Concerto Competition Finalist Josh Rogan offers an insight into preparing the Jolivet Concertino for trumpet.
When did you start playing the trumpet?
I come from a brass band family. I had my first tenor horn lesson when I was three, from my mother. My whole family plays in brass bands! Then I started on cornet in the Frankston City Band when I was five. Halfway through grade 6 I took up trumpet so I could audition for VCA Secondary School, where I studied from year 7 to 12.
My girlfriend thinks that’s why I’m so happy, because I went to a school with no stress, no bullying, and no homework, just lots of music! Half the day was normal academic stuff, the other half was playing or singing in choir.
You are playing the Concertino for trumpet and strings by André Jolivet. What attracts you to this piece?
The biggest thing is its energy. It has a lot of fire, and rhythmic drive, it’s unrelenting. Also, a lot of it’s in the upper register of the trumpet, so you can get a lot of brilliant sound. I was lucky enough to do the Tomasi and Desenclos concertos last year, and apart from the Haydn, this is one of the biggest.
How do you learn a large work like this?
A lot of it is rote memorisation. Apart from that, there are certain patterns that keep recurring – you just learn to see the shapes. Being able to hear it before you play it is good. Being able to sing through it, play it at the piano. Buzzing on the mouthpiece alone, humming through the mouthpiece is good, because you’re not locked into a pitch fingering, but your lips are doing the same as if you were actually playing the trumpet. That’s good for locking in awkward intervals. Then you add in the whole trumpet, and hey presto. Tristram Williams taught me the value of buzzing. It forces you to get the pitch exactly right. Then you take it to the whole instrument and it resonates fully.
ANAM Concerto Competition
Sat 20 October, 7.30pm
Aidan Boase (piano) Liszt Totentanz (Dance Macabre)
Josh Rogan (trumpet) Jolivet Concertino for trumpet, piano and strings
Jack Schiller (bassoon) Mozart Bassoon Concerto in B flat Major
Shane Chen (violin) Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto in D
Kevin Field conductor
Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra
Presented in association with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra.
The ANAM Concerto Competition will be recorded by ABC Classic FM for delayed broadcast.