March to the Scaffold this Sunday with two tubas!

This weekend is Orchestra Toronto’s second concert.  They’ve started a tradition now that the December concert is kid-friendly.  This time around, there will be a marionette performance to some of our pieces, and a performance by the violin concerto winner – 18-year-old Clarisse Schneider.  This is our program:

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The day after a lesson

I had a lesson yesterday with Sasha Johnson – tubist for the National Ballet, and professor at the Glen Gould School, among other gigs in Montréal.  And now it’s the day after and I’m reading old entries of my blog and thinking “Dan, right idea, wrong execution”.  Not that it’s totally bad — I had the right idea after all, I just have a better way now.

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Sam Pilafian Masterclass, part 1

On Friday, November 4th, I had the chance to attend a masterclass by the iconic tubist, Sam Pilafian. I attended the morning session on breathing – a subject Sam knows much about, considering he’s the co-author of the Breathing Gym, along with Pat Sheridan. Sam has a long and storied career in the biz: founding member of the Empire Brass Quintet (the American counterpart to Canadian Brass), classical and jazz soloist (concerto competition winner), and recorded with the likes of the New York Phil, the Boston Symphony, the Met Opera Orchestra, and Pink Floyd. You can read *all* about him here. Continue reading

Music Minus Middles

Nancy Nourse (on piccolo) and myself played duets at an Orchestra Toronto fundraising gala

Me and my Movember played at an Orchestra Toronto fundraising evening gala hosted at the beautiful Mansion building of the Military College in North York (Yonge blvd and Wilson).  This pic is of Nancy Nourse and me – our piccolo-tuba duets garnered a lot of attention.  To the roaming audience’s delight (and my own), the combination was really nice.  And we weren’t that far apart — for some of the Mozart duets we were within an octave of each other.  I was doing double duty too:  I played with the OT brass quintet. Continue reading