Symphonic Playing then and now

ISOI can’t tell you how lucky I am to get the opportunity to play with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra on a somewhat regular basis. (Check out the ISO’s performance of Pirates of the Caribbean this weekend at Clowes Hall! If you like d minor and loud/low trombone, this concert is for you!)

When I first started playing with the ISO several years ago, I was in for a little shock. Blake and Jim play with such intesity and at such a high level, that I was nearly left in the Behind the Beatdust during first rehearsal! I think I played a quarter of a second behind the whole day. I realized that I was kind of a reactionary player. I thought I was on the beat, but not with those two! I had to change my approach to playing (and to life).

Fast forward 5 years and now I put the note, the beat right where it needs to be. I carry this feeling and style into other groups I play with (Anderson Symphony Orchestra and Sinfonia da Camera) not to mention all the jazz ensembles!

But more importantly, this direct, polite, appropriate, confident and intense approach also follows me into my regular non-trombone playing life.

This got me thinking: What if everybody could live life in a polite, confident way while being direct and intense? Don’t tell people what to do or how to live, just be nice for nice sakes! Open a door for somebody, say hello to a stranger, walk with your head and eyes up and not gazing at the ground. Engage your surroundings, get to know the people around you, create your own confident community!

What a nice and helpful world we could have if everybody lived their life like an intense, yet polite, symphonic trombone player!

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