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Advice from Les Brown's Father

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  • davewerden
    Administrator
    • Nov 2005
    • 11142

    Advice from Les Brown's Father

    Band leader Les Brown had a great band in the big-band tradition. His father taught him trumpet, baritone horn, then trombone, saying

    "Baritone horns can't make a living. There are only two in every concert band."
    https://jazzprofiles.blogspot.com/20...wn-part-1.html
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    Alliance Mouthpiece DC3, Wick 4AL, Wick 4ABL
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  • John the Theologian
    Senior Member
    • Apr 2013
    • 245

    #2
    Our community band seems to vary from 3-6 euphonium players depending on the gig. I always bring one of my trombones to rehearsal along with my euphonium because often our trombone section is depleted and I will play trombone for that gig. However, the next time the trombone section will have 6-8 players waiting to play. Several of us are doublers, so that helps to balance the sections out, but it's a little wild not knowing what instrument I'll play from gig to gig. Community band is my main opportunity to play euphonium, but it isn't helpful to have 6 euphoniums and 4 trombones for a given concert.

    These seem to be the only 2 sections in our band that fluctuate so wildly.

    Comment

    • euphlight
      Member
      • May 2016
      • 61

      #3
      Interestingly, since graduating from university 18 years ago, I very rarely needed to play trombone for anything. I done more tuba playing if anything for my Community Band when we didn't have any Highschool tuba students. I don't own a tuba so I use of the schools Yamaha's and use my gold plated 66 mouthpiece. I get around tuba fairly well especially for not being to practice on it. The one year which I had to play tuba, we played A Circus Suite by Stuart Johnson. The 2nd movement (Elephant Act) has a tuba solo in it. I did a pretty job with it, surprised a few people who didn't know that I can play tuba. In my Community Band, I usually sit beside the tuba and give them pointers when needed. The trombone section in my Community Band is fine led by the Highschool Band teachers husband. The Highschools in my town always had solid trombone players, likely in part that the university in my town has a really good trombone prof.

      In talking to Dr. Joel Pugh a couple of years ago at the International Music Camp, he said he was giving a lecture about "You can make a living playing euphonium however...." somewhere a couple of years ago. I never asked how that went over.

      Comment

      • highpitch
        Senior Member
        • Mar 2006
        • 1034

        #4
        The only thing worse is a mellophone enthusiast...

        Unless you were in Stan Kentons' band.

        DG

        Comment

        • ghmerrill
          Senior Member
          • Dec 2011
          • 2387

          #5
          In the New Horizons band I played in for about 6 months some years ago, there were 9 -- when they all showed up.
          Gary Merrill
          Wessex EEb Bass tuba (DW 3XL or 2XL)
          Mack Brass Compensating Euph (DE N106, Euph J, J9 euph)
          Amati Oval Euph (DE 104, Euph J, J6 euph)
          1924 Buescher 3-valve Eb tuba (with std US receiver), Kelly 25
          Schiller American Heritage 7B clone bass trombone (DE LB K/K10/112/14 Lexan, Brass Ark MV50R)
          1947 Olds "Standard" trombone (Olds #3)

          Comment

          • Radar
            Junior Member
            • Aug 2015
            • 25

            #6
            Outside of Military Bands and a handful of university positions (where you will probably also be required to teach Tuba, and possibly Trombone) you are unlikely to find a regular job playing Euphonium. That doesn't mean there aren't opportunities as a solo artist, or creating your own small ensemble, etc. If you want to make a living as a Euphonium player I would suggest you double on Tuba, and Bass or Tenor Trombone as well. Also you are going to have to be flexible and really make your own opportunities. People aren't going to be knocking on your door asking you to play for them and offering you money.

            Comment

            • highpitch
              Senior Member
              • Mar 2006
              • 1034

              #7
              Making & with a euph?

              Hahahahahahaha...

              DG

              Comment

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