Brass Chats Season 2, Episode 2: Jen Montone

She crushes it on the horn and always has. She says curse words in job interviews. Her mental game alone is stronger than all of the skills we have—combined. She has overcome great obstacles and injuries; she knows how to practice. She is a superstar. She is the Boss. She is all of these things, and much much more—at a young age with myriad untold wonders to offer the world in the future.

What we're trying to say is, holy moly, were we ever lucky to score an interview with the Principal Horn (I know, horn, right?! Us!!) of the Philadelphia Orchestra JEN MONTONE! Here it is, this month's inspiration feast. Enjoy!

Brass Chats Season 2, Episode 1: George Vosburgh

Well everybody, it's been quite a ride, but it's time for us to call it quits on Brass Chats......season ONE!!!! HAAAA GOTCHA SUCKERS!!!

We are super excited to kick off the SECOND SEASON of the best interview series in the world that we make. That's right---Brass Chats is back! And we are kickin' ass and takin' names. The first name we are taking is a real legend: a former member of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and former Principal Trumpet of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra: George Vosburgh.

Some people practice for years and never achieve a screamin' high G. George did before he could drive a car. Other people try to bench press 135 lbs; George benched 400. Some people enjoy normal civilized conversational discourse; George gets in, gets out, says what he thinks, and bombards you with energy and information. You'll be tired, but you'll be better afterwards.

We love George. We love Brass Chats. We love you. Go!!!

Brass Chats Episode 34: Håkan Hardenberger

Each time we do a Brass Chat, we think "wow, this one is going to be hard to top.", this one is going to be hard to top. Håkan Hardenberger is REALLY GOOD at acting, keeping a straight face (must be a Swedish thing) and dumping out buckets of water (click for proof). 

Fortunately for all of us, Håkan is also really good at dumping out buckets of knowledge, from trumpet nuts and bolts to the ever-helpful 'poo' attack—we are getting pretty good at talking 'poo'—to lip bends to practicing to performing to musicality.  

Speaking of Swedish things, did you know that "sent from my iPhone" in Swedish is "Skickat från min iPhone?" Well...Skickat från Håkan's brain to yours: it's Brass Chats! Enjoy. 

Brass Chats Episode 33: Mark Hughes

Mark Hughes: Principal Trumpet of the Houston Symphony. Baseball enthusiast. Audition prep master. Lap dog owner. Doc Severinsen fan. Master Swimmer. Texan. 

Those highlights say a lot about Mark, but they don't say it all. Click on in to get closer to the full truth, including Mark's advice on how to record yourself, his favorite piece of music, the "polishing" stage of audition prep, and much more. Oh, and we almost forgot—the always-illuminating Monster Round. The June 2017 installment of Brass Chats. Enjoy!!!



Brass Chats Episode 32: Trent Austin

If trumpet star Trent Austin had a baseball card, the back of it would show stats like: 

  • Pitches: R (click for proof)

  • Bats: R

  • Owns: Austin Custom Brass (click to visit)

  • Teachers: Findlay Brothers, Clark Terry, Thomas Stevens, Gabriel probably

  • Usable Range: seventeen octaves

  • Position: All around, every style, every note

  • Equipment: Adams Instruments (linked), makes his own mouthpieces, but could play any music on any trumpet ever made with any mouthpiece 

  • Number of lips needed to play actual music on the trumpet: one, possibly zero

We were super excited to score an interview with Trent, who's a renaissance man, an incredible trumpet player, and an all-around great dude. Tune in to see how Trent does it, and also to hear him talk trumpet technique, mouthpiece/equipment selection, his longtime friendship with Clark Terry, his dream jazz combo, and much more, including the always entertaining Monster Round.

After you're done learning tons from Trent, go check out his FANTASTIC shop Austin Custom Brass (linked). Go drop by for a visit in person too—Trent's a great hang and interactions with him makes you a happier, better person and trumpet player.




Brass Chats Episode 31: Chris Martin

Can you walk and chew gum at the same time? Rub your belly whilst patting your head? Triple-tongue three-octave arpeggios while sitting on the shoulders of a unicycle-riding bear in a party hat?'re about: can you be principal trumpet of both the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic at the same time? HA! ...then you're not Chris Martin, our 30th guest on Brass Chats. 

Lots of trumpet (slash brass) nuts and bolts in this one. Watch and learn all about how he warms up, what he works on every day, how he develops his sound, and of course---how he navigates the looming minefield of the Monster Round. This one easily gave us about 6 months of stuff to work on in the woodshed. Enjoy! ...and then go practice.



Brass Chats Episode 30: Jim Pandolfi LIVE

Red Pill, second dose. Most people thought the second Matrix movie wasn't quite up to the challenge of living up to the original; we promise a different experience here. Hit it with Dolf (Jim Pandolfi, former third trumpet in the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra) in Monster Oil's first-ever LIVE interview/Brass Chat.

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Brass Chats Episode 29: Jim Pandolfi

Brass Chats Episode 29: Jim Pandolfi

In our interview, Jim Pandolfi offered us the 'Red Pill' of trumpet pedagogy.  You might *think* that you know correct trumpet playing technique... but after you hear what Mr. Pandolfi has to say, you might start to question EVERYTHING you've been taught before.  

Watch the interview and see how deep the rabbit hole goes.

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Brass Chats Episode 28: Joe Alessi

Brass Chats Episode 28:  Joe Alessi

The master of trombone talks about his life growing up in a household of musical influences, his challenges and breakthroughs in regards to playing trombone, and...his dream car.

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Brass Chats Episode 27: Phil Snedecor

Brass Chats Episode 27:  Phil Snedecor

Associate Professor of Trumpet at the Hartt School, co-founder of the Washington Symphonic Brass, founder of the DC Pops Orchestra, and author of the widely used "Lyrical Etudes for Trumpet" book. We asked Phil Snedecor what he did to get good at trumpet and he told us all about a heck of a journey he went on to figure out this trumpet thing. Guess what?! He told us exactly how he did it!

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