Marian College Hosts Famed
English Trumpet Soloist
Indianapolis, October 16, 2008 – The Music
Building at Marian College was the site of an informal master class by English
trumpet soloist Alison Balsom (Web Site)
on Thursday, October 16, 2008.
Four performers played portions of pieces ranging from the Hindemith Trumpet
Sonata to etudes from former Cincinnati Symphony Principal Trumpeter Phil
Collins’ much acclaimed Trumpetudes (Web
Alison Balsom engages
the audience during her master class at Marian College in
Indianapolis on October 16, 2008.
Performers ranged in experience from a recent graduate of Indiana University, to
an elementary school-aged novice. Attendees were largely high school aged
performers, with a smattering of local professional trumpeters including Larry
Powell and Alan Miller.
Balsom listened to the four trumpeters, offering comments and suggestions that
resulted in immediate improvements for each performer. Most notable were her
comments about the need for performers to avoid being overly cautious, “The
audience shouldn’t worry about whether or not you’re going to perform well.” She
urged performers to be bold and be prepared and always strive to make your
performance interesting for the audience.
Alison Balsom works with Nathaniel
Patty, emphasizing the importance of thinking "down" when moving up
in range, and thinking "up" when descending a scale.
Balsom recounted lessons she’s learned regarding breathing, including an
anecdote from her time at famed Paris Conservatory. The trumpet studio would
meet for a warm-up, lasting up to four hours. Alison learned quickly that
utilizing the right breathing technique during those lengthy warm-ups could help
her conquer a long day of practice and performance. She recounted a comment from
her instructor that suggested if the correct breathing mechanics are deployed
effectively, fatigue becomes a non-issue.
Balsom offered a method to help
reduce the amount of force applied to playing the trumpet. Through
attempting to get a good tone from the instrument while supporting
it with the thumbs, the performer can begin adjusting to a less
forceful interface with the instrument.
The importance of preparation was also stressed by Balsom. She briefly discussed
the preparation she’s used to ready herself for performances and reflected that
it’s only after the performance of a piece is perfected, does an artist truly
start to learn to interpret the piece with their own voice.
Master class attendees join Balsom
in breathing exercises at the event at Marian College in
A Professor of trumpet at the Guildhall School, Balsom is an international
soloist, EMI recording artist and recipient of many awards including the 2006
Classical Brit award for Best Young British Performer. She was visiting
Indianapolis to undertake two performances with the Indianapolis Symphonic
Alison Balsom listens to a performer
at Marian College.