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Where Are the Jazz Euphonium Players?

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I just learned that this year's ITEC has canceled its jazz competition because of a lack of qualified applicants. I'm not quite sure why that is, especially for euphonium players. Of course, not all of us have the instinct to do a proper job of playing jazz, but there have to be a large number of folks who could do this but have not chosen to.

For euphoniumists, there is a long-standing lament about the lack of paying gigs in the USA (aside from our service bands). Certainly there are opportunities to perform in community bands, brass bands, and small chamber groups. But most of those are not going to earn you any money.

However, for a good jazz musician, there are gigs where you can make some money. I realize that money isn't everything, but there are other benefits of playing jazz. For one thing, it's fun!

So what's the problem? Perhaps many of us are afraid to get up in front of a school jazz ensemble and (possibly) play a random collection of nonsense notes. Having grown up shy I can certainly understand that. But there are ways to become acquainted with jazz in the comfort of your basement: music minus one recordings/music. These often have some instructions on how to play jazz and provide you with an accompaniment you can play along with. That gives you ample changes to hone your skills before you attempt a jazz ensemble rehearsal.

Here are several of the resources available:

Music Minus One Trombone/Euphonium

If you would like to hear euphonium in a jazz setting, look at this section of my forum (you have to be logged in to see this section):

Downloads for Members Only

and look for Marc Dickman.

So let's have some of you readers step up and give it a try!

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