May 2015

Stratton Bb


John F. Stratton  saxhorn in Bb

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May is now here. That means school is almost done and many are thinking of summer vacation and fun projects. I hope you are getting ready to make your plan for summer practice so that in the fall everyone will turn their heads and say “wow!  look how much better (insert your name) sounds, I guess I should have practiced this summer too!

1.) Practice

The study of the trumpet can be straightforward. You go from method to method, add a few etude books here and there, then do a few solos and stir well! Yet, at the same time, there are always little areas for each of us to put in a few extra minutes or more. I have mentioned finger dexterity before. A very specialized book has appeared to help you strengthen your third finger and make quick passages all the easier to perform. I find it fun and worth my time. Give it a try if you think it will add to your technique.

Give It The Third Finger- 101 Trumpet Studies For Making Your 3rd Finger Work Right by Mark Hendricks

Each day, try to practice something small to make you a better player.

2.) Listening

Sadly, a wonderful trumpeter has passed as the month of April has come to a close. Rolf Smedvig was an inspiring and dazzling player for all who heard him play the trumpet. Some people were lucky to hear him perform live, but even more were reached by the many recordings he performed on. As a trumpet soloist, a chamber musician with the Empire Brass or when he was with the Boston Symphony people noticed his lyrical style of playing and his beautiful sound.

Here are two sound samples for you to become familiar with. Looking for your “Best Sound”? Try to imprint this sound to your memory and make it become part of the composite “Best Sound” you strive for.

Rolf Smedvig, trumpet

Maria Theresia von Paradis – Sicilienne

Empire Brass and members of the New York Philharmonic brass section

Conductor, Zubin Mehta

Joan Tower – Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman
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3.) Of Interest

In every trumpet player’s library is a copy of the Arban Trumpet Method. Here are some practice thoughts from one of today’s great players, Wynton Marsalis.

Wynton Marsalis Daily Practice – Arban Trumpet Studies

Get a hard copy or download some sections to begin your study of this wonderful book!

Free PDF Downloads from the Arban Trumpet Method

4.) Re-Visit

This month was very busy for me. I spent the beginning playing with the Chestnut Brass Company on a U.S. State Department trip to Honduras. It was a great trip, with fun concerts and master classes, where I met so many new friends. A special time! But with my return, my attention is on solos that I have performed before. I am now preparing to go to Costa Rica for a solo recital and master classes. This is what I will be working on.

I will perform the Vivaldi Concerto for Two Trumpets with professor of trumpet Luis Miguel Araya Morera of the Escuela de Artes Musicales, Universidad de Costa Rica.

The program is:

Concerto “St. Mark”                                                                          Tomaso Albinoni

Grave – Allegro – Andante – Allegro                                              arr. Jean Thilde

Facilita                                                                                               John Hartman

Air and Variations

Fantaisie Brillante                                                                           Jean Baptiste Arban

Joneta                                                                                                James F. Burke

Concerto in C for Two Trumpets                                                   Antonio Vivaldi

Prof. Luis Miguel Araya Morera and Bruce Barrie

Solo de Concours                                                                            Théo Charlier

Lied ohne Worte                                                                              Sofia Gubaidulina