I just recently attended a conference where the trumpet great, Wayne Bergeron gave a presentation.  I feel pretty safe in saying that Wayne is perhaps THE most in demand lead trumpet player alive; or at least in the top-5 among all commercial trumpet players.  Just have a look at his film credits on his website and you will realize that you have probably actually been listening to him for years if you ever watch a movie.

His clinic at the Wisconsin Music Teacher’s Association Convention was fantastic.  He basically walked us through his life as a musician and how he started out in drum corps but pretty-much self-taught.  As he developed he found profound and lasting influences through key teachers.  As he talked about different stages of his development he would play examples.  His sound is huge!  Had I not been able to see his fingers, I would never have guessed he was playing high E’s, A’s or double C’s.  He is not just a high-note machine, though.  His sound is very flexible, expressive and lyrical – in all ranges of the horn.

The thing that I came away with in Wayne’s talk was something that I also believe and “push” on my students.  That is, while air is important for range and sound, the aperture is the key to controlling air speed and response.  When one moves a lot of air through the lips they are bound to “blow apart” and open up.  This can be okay when playing high or loud but makes soft or delicate entrances impossible.  Focusing in on controlling how open or closed your aperture is, will give you much more confidence and control with pianissimo passages.

I plan on researching and writing more extensively on this topic so please stay tuned.

But for now, visit Wayne Bergeron’s website, and become a fan.  He is truly one of the great players of our day.