My grand orchestral experiment of 2011-12 has now officially come to an end, and it has left me with some great performance experiences and some hard-earned clarity in my career. Since winning the audition for principal trumpet in the St. Louis Symphony last September, life has been interesting, slightly heady, and overwhelmingly hectic! In the end, I will not be assuming the principal job in St. Louis, but will be staying put in Miami as the trumpet professor and chair of the Instrumental Performance Department at the Frost School of Music. So how does this make me feel? Well, playing principal trumpet with this fantastic orchestra has been a true honor, but it has also been clear to me since the very beginning of my trial weeks that this just wasn’t the right fit. I was trying to pound the proverbial round peg into a square hole, and no matter what I did, it didn’t change the basic problem: wrong hole, wrong peg.
The truth is, I have a really wonderful job at a vibrant and cutting edge school of music, a job that allows me the freedom and flexibility to pursue my own artistic projects while also furthering and supporting the artistic goals of my students and colleagues. The artistic energy I feel when I show up at work each day is positive and tangible, and in this crazy 21st century musical world, that is a very important thing. I work at a place that believes that new projects should not only be born but thrive, where barriers are meant to be broken or overcome, and where there is always room for a new idea. Quite simply, it’s the right home for me. I would be crazy to leave.
There are some people who will be really surprised by this turn of events, while there are others who could have predicted it from well before I even won the audition. The truth is, though, that this is the right thing for the orchestra and it’s the right thing for me. There is certainly nothing wrong with that.
I am thankful to my friends and colleagues in the St. Louis Symphony for the opportunity to explore this position. I will take away many fond memories from my time with this orchestra. It is an extraordinary group of people both artistically and personally, and I wish them nothing but the best in all of their future artistic pursuits. It’s nice to know that an orchestra like this exists in the world. Thanks for having me along for the ride.