Trumpeter Fletcher Cox moved from the west coast this year to join the ANAM ranks. In just three months, he has been incredibly busy with projects and already woven himself firmly into the ANAM fabric. He took five minutes out of his schedule to give us an insight into his Life at ANAM.
What brought you to ANAM?
ANAM always seemed like the best place to go to learn how to perform as a musician. It has such a good reputation for giving students the best performance opportunities and experience to prepare us for the industry.
How have you found the move from Perth to Melbourne?
It’s definitely a big culture change, that’s for sure; there is a lot more action over here in Melbourne as there is so much going on and so many more people. While I do miss Perth and all my family and friends, it’s been so good for me to settle in over here and get working hard. It’s made me push myself even harder and I’m really enjoying myself!
It’s early days, but it’s been a busy start to the year for ANAM brass. What’s been your highlight so far?
Having Ed Carroll over at the end of April was amazing. The repertoire we performed in the concerts with him was really diverse and the quality of performance he got out of us all felt really high. I felt like I learnt so much from him in lessons, rehearsals and the masterclass; advice I could really take away from the experience and work on to improve myself as a performer. I really hope we get to do something as rewarding as that again soon.
(Fletch (bottom left), ANAM Brass and Percussion with Ed Carroll after their pop up performance in Collins Place)
Have you found anything surprising about your experience at ANAM that you weren’t expecting?
I had no idea people at ANAM would be as open and friendly as they are! Throughout uni, the idea of ANAM seemed so daunting because the talent pool was enormous and the performance quality was so high from everyone who studied there that I wouldn’t even come close to fitting into the culture. So when I got here, it was really nice that both staff and students were so welcoming and approachable. It made me feel really comfortable settling in. I feel like it allowed me to work harder from the beginning so I could achieve more and I’ve already gained some really close friends in the first few months of being here who I feel like I’ve known for years.
Do you have any auditions tips for applicants of the 2017 Professional Performance Program coming up in June?
Well, I auditioned last year thinking I wouldn’t even make it past the first round of auditions. So firstly I would say that even if you don’t think they were going to make it through, just do it anyway – you may surprise yourself! In terms of the actual audition & interview itself, the piece of advice I received was a total cliché… but it’s so true: just be yourself. The panel wants to see someone who brings something special to the table as a both a performer and a person. Don’t try and show them what you think they might want; show them what you can do and how you can command the stage and make a performance your own. Also don’t sweat the small stuff. In my auditions, I split the odd note here and there and got a little tongue-tied in my interview… which at the time felt like such a big deal! But so long as the overall picture is there in what you’ve presented to them, then the panel will see what they need to see. Best of luck!
What’s your go to place for coffee, beer and eats?
You’re definitely spoilt for choice in South Melbourne when it comes to coffee, beer and food. I love the coffee at Cafe Zappa across the road from ANAM; they’re definitely my go to! I also enjoy going to Wynyard, GIDDIUP, Petit Tresor and St Ali. In terms of going out for a drink, I’ll either be at Pho Cycle (because you can get really good food from there as well!), or at the Golden Gate Hotel.
What are you most looking forward to in the rest of this year’s program?
There are so many things I’m looking forward to this year! I’m excited about lots of the orchestral projects in the second half of the year, such as the concerts with Simone Young and Ilyich Rivas conducting. But I’m also looking forward to the possibility of performing in chamber ensembles in projects like the Chamber Competition. I’d really like to explore repertoire outside of the orchestra and discover something amazing that I’ve never heard of.
What do you think are the challenges for classical trumpet players in Australia?
The competition gets more and more fierce with each waking second. This country has some ridiculous trumpet players in it. While there is work going, the number of full-time positions in orchestras and other ensembles means that the stakes are always that much higher. To be the best of the best you really have to know what you’re doing and have a vast body of experience in style and approach to playing.
Who or what do you find inspiring or motivating?
It’s hard to single out a specific ‘who’ for inspiration because you can look around and find inspiration in so many people from Australia alone, let alone around the world. For me, what I find inspiring is when you hear someone who makes you want to practice – someone who can give a performance that makes you want to dive head first into a practice room and work until you come out sounding like them. To me, the obvious figures I have in mind are my teachers over the years: David Elton, Tristram Williams, Brent Grapes and Evan Cromie. They’ve all taught me so much and have always provided perfect examples of the player I want to be for one reason or another.
What are your thoughts about the upcoming Canzon program?
Working alongside some of the Sydney Symphony Brass Section? Enough said. I’m really looking forward to it!
You can see Fletcher perform alongside ANAM Brass and Percussion in Canzon.
Tue 07 Jun 2016, 11AM
DUKAS Fanfare from La Peri
KOEHNE Albany Harbour (The Voyage)
GABRIELI Canzona septimi toni
James Sommerville French horn/director
Ben Jacks French horn
David Elton trumpet
ANAM Brass and Percussion Musicians
Complimentary morning tea will be served following the performance along with the opportunity to meet some of the artists