Each year, SMC's holiday concert is a lot of what you love and expect, and a little bit of something new. What is this year's something new? Big, bold, BRASS - two trumpets, a trombone, a French horn and a tuba.
Let's meet SMC's longtime Trumpeter, Steve Mostovoy, and find out what he's most looking forward to playing this month in A Sassy Brassy Holiday.
Steve, what's your musical background? Influenced by musicians in my family, I began piano lessons at age 6, switched to trumpet at 10, and upon meeting my ultra-hip high school band director, decided I wanted to be a pro. I received a BA in Music Performance from Western Washington University, did grad work at Indiana University, and after moving to Seattle in 1983 began affiliations with the University of Washington, the Seattle Symphony, the Kennedy Center, the Paramount and Fifth Avenue theatres, and have been leading bands and playing freelance trumpet full time since.
I have also been teaching private trumpet and piano lessons with the Edmonds, Shoreline, and Mercer Island school districts, and am currently on the faculty at Edmonds Community College, where I direct the Concert Band and teach classes in jazz, trumpet, and music fundamentals.
For how long have you been playing with SMC? About 20 years. What a thrill! I have the best seat - right in front.
How does playing with a chorus vary from your other career roles? Trumpets are mostly expected to be loud, so performing with voices is an opportunity to use sensitivity so as not to overwhelm. Other than that, it's not so much different as it is an education in techniques which I find useful in other realms. A good example is when [SMC Artistic Director] Paul is warming up the chorus - I sing along and think of how the vowels relate to producing tone on the trumpet.
When Paul decided he wanted to use a full brass band, you assisted him with securing musicians, all of whom are new to SMC. Does everyone come from other ensembles in which you’ve played? Yes, they are all people I've met over many years of performing with brass quintets, jazz bands, show orchestras, recordings, etc. They are some of my favorite musicians!
What’s your favorite song in this concert and why? There are several songs in the show which the men make really fun with the addition of dance and theater, but for sheer beauty of music I like "The Dream Isaiah Saw."
Do you have a holiday tradition this time of year? My wife and I always host our three grown children on Christmas day. It's a blast, because they are such fun together. We also travel to see extended family in Portland and Southern California. I love walking on the beach every New Year's!