OMEA SoundScapes 2014: “Upside-down trumpet” Handout

Today I’m offering a trumpet clinic at the OMEA SoundScapes 2014 convention titled: “Upside-down trumpet: counter-intuitive aspects of brass playing.” I’ve included the slides to the presentation in this post, and anyone with follow-up questions is welcome to contact me by email at

Hodgson – OMEA Clinic Handout

Pedagogy: trumpet repertoire list

In my efforts to update our trumpet jury requirements here at Western, I’ve created a repertoire list. These pieces come from a variety of sources, but most heavily I’ve consulted David Hickman’s excellent book Trumpet Pedagogy (hickeys link) as well as a repertoire list posted online by Luis Engelke here.

It’s not an exhaustive list by any stretch, and grading is subjective, but I’ve tried to include as many works as possible that are accessible to undergraduate students. It’s often very difficult to find repertoire that hits the “sweet spot” between music written for beginners and more virtuosic repertoire (eg: requiring piccolo trumpet).

Suggested trumpet repertoire list (2014-08-24)

Pedagogy: preparing repertoire

Call me crazy, but the start of the school year is one of my favourite times of the year. There is so much excitement in the air, so much promise, and your days are filled with old and new faces. Everyone is recharged and all the bitterness and frustration from previous years is momentarily set aside. Sure, it’s a little busy, but personally I’d rather have too much to do than too little.

One of the things I made this year for my students is a small handout guiding them through the process of preparing repertoire. Continue reading

My trumpet story

I can still remember the moment the trumpet picked me. Like many kids in the suburbs, I took piano lessons at a community music school. Every few months they’d have a recital where all the kids would put on their Sunday best and sing “Take me to the church on time” or play Bach’s Minuet in G. But this time the teachers played for the students. I can’t remember what the trumpet teacher played, but I was sitting up near the front and from the very first note I was hooked. Continue reading

Berlioz, Symphonie Fantastique

Last summer, I was a member of Orchestre de la Francophonie, led by Jean-Philippe Tremblay. This was my second year with the group, and I always appreciate the chance to perform with a professional-calibre symphony orchestra. I don’t get to do much of that during my day job as a university professor.

Part of OF’s summer season is the production of a commercial recording, and last year we recorded Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique. The recording is finally being released, and I couldn’t be happier with the results. You can stream the entire record or purchase a digital download here.

Getting started in New Music: experiences with Reveille

On January 26, I gave a talk here at Memorial University as part of our annual Newfound Music Festival. Really, this talk is an excuse for me to share some stories, some opinions and some musical examples that I thought people in my musical community might appreciate. To supplement that talk, here are some links and videos for those who would like to follow up on what they heard (links will open in new tabs).

Continue reading

Tobin Stokes, Trio Lyrical

This piece was a joint commission of the Reveille Trumpet Collective, and it was a privilege to perform in the premiere with Adam Zinatelli and Timothy Quinlan at the Banff Centre in July 2010.

In the composer’s words: “I was on a quest at first to write something technically amazing… And then I just thought ‘You know what, let’s focus on something else.’ I opened my heart instead of my brain and looked for how could I give the trio a musical experience that they could share with the audience.”

Get the sheet music here:

David John Lang, Song Without Words

This year, I acted as contest coordinator for the Reveille Trumpet Collective‘s first ever Composition Prize. All of us were immediately drawn to the eventual winner, Song Without Words by David John Lang, 21, of Adelaide, Australia. This piece was chosen from over twenty entries to receive the grand prize.

Continue reading

Gabriel Dharmoo, Sung in a Rickshaw

Gabriel Dharmoo and I met at Domaine Forget in 2005. There, he shared some of his music with me, and I remember being impressed by how strongly his personality shone through his compositions. His music was inventive, witty, and engaging.

Collaborating with Gabriel and performing his music remained as goals in the back of my mind for several years, until finally the Reveille concert at Sound Symposium was on the horizon. Immediately I met with Gabriel and he set to work on a piece inspired by his travels studying south Indian carnatic music.

Sung in a Rickshaw was premiered on July 10 in St. John’s, NL, Canada. Included below is Gabriel’s introduction to the piece, in which he narrates the work’s conception and brings you into the sound world of the piece.

Get the sheet music here:
Gabriel’s introduction: