Monday, September 3, 2007
Tribute to My Teachers:
It is exactly 34 years ago today that I moved to Boston from Minnesota. It got me thinking about a lot of my past and how fortunate I was to have had the teachers I did, starting with my first four.
My first trombone teacher was actually a trumpet player, Edward Von Hoff. The second trombone teacher I had was Ronald Ricketts, former second trombonist with the Minnesota Orchestra. He was the first trombone player that I actually took lessons with. I was eleven-years-old at the time.
I'll never forget that very first lesson. I was playing on my Olds Ambassador, the very first trombone I ever played on. My mother rented it from a music store in St. Paul named Schimdt Music Co.
Anyway, Mr. Ricketts asked if I could hit a high B flat, and I did. In his very calm voice he said, "Wow, you can even hit a high B flat. That's good. Can I try your horn?" I said, "Sure!"
So, I gave him my horn and could not beleive what I heard! This beautiful sound was right then and there implanted in my mind. It was warm, resonant and open. That was my introduction to a beautiful, symphonic trombone tone.
I remember one week showing up with a squirt gun that I kept in my trombone case to water my slide (and occasionally for other things!) and Mr. Ricketts noticed it and said, "Hey, could you get me one of those? I could use it in rehearsal and squirt it at the conductor while hiding behind my music stand!" I could not believe what I heard my teacher say! :-)
Ron Ricketts was truly a great trombonist and teacher. He was a great euphonium player as well.
One day after I had already taken some lessons with Mr. Ricketts, I was writing in my little diary. At the time, I was really ticked with my sixth grade teacher and was not liking school very much. (I just wanted to play my horn and study other subjects I was interested in). So, I wrote this page (photo above) about my great trombone teacher in my diary. I was very determined, even at that age, to become a musician. I also was very fortunate to have had people that beleived in me and always supported my musical endeavors.