My Trombone Diary

Okay so I did it again and was really bad at updates but for the rest of the summer that’s going to change.

Things I’ve done this summer:

  • Musically directed my high school’s production of “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.” It was AMAZING and I vocally coached them and pulled a pit band together in all of like 2 weeks and it was hilarious and the kids were so talented and funny and I GOT TO CONDUCT MY FIRST MUSICAL AND IT WAS THE GREATEST THING EVER.
  • Stage managed the Ensign-Darling Vocal Fellowship concert at The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts in Hartford, CT. It was the most wonderful experience. Frustrating at times, but ultimately the most amazing first stage managing experience for which I could have asked. I mean, THE BUSHNELL?! Being my FIRST stage managing gig?! And they paid me and offered to write letters of recommendation to future employers. Like…that ain’t bad, huh?
  • Went on vacation.
  • Read a lot.
  • Worked a lot.

Things I am doing in the next week:

  • Getting my wisdom teeth out TOMORROW. Eek :\ no trombone for a little while.
  • Turning 20
  • Seeing Tegan and Sara again with my mom and girlfriend :D

Things I still have to do this summer:

  • Actually practice trombone. Like…I’ve been pretty awful about it. I couldn’t even tell you what my excerpts for this semester are, let alone play them for you. What etudes?

Hello tumblr trombonists!

I need opinions! I’m looking into buying a trombone stand like VERY soon. But there are so many options! If you have any experience with trombone stands, your help would be much appreciated. Literally anyone at all, if you could tell me what stand you have or what stands you know your friends use or if you’ve done some comparing yourself that might shed some light on the situation for me, gosh just anything would help. You can reply to this or send me an ask or reblog with an answer. Anything. Please?


Here I did the thing for the “Closer” Karaoke music video I’m just going to casually put this here watch it if you want or don’t watch it if you don’t want but it’s a thing for your watching pleasure if you want it. That is, if you get any pleasure out of it. Which you might not.

Here I did the thing I’m not sure I’m exactly proud of how it came out but I did it anyway and I just…yeah. The thing.

So remember that time I promised to be good about updates?

That was literally the last thing I typed in my last post. On January 30th. And now it’s March 24th.


So things that have happened since the opera - let me get you up to speed.

First off, the opera was awesome. Doris Lang Kosloff is an AMAZING person to work with. Her conducting was spot on and the opera went off without a hitch. We all had a fantastic time, and I actually miss it.

Wind Ensemble has been wonderful. It’s so much better than Symphony Band I can hardly contain my joy. Our concert this semester was challenging. Sinfonietta by Ingolf Dahl was by far the most challenging. It really tested my playing abilities, and I am certainly a better trombonist for having played it. Plus, playing with my TA and the grad bass trombonist helped because they gave feedback on my playing during rehearsals. The Hindemith was also challenging but more stylistically than technically. The Abe marimba rhapsody was UNBELIEVABLY fun and it’s such a cool piece, and Black Dog, the clarinet rhapsody, was also fun, though certainly the cheesiest piece I’ve played in a while.

COLLAGE CONCERT WAS AWESOME. I played 1st on a lot of stuff. We did a scene from the opera, a scene from Miss Saigon (it was very emotional, as we had lost Kevin Gray earlier that week…), a scene from Follies, some Gershwin ballet, and a massive arrangement of Hey Jude. Among other things, the concert also featured Maestro Cumming dressed as Abe Lincoln, a sax arrangement of the Toccata from Toccata and Fugue, my friend Adam’s AWESOME band Forward Motion, and my TA’s performance of the Rabe piece, “Basta,” which left everyone speechless.

I’ve been assigned to play in Hartt’s productions of The Drowsy Chaperone and Big River. DC is kicking my butt, and we haven’t had a Big River rehearsal yet, but I’m looking forward to it. I’m definitely becoming a better player as I work through all the tricky stuff in DC. It’s cheesy and fun but definitely technically difficult in some spots.

I’ve been taking a conducting class and it’s the greatest thing EVER and I’m going to TRY to take score reading class next semester if I can find a different section of financial accounting to take. BUT OH MAN I THINK I’LL GET TO TAKE HISTORY OF MUSIC THEATRE NEXT SEMESTER TOO AND I’M SO EXCITED.

I’ve switched mouthpieces! I have FINALLY graduated from my Bach 6 1/2 AL to a Denis Wick 4 1/2 AL, gold plated. The difference is like night and day, and I’m SO excited. Next equipment change may end up being my rotor cap. I play on a Conn 88HCL and I’ve had the heavier rotor cap that it comes with on since high school. Never occurred to me that it would cut down on my resonance. Derp. So I’m experimenting with using the lighter one again. So far, seems like it may be a good switch to make, but I definitely want to get some input from Matt and Rojak before I make it a permanent switch. Not that I can’t change them easily anyway…

On Tuesday, I’m visiting the new school that my old band director teaches at. I’m going to observe his band class and then give a mini master class to his middle schoolers. I’ll probably play some Rochut to keep it light and fun, and I’m thinking of pulling out the first movement of the Larsson Concertino to show them some of the cooler qualities of the trombone and how awesome solos can be.

I’ve been practicing like crazy because I’m home on break. Tomorrow I’ll be the only one home, so I will likely practice even more than usual.

Current etudes: Tyrell 19 and Rochut 19, 20. Still working the Arban’s, number 19 on page 21, number 20 on page 22, numbers 9 and 10 on page 31, number 25 on page 37, and number 26 on page 38. Plus that triple and double tonguing stuff in the back that Rojak must have forgotten he gave me…haha

But for real, I’ll be better about updates. I REALLY promise this time.


Jan 24th: I had opera and wind ensemble rehearsals again. This was too far back for me to remember too many details about. But they went well and we got lots more done with the opera. It has some really nice moments.

Jan 25th: I was done with class at 2:30. I really don’t remember what I did for the rest of the day to be honest. I probably practiced at some point…

Jan 26th: Hartt Audition Day! Trombone Ensemble is playing at the audition days this year. We played an arrangement of How Lovely Is Thy Dwelling Place from Brahms’ German Requiem, an antiphonal piece called Echo Song, and a jazzy, fun, very commercial arrangement of Take Me Out To The Ballgame. Overall it was a huge success. Everyone enjoyed it. Then Becky and I went on an adventure to pick up car parts that Evan bought on craigslist. We drove 45 minutes. Becky and I got Subway. Then we drove back. Then I have opera rehearsal from 3-6 and 7-10. And it sucked. And I don’t mean the rehearsal itself sucked, it was just SO long. It was our first time with the singers so we had to hash out a lot of stuff and remark things. It was a long process.

Jan 27th: I skipped a day of practicing and went to Boston with Evan and Ben to see a Reel Big Fish concert. I met some of their friends from home and generally had a totally awesome time. Reel Big Fish puts on quite the show.

Jan 28th: I was supposed to have a dress rehearsal for the opera but the university closed at 2:00 due to a snow storm so I went home and did pretty much nothing all day. Not even practice. Bad Hayley.

Jan 29th: I was SUPPOSED to see Tegan and Sara in NYC but they rescheduled because Sara was sick. Looking on the bright side, I got to go to my rehearsals. Wind ensemble rehearsal was alright, but it wasn’t my best rehearsal. It was a slightly off day. We had opera dress rehearsal, which I guess it was good I got to go to since Monday’s was cancelled. The show actually went surprisingly well. We didn’t have to stop and restart at all, and for the MOST part the pit sounded good. Much better than it had previously, anyway.

Jan 30th: Today I practiced 10:30-11:20 between classes and now I’m sitting in a practice room again. It’s 4:00 and I don’t have class till 5:00. I already practiced a little before I sat down to write this. I’m at the beginning of my Arban’s book because Rojak told me to go back and honestly it’s the best thing I could be spending time on right now. For real. Paying close, close attention to the quality of each and every note. Also, he’s got me trying to even out my double tonguing even MORE by playing all of those exercises on just the “ku” of the “tu-ku” articulation set. Also, I’m working on Rochut 16-18 and Tyrell 16 and 17. Tyrell 17 is hard, man…but tomorrow is opening night for the opera so I need to keep practicing and be in top shape! I’ll be better about these updates doing forward. Promise!

Update for 1/23

Yesterday, I had my first rehearsals for the opera and wind ensemble. We didn’t accomplish a whole lot with the opera, but I definitely really like the overture. Wind ensemble rehearsal was SOOOOO much better than any symphony band rehearsal I’ve ever been in, and the pieces are way more fun.

Today, I didn’t have any rehearsals, but after class I practiced for a solid hour at least, maybe closer to an hour and a half.

Tomorrow, I have opera and wind ensemble rehearsal again.

Ok, here’s the final IPO update

Ok, so no symphony band and, as it turns out, no musical for me.

Matt thought I was going to be first chair in symphony band, but apparently I skipped that ensemble entirely and am now an official member of wind ensemble. Which is AWESOME because Glen Adsit is one of my favorite people at this school and I love his conducting.

I was assigned to the musical, but the musical director contacted Glen Adsit and told him there’s not actually a trombone part in On The Twentieth Century. So clearly I’m not a part of that.

I AM in the opera, I AM in wind ensemble, and I WILL BE in orchestra for the 1812 Overture later this semester.

Lied. No symphony band for me. Which I’m actually super stoked about because now I don’t have to put up with the conductor who I’m convinced absolutely hates me and doubts my abilities as a musician.


Also playing in wind ensemble. This semester could not get any better.

  • First chair symphony band
  • Principal trombone in the opera
  • Only trombone in the musical
  • Wind ensemble
  • Parts in orchestra

Everything is kick ass and nothing hurts.