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Performance Tips

  1. Developing Effective Vibrato

    Vibrato is a part of virtually every advanced euphonium performance. Among other instruments, it is used for most of the playing on strings, and much of the playing on cornet, trumpet, trombone, and tuba in the brasses, and flute, oboe, and saxophone in the woodwinds. French horn players don't use it as much in the USA, although Europeans use it more. The same is true for clarinet. Vocalists use vibrato most of the time. Clearly, any player beyond beginner level will need to learn how to produce ...
  2. Video: Very Unique Euphonium Feature on Melody Shop

    This is from a live concert by the U. S. Army Field Band. It is an example of what a little imagination can do with a march that is already impressive, and then becomes a genuine crowd pleaser! Video features Sergeant First Class Christopher Sarangoulis and Staff Sergeant Lauren Veronie on euphoniums.

    This is undoubtedly very difficult to do, either live or in practice, but they did it! What I like about this is that the march is first (apparently) played all the way through normally, ...
  3. Minnesota All-State Audition - Example and Tips - Video

    I've been asked to do a new project this year. Brian C. Wilson of iplayeuphonium.com is working to obtain recorded examples of the all-state audition pieces for all 50 U.S. states. I am doing the example for Minnesota.

    In this state a composer writes a special etude each year, which is one way to make sure there is an even playing field (i.e. the chosen piece is not one that anyone happened to have played in a lesson last year or something). Composer Timothy Mahr includes quite a lot ...
  4. Memorizing and Sight Reading

    I would like to memorize more often than I do. Playing without music, once you get to the point where you really have it memorized, frees you in several ways. But it takes time to get to that "safe" point.

    When you are looking at the music stand you are somewhat "locked" in position. That could actually be an advantage in a recording session if there is a mic on your bell, but for a live audience it limits your freedom to move along with your musical expression. You may also find that
    ...
  5. Video - I Know Why and So Do You - Euphonium and Piano

    I just uploaded a new euphonium/piano video to my YouTube channel. In this one we are playing a song that I heard in the movie "The Glenn Miller Story" called "I Know Why (and So Do You)." The series of videos I've been doing lately are partly intended to give players ideas about songs they can perform to help develop style. I've been choosing songs that don't require advanced technique or range, and as such they would be doable by anyone from high school on up. They would be a good way to help ...
  6. More on Playing in Church - New Video

    Here is a new video of me playing euphonium for a recent church service, with Sara Brunk, piano. This piece was the offertory: "You Raise Me Up" - words and music by Brendan Graham and Rolf Lovland.

    I have to confess that I came across this song accidentally. I heard the Irish Tenors (probably during PBS fund-raising) in concert, and Ronan Tynan sing a piece called "Grace." I was struck by the melody and wanted the music. The only way I could purchase it was within a book of Ronan Tynan ...
  7. So, Playing in Church Is Too Hard, You Say?

    For many years I have been advising euphonium players to connect with a local church and volunteer to perform euphonium solos now and then (plus play in a brass ensemble if they have one). This is a great way to gain experience and it's a nice contribution to the church. Euphonium is a great fit for a worship service!

    Some of you who are not associated with a church may find it uncomfortable to approach them. Don't worry - in most cases they will be glad to hear from you! "But," I hear ...
  8. Learning from Others - Comparisons

    I was browsing some of the videos on my Euphonium Videos page, and found an interesting contrast between performances of the same music by Lyndon Baglin, Adam Frey, and Steven Mead.

    Lyndon performs in a very traditional British style. Steven also shows a British style, but sounds quite different. And Adam plays with a mostly-American style, although one can hear the British influence in his sound. Because they are all playing the same arrangement (mostly), it is a great opportunity ...
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