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Thread: Dave Werden - Article in The Instrumentalist

  1. #1

    Dave Werden - Article in The Instrumentalist

    I recently did an interview for The Instrumentalist magazine. As is my norm, my responses were long enough that they decided to divide the article into 2 issues! The newest issue contains part 2.

    So far, only part 1 is available on their website, but I assume part 2 will be available once it is a past issue. Here is the 1st installment. The formatting of the page is a little off, but the article itself is readable. [>>> SEE BELOW; PART II IS NOW AVAILABLE, TOO <<<]

    https://bit.ly/3Jcrm2f

    Click image for larger version. 

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    UPDATE: Part 2 is available on the website now:

    https://theinstrumentalist.com/artic...erden-Part-II/
    Last edited by davewerden; 07-25-2023 at 07:14 PM.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    Alliance Mouthpiece (DC3)
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  2. #2
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    Very nice article Dave! Looking forward to part 2.
    Rick Floyd
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  3. #3
    Wonderful interview! I credit the Instrumentalist magazines as one of many things that made me into a real gear head in middle school - the band director at our school had at least a couple of decades of these in the band room, and I loved them! I loved the ads as much the articles. I haven’t seen one of these since the late 80s at least. I had wondered if they were still around, and I’m glad to see that they are!
    Last edited by euphdude; 06-14-2023 at 09:00 AM.
    - Scott

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  4. #4
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    Great article, Dave. You do us euphonium players proud!
    John Morgan
    The U.S. Army Band (Pershing's Own) 1971-1976
    Adams E3 Custom Series Euphonium, 1956 B&H Imperial Euphonium
    Adams TB1 Tenor Trombone, Yamaha YBL-822G Bass Trombone
    Year Round Except Summer:
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    Rapid City New Horizons Band (Euphonium)

  5. #5
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    Reading the beginning bio info, I see Dave was the principal euphonium soloist for 26 years with the US Coast Guard band. I knew this previously, but it reminded me of a question I’ve wanted to ask about the more prominent military bands…

    I often see bios of other notable euphonium players with similar longevity as principal euphonium soloists. I’ve always wondered why there isn’t more rotation in such a position. Opportunities for those that even make one of the bands would seem to be extremely limited once someone has “locked the principal position down” and plans to stay a while.

    Or am I significantly misunderstanding how things work?
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  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by iMav View Post
    Reading the beginning bio info, I see Dave was the principal euphonium soloist for 26 years with the US Coast Guard band. I knew this previously, but it reminded me of a question I’ve wanted to ask about the more prominent military bands…

    I often see bios of other notable euphonium players with similar longevity as principal euphonium soloists. I’ve always wondered why there isn’t more rotation in such a position. Opportunities for those that even make one of the bands would seem to be extremely limited once someone has “locked the principal position down” and plans to stay a while.

    Or am I significantly misunderstanding how things work?
    Well, seniority counts to come extent, depending on the situation. I was hired as principal, but no one told me that! In our first rehearsal we had the Holst 2nd Suite. As the solo approached I put my horn down and the other player (with about 30 years in at the time) jerked his up and played the solo. After the first time through he told me I was principal. After that, it would have been unusual, but not unheard of, to unseat me as new players came in. The USCG Band DID do that in a couple cases, but I am not sure if the other bands did or did not.

    Soloist is not a position, for the most part. I was probably the most-used soloist during my career, but the 2nd chair players (Denis Winter, Roger Behrend, and Danny Vinson) would play solos in front of the band sometimes.

    In 1976 or 77, the Army Band wanted to hire a euphonium soloist specifically. I auditioned and was offered the job but decided not to take it. I think that was under Col. Allen. Once the next director took over, I suspect I would have had to prove myself to retain the position, but I don't know for sure.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    Alliance Mouthpiece (DC3)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by iMav View Post
    Reading the beginning bio info, I see Dave was the principal euphonium soloist for 26 years with the US Coast Guard band. I knew this previously, but it reminded me of a question I’ve wanted to ask about the more prominent military bands…

    I often see bios of other notable euphonium players with similar longevity as principal euphonium soloists. I’ve always wondered why there isn’t more rotation in such a position. Opportunities for those that even make one of the bands would seem to be extremely limited once someone has “locked the principal position down” and plans to stay a while.

    Or am I significantly misunderstanding how things work?
    My experience from the U.S. Army Band (Pershing's Own) is that once you are in the solo/principal chair, that is where you stay until you retire or step down. That was evident when I played there, as there was a person in the solo chair who was probably the weakest of the several other euphonium players. But he stayed there as new and better players came and went. This is really no different than the major symphony orchestras. The first chair/principal players keep their seats unless there is something really unusual that happens. Positions in major orchestras are as difficult to land as positions in any of the premier military bands. And you don't really see principal players in orchestras rotating their seat to other players. Just doesn't work that way.

    My experience in community bands is completely different. There, it is not at all unusual to see chairs rotated. I find this done more often than not. Or for example, in the trumpet section on one piece someone takes the solo, and on another, a different person does. In the premier military bands and major orchestras, the principal almost always takes the solo.
    John Morgan
    The U.S. Army Band (Pershing's Own) 1971-1976
    Adams E3 Custom Series Euphonium, 1956 B&H Imperial Euphonium
    Adams TB1 Tenor Trombone, Yamaha YBL-822G Bass Trombone
    Year Round Except Summer:
    Kingdom of the Sun (KOS) Concert Band, Ocala, FL (Euphonium)
    KOS Brass Quintet (Trombone, Euphonium)
    Summer Only:
    Rapid City Municipal Band, Rapid City, SD (Euphonium)
    Rapid City New Horizons Band (Euphonium)

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by davewerden View Post
    ...In 1976 or 77, the Army Band wanted to hire a euphonium soloist specifically. I auditioned and was offered the job but decided not to take it. I think that was under Col. Allen. Once the next director took over, I suspect I would have had to prove myself to retain the position, but I don't know for sure.
    Well, you could have passed me in the hall! I was there then. And you are right, Col Allen was the commanding officer then. He took over from Col Laboda. And the euphonium player I mentioned who was the weaker of all of the other euphonium players was there at the time. Maybe the band wanted to replace him after all, I was not privy to that, if that was the case.
    John Morgan
    The U.S. Army Band (Pershing's Own) 1971-1976
    Adams E3 Custom Series Euphonium, 1956 B&H Imperial Euphonium
    Adams TB1 Tenor Trombone, Yamaha YBL-822G Bass Trombone
    Year Round Except Summer:
    Kingdom of the Sun (KOS) Concert Band, Ocala, FL (Euphonium)
    KOS Brass Quintet (Trombone, Euphonium)
    Summer Only:
    Rapid City Municipal Band, Rapid City, SD (Euphonium)
    Rapid City New Horizons Band (Euphonium)

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by iMav View Post
    I often see bios of other notable euphonium players with similar longevity as principal euphonium soloists. I’ve always wondered why there isn’t more rotation in such a position. Opportunities for those that even make one of the bands would seem to be extremely limited once someone has “locked the principal position down” and plans to stay a while.
    RE: soloists

    One thing I didn't mention that contributed to my remaining an often-used soloist is flexibility. Some of our occasional soloists were rather selective about the conditions under which they would play (I'm not referring to the other euphonium players!!). They might have needed a long lead time to work up a solo, for example, and then would want several rehearsals. But the boss knew of several solos I could do, and would be willing to do, on very short notice...sometimes with no rehearsal. Other soloist might not want to perform in some situations, such as noon in a cement plaza in downtown Tulsa in August. I didn't enjoy it much, but I was willing to do it.

    And in less extreme situations, there may still be concerts with very little available rehearsal time. It is good for a wannabe soloist to always have a solo that can be programmed quickly. Arthur Lehman recommended a personal rotation of 3 solos at any one time. One that is ready to go, one that needs a bit more practice, and one that you are just learning. After performing #1, move up #2 and #3 and bring a new solo into the #3 spot to start learning.

    Beyond any of that is the obvious stuff. Be a professional in all aspects of your behavior (be polite; maintain on-the-spot grooming to the group's standards; maintain the appearance of your instrument as well; acknowledge the ensemble in your bows if possible; take note of your facial expressions while playing, counting rests, and walking to/from the front of the group; maintain good posture; consider the ick factor for the audience and don't make a big deal out of emptying water, or just don't do it for short solos if practical; etc.). In other words, being a desirable soloist goes well beyond playing well. But desirable soloists get asked to solo, so it is worth the effort!
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    Alliance Mouthpiece (DC3)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  10. #10
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    Your comments about being professional (beyond playing very well) really strike home. I think good appearance, manners, style, enthusiasm and more all complete the total package. Makes you a much more likely person to be called upon to solo. A pleasant and charismatic person is usually a better pick over another soloist who may play better but is a curmudgeon.

    One thing that is interesting is that I saw a decided propensity to have soloists with certain instruments much more than others when it came to stand in front of the band solos. Trumpet, euphonium, and trombone were to the best of my recollection, used way more than other band instruments as the solo instrument. Trumpet probably the most, close behind were euphonium and trombone, with maybe a little more from the euphonium. And the trumpet and euphonium usage as soloists was true also in the late 50's and early 60's when I was fortunate enough to be able to go to Wash, D.C. every weekend and hear the premier military bands. Seems it was almost always a trumpet and/or a euphonium doing the solos during the concerts, although I know other instruments did solos, too, but just not nearly as much.
    John Morgan
    The U.S. Army Band (Pershing's Own) 1971-1976
    Adams E3 Custom Series Euphonium, 1956 B&H Imperial Euphonium
    Adams TB1 Tenor Trombone, Yamaha YBL-822G Bass Trombone
    Year Round Except Summer:
    Kingdom of the Sun (KOS) Concert Band, Ocala, FL (Euphonium)
    KOS Brass Quintet (Trombone, Euphonium)
    Summer Only:
    Rapid City Municipal Band, Rapid City, SD (Euphonium)
    Rapid City New Horizons Band (Euphonium)

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