Derek Fenstermacher is Principal Tuba of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra as well as the Albany Symphony. He currently teaches at Bard College, Montclaire State University, and Kean University.
What is your favorite thing about playing the tuba?
"Too many to mention, but my favorite thing is playing the bottom of a great orchestra. The way my sound blends with the other sounds on stage is an awesome experience. There's nothing like sitting in the back row and using your buzz to make a sound that supports the 80+ musicians on stage. Creating that sound is a paramount concern of mine, and I get great joy out of being able to make it happen on a regular basis."
What was the best advice you've ever received? (musical or nonmusical)
"Play what's on the page! Way harder than it sounds." (Click here for 5 Productivity Hacks you can use to get better at playing what's in front of you!)
What has been one of your most memorable musical experiences? (whether it be sentimental, terrifying, or just plain weird).
"Playing at Carnegie Hall with the Mariinsky Theater Orchestra from St. Petersburg back in October of 2013. The concert featured Stravinsky's Petrouchka, Firebird, and Rite of Spring followed by an encore of La Forza del Destino. The concert lasted almost 3 hours, I'll never forget it!"
What can someone expect from studying with you at the 2017 Fredericksburg Brass Institute?
"I cater my teaching to the individual student. A lot of teachers will create a "one size fits all" method and apply that to their students, but I believe every person learns differently. Every person that works with me comes to me at a different point in their musical path, and it's my goal to keep them going in the right direction."
Join high school and collegiate brass students from across the country for an experience designed to expand your range, improve your tone quality, and utilize advanced rehearsal and practice techniques from the best of the best.
Registering is easy.
Learn more about the 2017 Fredericksburg Brass Institute here.