Sunday, April 14, 2013

Bud Herseth Remembered


When asked how he would like posterity to remember him, Bud Herseth replied, “as a fairly decent guy who gave it his best every time he had the chance.”

For those connected in any way with Mr. Herseth either personally or through his many recordings, master classes, or concert performances, it can certainly be said that his request was granted.  Never was he known to deliver anything but his best effort.  It was difficult not to come away impressed, improved, and inspired by both his amazing playing and perhaps his secret weapon, that carefree and musical approach that was so Bud!  

In one of my lessons with Mr. Herseth we worked on the Credo of Bach's b Minor Mass. I was struggling on the piccolo trumpet with the high parts, and needed his input.  I don't know exactly what he told me, but after a few moments of walking energetically around the room, singing and gesturing dramatically, he said, now try it again, Phil.  Whatever he did worked.  I proceeded to get up a head of steam and sailed all the way up to the top of the line, feeling like I could hold onto that high G forever!  For once I was not blasting and pressing, but floating and singing. I couldn't resist laughing in amazement.  He smiled and nodded.

If only that kind of communication could be bottled and reopened whenever needed!  I then told him I didn't know exactly how much he charged for a lesson, but it was worth ten times that amount.  He declined any payment of course. 

Making someone confident, encouraged and happy with himself was a big part of who he was.  He was definitely way more than a decent guy who gave his best every time. Time spent with him, or just listening to him, was simply unforgettable.  How wonderfully he could bring out the best in you! That was Bud!


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