Friday, January 07, 2011

Ryan Anthony Master Class

Ryan Anthony, Principal Trumpet with the Dallas Symphony, generously shared for almost two hours today at CCM. He answered questions about preparation, concertizing, and some of his experiences while touring with the Canadian Brass. He patiently worked with three students on solo and orchestral repertoire asking questions and offering excellent advice. This weekend he solos with the Dayton Philharmonic in the Liebermann Trumpet Concerto.

Mr. Anthony suggested becoming so comfortable with your range that you can consider it "your personal keyboard." That is, all notes should be on call and ready to be played as easily as on the piano, rather than using the tongue as a weapon to stab and jab. This concept should help to eliminate excessive stress about that upcoming high note. Just reach out and play it! Warm up should include all parts of the range, making sure that all notes have been touched.

Sustaining the intensity of a line is more difficult when wide leaps and rests are involved. Air flow through the whole phrase makes musical sense and helps with endurance. The music should continue to flow even when rests interrupt the overall line. Avoid chopped up and isolated line fragments.

Selecting your own adjectives describing the music is a great way to involve both player and listeners. There was noticeable improvement at this suggestion. Visualizing a storyline helps with character and style, enabling the performer to be in "a comfortable place." (Oh, to be able to stay there!)

Flutter-tonguing a nasty passage is a helpful first step for focusing. Likewise, slurring for tonguing.

Forte doesn't always mean a loud volume. Intensity can be independent of dynamic level. The quality of sound can be more important than dynamic focus.

Speaking of that comfort zone, Ryan reminded us of our mission. The audience expects to leave the concert remembering more than just a pretty good performance. Our job is to give them special things. Special things is what Ryan does so well! Just check out his recordings. Our thanks to him for being with us today.


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