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Faculty Interview: Charles Calloway

I'm so excited to announce our 2019 AMS Chamber Workshop high brass faculty member: Charles Calloway! Check out his interview below to get to know him.

Tell us about yourself! Where are you from? Where did you go to school? Where are you now and what are you doing now?

I'm from Cleveland, GA and went to school at the University of Louisville, Southern Methodist University, and University of Missouri-Kansas City. I live in Young Harris, GA and teach at Berry College.

What was the first chamber piece you played, and what was your experience like?

I do not remember the exact piece but it was at the Sewanee Summer Music Festival my junior year of high school. It was the experience that led me to going into music.

What is your most favorite and least favorite chamber piece you have played before?

I've always loved the Kamen Quintet, but I always steal the last horn lick and put it up an octave in the trumpet. Every piece is fun when you start to learn all the other parts and see how everything comes together but, even though I love the piece, the second trumpet part on Ewald's Quintet no. 3 gets none of the fun parts and I was just jealous of all the beautiful melodies the first trumpet was playing.

How do you handle disagreements in a chamber ensemble?

It's easy when you're always right... I've found most disagreements come from a person feeling like they are not being heard. Always let someone express their opinion and if there are multiple options for a passage, play them all and have the group vote for a favorite. Also, if critiquing a player, never make it a personal attack and always have a solution to your critique.

What is the funniest story you have from your time in a chamber ensemble or orchestra?

My group learned a Shostakovich transcription and I had no idea I was playing on the wrong trumpet until the week before the concert. Parallel sevenths sound really cool in Shostakovich, even if they're supposed to be octaves.

What is the best piece of advice your teacher gave you when you were studying?

It's not rocket science, no one is going to die if you go for something and fail.

Who was the most influential person in your life?

There are so many. I love that I've lived in so many places and have been inspired by so many teachers, mentors, and friends. Definitely not Chris Guilfoyle though.

Tell us a story of the biggest or most important moment in your life as a professional musician.

It's those rare moments when everyone is focused, listening, and going for it. There is an energy that's undeniable and you can feel the connection with the audience. When you get goosebumps, something special just happened.

What do you do for fun?

Attempt athletic endeavors, bake bread, and practice.

If you could give one piece of advice to current music students, what would it be?

Listen, practice, and have fun!

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