My Trombone Diary

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?

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.

Update for 1/5

No rest for the trombonist.

I went over my friend Ruby’s, but I still got some playing in. One of her moms makes jewelry and stuff from old instruments. She and Ruby gave me the most amazing gifts.


What you see here is a ring that’s a cross section of some trombone piping (She didn’t remember exactly which part) and some loops from joints somewhere on the same horn (Again, not sure on the parts). You can also see my recently-practicing lips with a faint, lovely mouthpiece circle.

But for real. This was the coolest gift in the whole wide world. I can now carry a small piece of me everywhere I go.

I even got to see the old horn that the pieces came from. And emphasis on the word old. I probably couldn’t give you a date on the thing, but let’s just say it looks NOTHING like my Conn.

After they gave me those and showed me the horn, I played the first movement of the Larsson Concertino for them and they loved it and were so intrigued by my ability to breathe the way I do when I play and how my F attachment lets me play the same low notes from 6th and 7th position in 1st and 2nd position.

Overall it was a REALLY cool night. I also got to play one of the Mahler excerpts for Travis and Ruby. It was awesome and I was so happy. And it was definitely lucky that they wanted to listen. I hated the thought of skipping a day of playing!


All day e’eryday.

It’s probably bad that my wisdom teeth, which have been impacted for a year or two now, hurt when I play trombone, isn’t it? Ugh…just what I need as the new school year starts…

Ok so before you watch this, be warned that my chops are dead, my hands are all slippery because it’s hot in here, and I’m muted so I don’t disturb my family while they watch TV down the hall.

I decided that to track my progress, I’ll need a baseline. So here it is :)

Me playing F.A. Guilmant’s Morceau Symphonique.

Also, it doesn’t show the annotations I made on YouTube about my mistakes that I fully acknowledge. Like the whole cadenza and lots of the 3rd page.

It begins.

So tomorrow is the first day of summer for me.

I spent the last year studying at The Hartt School of Music, Dance, and Theatre as a Music Management student, applied classical trombone. I studied with Dr. Ronald Borror, one of the most wonderful men it has ever been my pleasure to meet, and probably the most intelligent man it has ever been my privilege to study with. If Doc taught me anything this year, it was that you will get nowhere without dedication and hard work.

And so here I am. On summer vacation. Missing my beautiful girlfriend terribly already. Desperately trying to find a job. Preparing for my 3rd musical theatre gig in June (4th production on trombone total). Preparing myself for surgery later this summer. Preparing to go back to school in the fall and study with John Rojak. The man seems to like me already, and if Doc really had to leave, I’m not sure that I could have a better new teacher.

One word. Broadway.

So my trombone playing? It needs to be about a million times better than it is. And it will be. Rojak is an incredible resource and connection to have. I WILL impress him this fall.

So starting tomorrow, I’m transforming my practice habits. I WILL practice every single day, and I will write a post about it every night to document my progress. Who knows, maybe some photos and videos will even make their way up here.

This is my trombone diary.