Where are you from originally?
A small town in Arkansas called Stuttgart. If you've ever bought Riceland Rice at the grocery store, it's from my hometown.
How did you choose your instrument?
I started off playing trumpet but found it kind of boring at the time (no offense to my friends in the trumpet section) and I thought the horn looked pretty and switched a year into band class.
What’s your favorite thing about being a musician?
Live music allows the performers and the audience to experience a lot of feelings in a way that's hard to access in other ways in life. It's a powerful experience that's hard to replicate just listening to a recording.
What’s something people might not know about being a professional musician?
Often when I talk to people not familiar with how orchestras work behind the scenes, they seem surprised that we aren't rehearsing regularly all the time to prepare for concerts like you do in high school band or a college club or something. We at most have probably four rehearsals for a program, sometimes only one!
The job requires a lot of individual work and preparation to be ready to execute everything well and consistently minute one of a rehearsal for a given program. Some of this involves practicing and “woodshedding” (slow, meticulous practice of difficult passages) our parts at home, but it also requires some studying, looking at scores, and listening to multiple recordings of pieces to know how the piece goes and how our individual part fits into the whole.
We also all have work we have to do to stay in shape regularly. As a brass player especially, I have to play a certain amount to keep my muscles in shape or I lose them. The less I "have work," the more I have to work ironically! If we have two weeks off at the holidays after our Christmas shows for example, I could treat those days as vacation and not touch my horn, but once we are back at work I'll be in a lot of trouble being able to use my skills at the level that is needed and could really injure myself so I can't neglect the horn during "time off."
What’s your favorite thing about Omaha?
The zoo. I tell friends often a visit is worth it for the zoo alone!
What’s your favorite Omaha restaurant?