Feature Friday – John Vance

John Vance, trombone

***Seasons with BSO: I’ll have 37 years with the BSO when I finish this season, which is my last as I am retiring.

***Hometown: Wheat Ridge, Colorado

***Age Started: I began trumpet as a 9 year-old, switching to euphonium (baritone horn), and then beginning trombone lessons at 13.

***Favorite Concert Thus Far This Season: I especially enjoyed playing Wordsmith’s adaptation of Stravinsky’s Soldier’s Tale with my wonderful BSO colleagues last November.

***Pets: We have a beautiful, but very quirky, smooth collie named Schuyler. He loves repurposing plastic watering cans and the like for backyard toys.

***Favorite Composers: There are so many favorites that I’m likely to say whoever’s works we are playing at the time. But the romantic composers such as Schumann, Dvorak, Rachmaninoff, and Mahler especially come to mind.

***Most Embarrassing Moment Onstage: During a rehearsal of Stravinsky’s Petrushka at the start of my career, I accidentally kicked my mute down all the risers in front, bouncing noisily the whole way. After the conductor stopped and I retrieved the mute, I proceeded to kick it across the stage yet again. Today in the orchestra, it is said that mute drops are not accidents, but instead mini-protests. Well that WAS an unfortunate accident.

***Fondest Musical Memory: I began my career in the Xalapa Symphony Orchestra in Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico. Once we played a concert in a small cathedral in a tiny town. We performed Schubert’s Great C Symphony for the campesinos gathered in the pews. They obviously had never heard a live orchestra before. As we played the symphony–to see these strong, weather worn men and women with tears running down their faces was the most meaningful experience I’ve had musically.

***Hobbies: Hobbies include reading fiction and nonfiction, studying Great Courses, hiking, running, mountain biking, and with more time coming up–lots of travel.