CSYO: Can you pinpoint your favorite memory?
BB: As I'm sure it was for many of us at the time, my absolute favorite memory of playing with the CSYO was the opportunity to perform at Music Hall with the members of the Cincinnati Symphony in the annual joint concert. It was such an amazing moment to suddenly be sitting on stage in Music Hall with my teachers and my idols. The sound that the CSO brass produced was something I'd never before heard so up close and personal, and it literally gave me chills. While sitting on that stage, I knew my place would be in the concert hall from that point forward!
CSYO: What impact did the CSYO have on your career choice (if any)?
BB: Being a member of the CSYO was instrumental to my choosing music as a career. I joined the group as principal trumpet during my senior year of HS, the 1991/1992 season. This was also the first year for conductor, Keith Lockhart. He was an incredible influence on me as a young musician. I can remember during my audition I was playing the Haydn Trumpet Concerto. I had already played the first movement, and Keith asked me to play the second, more lyrical movement. I played through the end of the first section and thought he would ask me to stop, but there was nothing...so, I went on. The second half of the movement is very much the same as the first and I thought, "why would he want me to continue with the exact same music?" At the time, I was very familiar with a recording of the piece by famous trumpeter turned conductor, Gerard Schwarz. In the second movement, Mr. Schwarz ornamented the recap of the theme, and I thought it was fantastic. So, in a split second, I made the decision to emulate those ornaments in my audition. It went well, and when I finished, Keith immediately said he was hoping I would do something special with the music, and was glad I did. I felt connected to him as a musician and conductor. Playing for him each week was truly inspiring. His energy and enthusiasm for the music rubbed off on me, and is something I still think of today. Every time I step on stage, either as a musician or as a conductor, my goal is to inspire and connect with those around me. I can only hope that I've affected people's lives in the same way that my mentors have done for me, and that above all else, with every note that I play and every phrase that I create, the most important thing is to honor the music and each of those brilliant composers to the very best of my abilities. Music deserves no less.
CSYO: You are a full time professional freelance musician. Can you briefly describe some of your career highlights?
BB: Some of the highlights of my career have been traveling the world on 5 tours with the Pittsburgh Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony, and Detroit Symphony. On one of those trips to Rome, Italy with the Pittsburgh Symphony, I got to perform Mahler's 2nd Symphony 'Resurrection' for Pope John Paul II in Vatican City. It was called the Papal Concert of Reconciliation, and was later made into a DVD. I've also been very fortunate to record a number of CDs with many different orchestras. Each and every week I get to perform masterpieces of the orchestral repertoire with amazing musicians all over the country.
CSYO: Your passion for music is clearly obvious. Can you tell us more specifically what you are doing now as a full time professional freelance musician? What may lie ahead for you?
BB: I regularly play with orchestras like the Cincinnati Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Colorado Symphony, Columbus Symphony, Louisville Orchestra, and Grand Rapids Symphony. I am principal trumpet of the Sinfonia Gulf Coast (Destin, FL) and the Kentucky Symphony, and have several active chamber groups like the Spectrum Brass, Pittsburgh Brass, Sinfonia Chamber Brass, and the Canterbury Brass. During the summers, I teach at the Bay View Music Festival in northern Michigan, and was previously on the faculty of BUTI (Boston University Tanglewood Institute). I've also had the opportunity to serve as a conductor on numerous occasions, most notably have been yearly appearances with the Colorado Symphony over the last 5 years. This is an area of my musical career that I look forward to exploring more and more in the years to come.