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12 November 2013

Phil Smith to retire from the NY Philharmonic in 2014

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It was announced this past week that Phil Smith is planning to retire from the NY Philharmonic in June 2014, after a 35 year tenure as the principal trumpeter there. I was informed of this news via an article posted on the WQXR FM-Radio Station website.

 

Being myself a trumpeter from the NY area, I grew up always hearing about the legend of William (Bill) Vacchiano–as the long-time tenure player with the NY Philharmonic; 38 years! I was fortunate to meet, briefly get to know, & even play along side him in his very senior years–in a community concert-band setting, down at Lehman College in the Bronx; what a great gentleman & teacher he was.

 

I think we often take for granted the great people that come after legends like that. For me, Phil Smith is one of those talents. I definitely went to hear him perform a few times & I fortunately attended a master class that he once gave at the Westchester Conservatory of Music—he always sounded amazing & definitely was also a great teacher, gentleman…& Christian. But to my own detriment, I guess I assumed that he’d always be there. 35 years?–really, has it been that long already? But he even still LOOKS so young! ‘Life’ is just flying bye…& yet HIS time at the NY Philharmonic, like Vacchiano’s, has also proven an illustrious career.

 

I think my all-time favorite recording of Phil Smith is his reading of Aaron Copland’s ‘Quiet City’ with Leonard Bernstein. Not flashy, just incredibly beautiful subtle tone & phrasing; & I have never heard that piece performed better ANYWHERE—before or since.

 

I really like the picture above, which I also grabbed from that same WQXR blog—of Phil with Joseph Alessi (trombone)—who is another benchmark staple of the NY Philharmonic Brass Section. But there is significance to the other photo that I also chose to posted here. It was candidly taken in 2002 at the ITG (International Trumpeters’ Guild convention)—of Phil Smith with Bill Vacchiano; student with teacher, successor with legend.

 

Phil Smith has created a legacy in NY—in his own right. For that we thank him…& wish him all the best as he begins a new chapter as a professor at the University of Georgia’s School of Music.

 

And we await any promising news of the next possible successor,

who will hopefully prove worthy enough to fill such big shoes.

 

-peterjblume.com (11/2013)

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Wunderbar (Rock Ballad) – from The Spitzbuam’s album “Sechs, Bier, und Rockin’ Um-Pah”, © 1997 (Peter on Flugelhorn solo, song & Horn Arrangement) // Peter J Blume's Songs
  1. Wunderbar (Rock Ballad) – from The Spitzbuam’s album “Sechs, Bier, und Rockin’ Um-Pah”, © 1997 (Peter on Flugelhorn solo, song & Horn Arrangement) // Peter J Blume's Songs
  2. Wunderbar (Rock Ballad) – from The Spitzbuam’s album “Sechs, Bier, und Rockin’ Um-Pah”, © 1997 (Peter on Flugelhorn solo, song & Horn Arrangement) – FULL SOLO // Peter J Blume's Songs
  3. Only Wanna Be With You (Hootie & the Blowfish) (Peter’s Horn Arrangement ONLY, © 2011; Peter on all horns: 2 Trumpets, 1 Flugelhorn & 1 Trombone) // Peter J Blume's Songs
  4. Have You Ever Seen the Rain? (CCR–performed by Rod Stewart) (Peter’s Horn Arrangement ONLY, © 2013; Peter on all horns: 2 Trumpets, 1 Trombone & 1 Trumpet solo) // Peter J Blume - Peter J Blume's Songs
  5. Alexander’s Dream (Drew Davidsen) (Peter’s Horn Arrangement ONLY, © 2013; Peter on all horns: 2 Trpts, 2 Flugelhorns, 1 Trombone & 1 Trpt fill-solo) // Peter J Blume's Songs
  6. I Don’t Want to Wait (Paula Cole) (Peter’s Horn Arrangement ONLY, © 2012; Peter on all horns: 2 Trumpets, 1 Trombone & Trombone fill-solo) // Peter J Blume - Peter J Blume's Songs
  7. Wonderful Tonight (Eric Clapton–performed by Kenneth ‘Babyface’ Edmonds) (Peter’s Horn Arrangement ONLY, © 2011; Peter on all horns: 1 Trombone, 2 Flugehorns & Trumpet solo) // Peter J Blume's Songs
  8. As I Lay Me Down (Sophie B Hawkins) (Peter’s Horn Arrangement ONLY, © 2011; Peter on all horns: 3 Flugelhorns, 1 Trombone & Trb solo, & Trpt solo) // Peter J Blume's Songs
  9. Beautiful in My Eyes (Joshua Kadison) (Peter’s Horn Arrangement ONLY, © 2011; Peter on all horns: 2 Flugelhorns & Flugel solo, & 2 Trombones) // Peter J Blume's Songs
  10. Believe (Do You Believe in Life After Love) (Cher) (Peter’s Horn Arrangement ONLY, © 2012; Peter on all horns: 3 Trumpets & 1 Trombone) // Peter J Blume's Songs
  11. Break Away (Kelly Clarkson) (Peter’s Horn Arrangement ONLY, © 2012; Peter on all horns: 2 Trumpets & 1 Trombone) // Peter J Blume's Songs
  12. Everyday (Phil Collins) (Peter’s Horn Arrangement ONLY, © 2013; Peter on all horns: 2 Flugelhorns & 2 Trombones) // Peter J Blume's Songs
  13. Going Coastal (Drew Davidsen) (Peter’s Horn Arrangement ONLY, © 2012; Peter on all horns: 2 Flugehorns, 1 Trombone & Trumpet solo) // Peter J Blume's Songs
  14. Knocking on Heaven’s Door (Bob Dylan–performed by ‘Babyface’) (Peter’s Horn Arrangement ONLY, © 2011; Peter on all horns: 2 Trpts, 1 Trombone & Trb solo, Flugelhorn solos) // Peter J Blume's Songs
  15. Rhinestone Cowboy (Glen Campbell) (Peter’s Horn Arrangement ONLY, © 2011; Peter on all horns: 3 Flugelhorns & 1 Trombone) // Peter J Blume's Songs
  16. Kiss Me (Sixpence None the Richer) (Peter’s Horn Arrangement ONLY, © 2011; Peter on all horns: 1 Trombone & 2 Trumpets) // Peter J Blume's Songs
  17. Margaritaville (Jimmy Buffett) (Peter’s Horn Arrangement ONLY, © 2012; Peter on all horns: 2 Flugelhorns, 1 Trombone & Trombone fill-solo) // Peter J Blume's Songs
  18. Let’s Party! (Matt Kiamie & the Guava Lava’s) demo version (Peter’s Horn Arrangement ONLY, © 2012; Peter on all horns: 3 Trumpets, 1 Trombone, & Trpt & Trb Solos) // Peter J Blume's Songs
  19. Trouble (something wasn’t right…) (American Authors) demo version (Peter’s Horn Arrangement ONLY, © 2013; Peter on all horns: 2 Trumpets, 2 Flugelhorns & 1 Trombone) // Peter J Blume's Songs
  20. I Cross My Heart (George Strait) (Peter’s Horn Arrangement ONLY, © 2011; Peter on all horns: 1 Trombone & 2 Flugelhorns) // Peter J Blume's Songs
  21. Ob-la-di, Ob-lad-da (Beatles remake) – from The Spitzbuam’s album “Sechs, Bier, und Rockin’ Um-Pah” (Peter on Trumpet-including solo, Trombone; song & horn Arrangement–© 2011) *middle horn soli section borrowed from Paul Simon’s song ‘Late in the Evening’–written by Dave Grusin // Peter J Blume's Songs
  22. You Never Can Tell (Chuck Berry remake) – from The Spitzbuam; “Sechs, Bier, und Rockin’ Um-Pah” (Peter on Trumpet & horn Arrangement–© 2011) // Peter J Blume's Songs
  23. Summertime (Gershwin tune) – Yuko Uchida & Friends “Soundbridge at the Wainwright House” (live 5/2003) (Peter on Trumpet-including solo) // Peter J Blume's Songs
  24. Dolphin Dance (Herbie Hancock tune) – Yuko Uchida & Friends “Soundbridge at the Wainwright House” (live 5/2003) (Peter on Trumpet-including solo) // Peter J Blume's Songs
  25. Come Together (Beatles remake) Yuko Uchida & Friends “Soundbridge at the Wainwright House” (live) (Peter on Trumpet) // Peter J Blume's Songs