We weren't born playing music at the level we do now. It's taken many hours--over many years--of focused, disciplined practice to achieve our current levels of technical proficiency and musicianship, and we continue working to improve. Some of what we post here are informal, "rough cut" performances of pieces we've been practicing; other posts show our progress in working up particular etudes, solos, orchestral parts, etc. These recordings and videos will give you a glimpse into the various stages of our own musical preparation. The methods we use in our practice can help you improve your own performance.
31 January 2016: Cyril Plante - Romance for Solo Tuba, Op. 109 (Adam) <IMSLP Series #1>
Most classical musicians in 2016 are aware of the great wealth of music available at IMSLP, an online storehouse of uploaded public domain sheet music and recordings. What some may not realize, though, is that a number of contemporary composers post their music to the site as well, often under a Creative Commons license. Even for tuba, there is a surprising amount of music on the site to challenge and intrigue players hunting for new material. This is the first entry in an "IMSLP Series" we'll curate over time, showcasing hidden gems gleaned from this site. This pretty piece for unaccompanied tuba by composer Cyril Plante seemed to fit well with today's quiet, snowy mood. Sheet music here.
25 September 2015: Lowell Shaw - Just Desserts #5 (DeAunn)
According to composer Lowell Shaw, etudes in the Just Desserts collection were based on his improvisations following productive practice sessions. Shaw would reward himself for a good practice by improvising in popular styles. How lucky for horn players everywhere; these delightful vignettes are a treat for us all!
15 September 2015: Théo Charlier - Études Transcendantes #2 (Adam)
For those unfamiliar with this book, it is a series of advanced trumpet etudes originally published in France in 1926. While these etudes are technically challenging, they are also very musically rewarding to play. The second in the book, a study in style, is particularly sumptuous. I remember a master class at the Boston Conservatory with Roger Voisin, famed former principal trumpet of the Boston Symphony, as he guided trumpet students to emphasize the long, beautiful line instead of the individual notes of these difficult passages. This is a joy to play on any instrument.