Trumpet Dynamics

Chris Coletti Explains Why You Shouldn’t Start a Brass Quintet

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Just be yourself...

Imagine yourself as a brash, 25 year old trumpeter, fresh out of the Juilliard School of Music. You've just been hired by one of the most famous, iconic and esteemed ensembles in the world, and you're eager to make your mark.

While on your first tour with the group, however, you're constantly told you need to "push the boundaries" of what you can do as a performer. 

The problem is, you think you're doing just that!

 

But you're not. And your colleagues remind you of it regularly.

Frustrating, right?

Well, Chris Coletti faced this exact dilemma when he first joined the Canadian Brass in 2009.

Night after night, town after town, he would play the cadenza in a fun little medley of klezmer music. And for some inexplicable reason, it just. wasn't. working...

So one night, having exhausted all known means of "finding his voice" as a member of The Brass, he reached far into the depths of his soul and - instead of playing the final high note on his trumpet - sang it in a perfect, operatic soprano voice!

The flummoxed audience just sat there, as the last remnants of the clarion tone tapered off wistfully into the cool, crisp winter air.

No one made a sound.

After a few moments of stunned silence however, somewhere in the middle of Row JJ in the main seating area, a gentleman began clapping. 

A few others around him began clapping.

Very quickly, the confusion that had briefly permeated the auditorium turned to rapturous applause. Little did this audience, who had gathered together for an evening of fine music from a fine ensemble, realize that history would be made that night.

For young Christopher Coletti, sporting a fashionable beard along with the Brass' trademark suit with accompanying sneakers, had finally "made his mark" as a member of the Canadian Brass.

Singing.

Like a girl.


In this interview, exclusive to Trumpet Dynamics, Chris shares this funny story, along with a wealth of knowledge and insights into his craft as a world-class performer.

Among the topics we discussed:

  • How to balance humor and "being entertaining" and taking a "masterpiece" approach to performing.
  • How classical music has changed to being more "audience friendly" over the course of time.
  • Why it's important to form a group around the right people, rather than a set instrumentation.
  • How it feels to arrange a piece written by J.S. Bach and see your name next to his name, as well as the Canadian Brass.
  • Why other groups similar to yours are not your competition - and what really is.
  • What kind of following would the Canadian Brass have if Facebook existed in 1980?

That and much more are discussed in this episode with Chris Coletti!

(And there may be a demonstration of the High C somewhere in there.)

Meet Our guest!

Since joining Canadian Brass in 2009, trumpeter/arranger Christopher Coletti has performed hundreds of concerts, TV and radio appearances around the world with the group, recorded 8 billboard chart-topping/award-winning CDs, filmed multiple music videos, and arranged a plethora of music that The Brass has recorded and regularly performs. Canadian Brass’ dedication to music education is a perfect fit for Coletti who enjoys sharing his unique perspective as a full-time performer and active educator with students and fellow teachers.  Chris is adjunct professor of trumpet at the Brooklyn College Conservatory of Music and also has a private teaching studio in Brooklyn, NY and on Skype.

Coletti has perfect pitch, is a proficient whistler, and has the unique ability to sing an operatic high C.

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