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Your hobbies and interests: I roast my own coffee from green beans and fancy myself a coffee enthusiast. I drink some of the best coffee and espresso the world has to offer. I run marathons and shorter distances somewhat competitively. I like to spend lots of time with my 3-year-old son, Zach.
Some little-known, yet interesting facts about you: I bowl on occasion with my colleagues late at night after concerts. The trumpet section in my high school/youth orchestra yielded several professionals besides me. I am a race director for a 4-mile run/walk that earns over $15,000 a year for local charities and has around 1,000 participants. I have certified race courses through U.S. Track and Field. This is a very involved process. My grandfather did groundbreaking research with paramecium and was a highly celebrated scientist.
Funniest concert moment:Dropping my mute really loudly during a moment in Camelot and handing it to the second trumpet player who was playing just as the conductor looked to see who had made such a terrible sound. I also have to mention Jim Stephenson's ability to make me lose my composure during a ballet performance when he said, "And now … for my next trick, I'm going to pull a rabbit out of my hat." At the precise moment he finished stating this, unbeknownst to me, in the music was a perfect "Tah dah!" to his comment. His timing was impeccable.
Daily practice rituals: My warm-up, though short, provides a lot of insulation from injury. I warm up in 10-15 minutes, but cover most of the basics in my playing. If I have difficult pieces in the repertoire to tackle, I try to master those before the season even begins. I try to practice most when we are doing lighter symphonies by Haydn and Mozart, not when we are doing Mahler and Strauss or during heavy pops weeks. I carefully assess what is required of me in the weeks to come and prepare as well as I can, being mindful like an athlete of when to taper and when to train hard.
The question you're asked most often about your instrument (and your answer): "Is that a Monette trumpet?" My answer: "Yes."
Your favorite part about playing in the Naples Philharmonic Orchestra: The variety has to be the blessing and the curse of this job. I love the challenges of having to be great at all styles and ranges and colors of playing the trumpet. The demands of seven pops shows in conjunction with what proceeds and follows it can be quite a push at times. When all is said and done, it is the perfect scenario for me. I never get bored of one style, and music stays very fresh for me. There are no egos here – that is very rare indeed, and I have tremendous respect for my colleagues for what they do inside and outside the orchestra to make this a fabulous place to work.