Where do you come from? That is, we would like to know 1) where you grew up as a trumpeter, 2) who were your most important teachers, and 3) what your professional and pedagogical trajectory has been until today.
I grew up on Long Island, NY which put me less than an hour away from New York City. When I was in high school I studied with Mel Broiles and Mark Gould. After high school I moved to Boston to study with Roger Voisin and Tim Morrison. When I was 26 I joined the Empire Brass and spent 17 years with them on the road. For the last 20 years I have been the trumpet professor at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida.
Every trumpeter has his methodological preferences. What type of exercises or methods do you emphasize when practicing and teaching, and why?
I am all about fundamentals. I love Michael Sachs’ Daily Fundamentals for Trumpet. I use it for warming up and working on my trumpet playing. In my opinion, the genius of the book is its simplicity. You can’t concentrate on what you are working on when the exercise is difficult enough that it requires all of your brain power just to play it. I am also a big fan of playing Bordogni Vocalises and the Bousquet method. Both are great in helping you train your body to relax and use your air to support your playing. My students must master these methods before moving on to more challenging repertoire.
Day to day with the trumpet
Could you tell us what your daily trumpet routine consists of?
I have a joke with my wife. I say “I have to go practice” and she says “you don’t practice, you just warm up”. She thinks I am warming up all of the time because I practice fundamentals so often. I find that if you work on keeping your whole body relaxed while using supportive air to practice fundamentals, you will be able to play any repertoire required of you.
What brands of trumpets and mouthpieces do you use? Do you use them for any particular reason?
I have had a partnership with master craftsman and Interlochen trumpet professor Ken Larson for many years. I play his trumpets exclusively and we also created an amazing mouthpiece together called the ReesePiece. I play his horns because they possess both that classic sound that we all love, along with an ease of playing unmatched by any trumpet I have ever played. I think everyone should check his horns out next time they are at a big conference like ITG or NTC.
Do you use any equipment that is beyond what we would consider normal? (E.G. a Delrin top, bent mouthpiece, bent trumpet receiver, different bell configuration, etc.)
The teaching center
Where can a student, that would like to study with you, find you? Where do you teach?
I teach at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida. Several former members of the Empire Brass make up our brass faculty. Our conservatory is tuition free for all who are accepted. It is an amazing place to be.
Lynn is the home of the Roger Voisin Memorial Trumpet Competition. This competition will be held again in January of 2020. The competition is held every other year and is open to trumpeters up to age 27 enrolled as full-time students in undergraduate or graduate programs. Those interested in entering the competition must submit a preliminary video and application by November 1, 2019. More information can be found at https://www.lynn.edu/roger-voisin-memorial-trumpet-competition as well as here on Trumpetland.com in September!
What can a student expect from you? And what do you expect from the student?
My objective as a teacher is to train confident, flexible trumpeters ready to pursue a life in music. I educate students to think conceptually, encouraging a consistent approach to air, sound, efficiency and music making that can be applied to all music they encounter. I expect students to have respect for musical tradition and to be a positive member of our studio. Appreciation for their substantial scholarship must be shown through hard work and dedication to all they do at Lynn.
In your experience, what is the one common problem young players have today?
The biggest problem players have today is letting their tongues go through their teeth and touch their lips when they attack. Essentially saying “Thah” when tonguing instead of “Tah”. Saying “Tah” (instead of “Thah”) is an essential part of being a professional trumpeter. If you ask people if they are saying “Tah” they will say yes but most are not actually doing so.
Sharing exercises with Trumpetland
Do you have any exercise you would like to share with the Premium members of Trumpetland?
I wrote an iBook called Repurposing Clarke which is meant to encourage trumpeters to approach double tonguing practice in a relaxed and efficient manner. Each exercise has been created to help counteract one's tendency to close their throat and tighten their chest while double tonguing.
Exercise by Marc Reese (PDF 169,48 KB) [Only Premium members]