Gigue) ∙ Hilary Hahn


When I walk into my practice space I anticipate and hope for magic. Elusive qualities of artistry can be hard to summon. I know it when I hear it in others and it always makes me sigh and practice harder. Sometimes I just cannot find the words to explain to a student, why they must dig deeper, why it is about their imagination, to not be like other people, but to make their own joy. I believe practice is about asking questions and making demands of yourself. Practice is also about finding focus and learning to be patient. Listening more carefully is the first step, followed by being kind to yourself and trying yet again. Do not always listen to the same things. Explore and you will be amazed.

I loved listening to the performance of the Bach Partita Gigue by Ms. Hahn. I keep coming back to it thinking, yes, a study in magic.

In this holiday season, I wish you peace and joy, however you come to that. I wish also for you to join me in the pursuit of magic, in your playing too. It will surely give you joy!!