B & S Challenger II Flugel
Custom built by Karl Hammond
Similar in some respects to a D. Wick 4FL
Adolph Herseth, Roger Voisin, Maurice Andre, Bobby Hackett, Art Tatum
Joe is a founding member of the Chicago Brass Band. He earned a Music Education degree from the University of Illinois in 1974 and promptly went into the printing business. In the intervening years, he participated in as he puts it "more amateur musical activities than I can possibly remember much less list." Some of the more recent highlights include a nearly fifteen-year tenure with the College Church of Wheaton Brass Ensemble, a lengthy run as principal trumpet with the Fox Valley Concert Band, numerous performances with the Northwest Symphony Orchestra and various appearances around the Midwest as a featured piccolo trumpet performer.
"Before retiring from active tournament competition, I managed to claw my way to a ranking of 96th among American three cushion billiard players. While this achievement may sound more impressive than it actually is, bragging rights apply nevertheless."
Joe's other personal interests include spicy food, fine cigars, card tricks, camping in the great outdoors, complicated wrist watches, trains, gin, murder mysteries and Zaftig women (not necessarily in that order)!
Joe plays all the soprano brass including the piccolo and baroque natural trumpets. His favorite saying is "Semper Paratus" The Coast Guard's motto (meaning "Always Ready") as a great way to approach amateur music making. Doors of opportunity seem to open more readily for those who are prepared to say 'yes' whenever a chance comes their way. Careful preparation can be a fine substitute for raw talent and ability as well. While the 'pros' need the whole package of course, amateurs can go far by simply relying on an honest work ethic. "Semper Paratus" for sure.
Here are a few tips I've learned over my years of amateur musical involvement which may be of use to younger or less experienced players:
1. The art of ensemble playing consists almost entirely of making the people around you sound good. Support them and adjust to their style of playing and you will be a valued member of any group. Leave the ego at home.
2. In solo work, always try to find the music behind the notation and make your instrument sing that music. A good way to learn how this can be accomplished is to make a close study of the recordings of Janet Baker and Enrico Caruso - then go and do likewise.
3. The fundamentals of sound playing are truly fundamental. Tone quality and musicality should be foremost in your mind each and every time you pick up the instrument.
4. Have fun!