Tell us about your audition experiences or your experience winning a job in the VSO.
I took three auditions for the VSO before finally winning a tenure track position. I was appointed to a one year position initially on 3rd horn for the 15-16 season, then a one year position on 4th for the 16-17 season. Finally, I was lucky enough to win the principal audition where I've been honking since the 17-18 season.
We played our last notes together in March 2020 playing your Strauss horn concerto and we plan to return in February 2021 with the same concerto. How does that feel?
It feels surreal in many ways. As an orchestral musician, I'm not sure that it will ever feel "normal" to prepare for a concerto performance simply because it is an entirely different experience from my weekly musical activities but obviously this year has been exceedingly out of the ordinary. I'm excited to start concerts again, I've missed performing every week more than anything! I've had conversations and listened to lots of musicians around the world talk about how using this past year productively is the most any of us could hope for. It's time in the practice room that didn't exist before the world shut down and It's up to me how I use that.
What do you miss most during this time?
Concerts. Live music. Meeting new people.
Have you acquired any new skills or hobbies over these many months?
I haven't really acquired new skills as much as I've just focused on the ones I have already. I love to paint and work out. My day is usually a mix of painting while listening to music; playing music while thinking about something to paint, and then working out to forget all my painting and music problems.
What music are you listening to?
Kamasi Washington, Tannerélle, and Bruckner...always Bruckner.
Is there a question everyone asks you once they know what instrument you play?
Something usually about why I stick my hand in the bell. Answer is both to support the instrument and to fine tune while playing.
Is there anything else you want us to know about you?
I'd just like to say that this year has been incredibly difficult for performing artists all over the globe. As performers, we've been stripped of our outlet to make a living in the only way for which we've trained our entire lives. Time away from performing has further solidified my enthusiasm for music and for sharing the special moments that are only possible through live performance. I’m immensely grateful for the opportunity to safely return to performances and will express that gratitude to anyone supporting the musicians here at the VSO.