Step right up and experience a different kind of carnival by the SCF Bradenton Symphony Orchestra on Thursday, October 14 at 7:30 p.m. in the SCF Neel Performing Arts Center. Featuring Hector Berlioz’s “Roman Carnival Overture,” the famous trumpet solo the “Carnival of Venice” with guest soloist Brandon Ridenour, and Camille Saint-Saëns’ “Carnival of theAnimals," featuring pianists Aza Torshkoeva and Maria Medina, as well as SCF Theatre major William Ashburn as narrator.
Take a listen as trumpet soloist Brandon Ridenour tells us about this life's musical work after Juilliard, becoming the youngest member ever of the Canadian Brass, his very unique connection to Sarasota and Bradenton, and why this version of the Carnival of Venice is so special to him.
This is one acoustic carnival you won’t want to miss! Tickets are available by going to scf.edu/neel or can be purchased at the door 45 minutes prior to the performance.
Come along and join the club!
• Brandon Ridenour Website & Facebook & Instagram & YouTube
• Aza Torshkoeva Website & Facebook & Instragram & YouTube & Spotify
• State College of Florida Music Program Website & Facebook & Instagram
Support the show (https://scf-foundation.org/suncoastcultureclub/)
Robyn Bell: My Suncoast Culture Club friends, stand back and be dazzled. As the State College of Florida is Bradenton. Symphony Orchestra welcomes you to our carnival concert on Thursday, October 14th, at 7:30 PM in the SCF Neel Performing Arts Center. This musical presentation begins with Hector Berlioz's wild ride. The Roman Carnival Overture, and it ends with Camille Saint-Saëns tribute to all species roaming, the earth, his Carnival of the Animals. But the real fun will be found in the middle as the Bradenton Symphony Orchestra welcomes guests, trumpet soloist Brandon Ridenour all the way from New York City to perform the famous trumpet theme of variation selection, the Carnival of Venice. So Brandon Ridenour welcome to the club.
Brandon Ridenour: Hello. Thanks for having me.
Robyn Bell: I can't thank you enough for playing with us. We're so very excited down to the timpani player is so excited about you coming Brandon. One of the things I do with this podcast is I use it to get to know the cultural arts people who either live here or are coming here, to get to know you a lot before. Like a really deep dive. And even though you don't live here, we can't exactly tell your story of finding music and making it your life's work without talking about your direct connection to the Suncoast. So let's start at birth, Brandon, to whom do you owe your life on this planet?
Brandon Ridenour: And that's always a good place to start. And my folks live in Florida and I think this is what you're getting at. So it's always nice to kill two birds and get to visit them and play a little music too. But I did not grow up in Florida. We lived in. Michigan until I grew up in Michigan until I left for school at Julliard when I was 17. And then they moved down to Jacksonville a few years after that, and then Sarasota a few years after that. So it's always nice to go visit Florida in the winter or colder months because things get a little chilly up here in New York or Brooklyn where I am currently. So I guess that's the long short of it. I started out in Michigan in Grand Rapids and then Kalamazoo, Michigan, where I went to high school and had some fantastic trumpet teachers there. Greg Good in Grand Rapids and Scott Thornberg who's at Western Michigan University. And then some amazing teachers in the public school systems there. My band director, David Papenhagen and choir director, Catherine Adams. Who's now the University of Michigan are highly influential in my development. And just given me an appreciation and love for making music with others. And they really instilled great chemistry within all of us there in school. And. This led to that. I ended up at Juilliard and never left New York City after coming to Juilliard, right after high school. And here I am. And now I'm about to come back down to Florida to play with you in the Carnival of Venice.
Robyn Bell: That's right. And I was very excited because, you know, we didn't go much into your mom and dad, but I've performed several times with your father. He's quite an accomplished piano player Rich Ridenour. Or he's also responsible here in Sarasota of the big art project where we painted pianos and put them all over town. And, your mom, Stacy Ridenour, her was the development director for the Sarasota Opera. And you may not know this, but we live in the same neighborhoods. Kind of across the street neighbors from a yes. Yeah.
Brandon Ridenour: have you played tennis yet with.
Robyn Bell: I was about to say, I have never played tennis with,
Brandon Ridenour: better. I'd have to play my hardest if I want to win a game against them now. Cause they're, they're quite skilled.
Robyn Bell: your dad tells me he's actually phenomenal. That's his words about his playing. And I think they're getting into pickle ball slowly as well. But yet we all live in the Palm Aire, Golf and Country club area, which is a great, place. If you're going to play tennis, pickle ball, golf, that kind of thing. And actually, your mom and dad Rich and Stacy Ridenour or have their own podcast episode here on the Suncoast Culture Club. That was way back in season one. They were episode 13, lucky 13. So if any of our listeners would like to know more about Brandon's lineage, you can check that out. But we talked about how you got your early start in. Michigan and the great Midwest and the, music teachers and particularly band programs are fantastic in the Midwest. And we know you as a trumpet player, but your mom and dad both being accomplished pianist, your dad went to Juilliard your mom. I think he beat her in a competition. This is how they met or something. So you actually got your star making music with with the piano, right?
Brandon Ridenour: Yes. My dad was my first music and piano teacher.
Robyn Bell: How was that?
Brandon Ridenour: All the while I started very little, so I never it's normal to me. You know, taking lessons from my dad. Apparently I Was a good enough student. I didn't talk back to. As often as I suppose I could have I studied with him all the way through high school. But then during high school, Was practicing trumpet more and more. And that started to take over and the piano eventually dwindled or at least my, practicing and my time to practice piano dwindled. By the time I hit college.
Robyn Bell: Was there a point when you said I am enjoying playing the trumpet more than piano, or I think there's a better future for me in trumpet versus piano. Sometimes I think about the piano being sort of an individual thing you're kind of by yourself, unless you're in a jazz band. Whereas with trumpet, particularly in the public school, you're probably in the marching band and the symphonic band, it's kind of a cultural, social thing. Did that influence you at all?
Brandon Ridenour: Yeah. I think it was two things. The fact that I could play music more often with others as a trumpeter versus piano is a much more introverted, a lot of alone time practicing your piano pieces. And I also felt like I progressed. Quicker at the trumpet only because I already had a musical background, but I felt like the progress that I was making at the trumpet compared to just like, well, there's so many great pianists out there. Not that there aren't great trumpeters out there, but I felt like somehow I stood a better chance as a trumpeter than what I did as a pianist. But I would say that the reason that I've had any kind of career at all is because of my piano background as well. The ability to understand how music works through the piano and knowing how chords work and how to arrange and write music. If I had just started on, the trumpet first I, might've not had that kind of theory, background knowledge. And also repertoire, there is just such a vast amount of great repertoire for piano. When You compare it to what the trumpet has written for it, there's really no comparison. I still will play. Piano here and there. And I use it as a tool all the time in my, writing. So I'm definitely grateful for my piano background.
Robyn Bell: You know, when I talk with other people like our clarinet teacher here at the college like you, they start on piano and then they joined band, in the public school, they went to what they call a single line instrument. And they were all like, oh, this is so much easier.
I there's only one line of music and there's no chords. You had that same experience.
Brandon Ridenour: Yeah. I found it much easier less to keep track of. But but more physical in a completely different way as a trumpet and the piano, the way you produce the sound on each of those instruments, couldn't be more different. So that was a challenge I needed to figure out how to overcome.
Robyn Bell: So through high school, you start to make this decision along the way. Maybe I can make a career of music. Obviously your parents both did that. So that wasn't a foreign idea where maybe like my parents were like, how are you going to do that? Right. It's it's good. When you come from a lineage where you can see it as possible to earn a living, and we know that your dad went to Juilliard. But for graduate school. And so here you are, you're going to graduate from high school. You probably have a lot of options on where to go. You ended up going to Julliard, but were you looking at other schools and making other applications or it was Juilliard or bust?
Brandon Ridenour: Yeah, well, I, did apply for other schools and was fortunately accepted to all. But my parents you know, prior to that they tested me. They, asked me more than once, are you sure you want to do this? Because it's not easy, especially if you want to be a performing musician, I mean they knew and, they weren't wrong and now it's more challenging than, ever to try to find an actual job playing music someplace. The opportunity. Trumpet position opens up in an orchestra or, teaching at a college. It just doesn't happen very often. And when it does, it's highly competitive. So I just figured it'd be easier for me to carve a completely unique path instead of trying to win, one of those jobs. So I did and fortunately I got into Julliard and that set me on the path and improve my trumpet playing, but I wonder what it would have been like if I had to gone to one of the other schools, which I could have gone to the Cleveland Institute or University of Michigan or Western Michigan, where I grew up my, teacher was at Western that I was coming with already pushed me and said, you can't go here. You've already studied with me. You know what it's like here, you need to move on. And you know and I think that I could have maybe had some success at the other two schools who knows. It's a big question of fate and destiny. I, ended up at Juilliard because my teacher said that he thought that that was the place that I needed to go to. There was an opportunity and I've had the most. Through that experience of coming to New York and studying with the teachers there and go into that school. And. My dad who had gone to Juilliard. And my mom also lived in New York with him where I was born. They knew what it was like to live in New York. And so they were apprehensive of that move. And it was also the slightly more expensive options. So they were apprehensive for those reasons as well. They really wanted to make sure that I wanted this. And. So we tested it out. My senior year of high school, the band made a trip to play in Carnegie hall. They got accepted to play in this program where many bands would get to play on stage at Carnegie. And so while we were here we set up a lesson with the teachers that are Julliard, Ramis and toured school and felt right. So I moved forward with Juilliard
Robyn Bell: It's really interesting what you said while ago about, you know, most people, the common path is you get a performance degree and maybe you tour around as a soloists with orchestras. Maybe you get a position in an orchestra, a permanent position. Maybe you get a teaching job at a college, but Brandon, you. Really, as you said, carved a whole separate world and performance for yourself, and you've had the opportunity to play with some amazing organizations, groups and people. No doubt. The Bradenton Symphony Orchestra will soon be on that list. But tell us about your experiences with the Canadian Brass and performing with Sting and James Taylor. I mean, how in the world does that happen?
Brandon Ridenour: Being available in the right time at the right place saying yes. You never know who you're going to meet and if they'll remember you or forget you and the impression you might make on them. And that is definitely advice that I'd give to others and masterclasses cause people, they attend a masterclass because they want to have some level of success at that thing, playing the trumpet or having a musical career at some kind And I ended up with Canadian Brass because I sought them out as a student. While I was in Julliard, I saw that they were teaching at a summer music festival out in Santa Barbara, California, the Music Academy of the West. And so I applied. And this is right around when I was thinking, I don't want that traditional path of going to play in an orchestra. And this seems like a group that I could fit into, even though I'm far too young to be considered for this. I went and I got accepted and I got to meet them and play along with them. Yeah. Before I knew it at the end of the summer, they called me and asked if I wanted to go on the road and play with them. I was completely shocked. It all just happened so fast. I didn't realize that I was actually making that kind of a real impression on them. And I also didn't know that they were looking, I didn't know that they were looking for somebody to play with.
Robyn Bell: You were in the middle, still of your studies at Julliard.
Brandon Ridenour: yeah. I was right in the middle and it wasn't until about a year later that I started actually touring with the group. It was a really busy time. It was tricky to negotiate both. So I didn't play every single concert with Canadian Brass. When I first joined I was a part of a trumpet rotation. But then by the time I graduated the following year, I started to play full time with the group and um, I was still, I definitely, I know I was not ready in many ways. I was not ready to play with the group. When I first started playing with them, I wasn't even legal drinking age in the U S I wasn't Canada, but not in the U S so that was already one hurdle to overcome. I always liked the Canadian concerts better than the U S but It was, it was an experience. And I learned on the job, a lot of things, I didn't know how to play the piccolo trumpet really well at home. I had a piccolo trumpet, but I didn't really know how to sound good on it. And that was something I had to learn on the job. I had to learn how to. Learn and memorize music very quickly because the group didn't rehearse very often. I think I had one rehearsal before my first show with them. So the trumpet player at the time, Joe breaks dollar was kind enough to go through some things just he and I so that I can learn the show because he knew that the group wouldn't be rehearsing very much. Before the first show. So he prepared me so much for the group. And if it wasn't for him, I don't think I would have survived those first couple of years on the road and, being able to withstand a whole concert just physically as a trumpet player. It's demanding thing. so that was another overcome.
Robyn Bell: I can imagine the taxing of the, just the muscles, the mouth muscles. I don't, I'm a trumpet player. I don't know if you know this, but I don't play my trumpet very much, Yeah. Sometimes I'll get it out and I'll have it in rehearsal and I'll say, play it like this, or it goes like this or phrase it like this. And I find the less and less I play my trumpet the less and less I can demonstrate for a long period of time. It's just like, oh, it hurts so bad. in Canadian Brass, you guys are going to do like two hour shows all memorize with the horn on your face the whole time.
Brandon Ridenour: Yeah, it's tough taking breaks of many days or weeks or months, which is one of the pandemics been quite hard, you know, stay in shape because the longevity of playing, that's the first thing to go. And yeah, it's a frustrating thing to deal with and to try to get that part of your playing back. So, fortunately, when I, come to play with you, the piece is only four minutes long. So I'm practice just enough to last for those four minutes,
Robyn Bell: Well, we've been practicing a double time. So it's only going to be two minutes
long. Yeah. Well, it'll be four minutes of sheer joy for everyone in the audience and the orchestra members that like, I have no doubts about that. Now being in New York, obviously you get hooked in with the Canadian Brass you with them for several. Touring and that's sort of your main gig, but do you ever get into the Broadway pit orchestra scene or commercial music scene there in New York?
Brandon Ridenour: Yeah. I played a little bit as a sub on Broadway from a guy named CJ Camry. Who's doing wonderful things now with the trumpet and is a band leader Plays in why music can you play with Paul Simon and all sorts of other superstars he got, me this gig subbing with the Matilda show when it was on. So that's the only show. I think that's the only show on Broadway that I played on. But I, get called to do all sorts of odd jobs recording usually here in New York. And, some performing they're all sorts of things going on here.
Robyn Bell: Yeah, truly. You are this entrepreneurial music maker and the students here at the State college of Florida to a T I mean, every once in a while, somebody that I want to be a band director for, I don't want to work for a public school, but when you get them as a whole, they really. See themselves as being in this kind of, here's how I'm going to put my career together as a musician. And one of the things I'm really excited about you coming here, we'll have a rehearsal and we have a performance, but in between those two, you're going to give a masterclass to our students and kind of talk about what is it like to put a performing career together. And I know that it's not, I mean, it wasn't my path at all right. I got out of school. I was a high school band director. I go to work. I've broadened out a little bit at some, do some other things here and there that were kind of 10 99 work as I tell the kids. But it's really remarkable to see how someone like you goes through school, finds their path and makes it work in, New York City. I mean, Bravo.
Brandon Ridenour: Well, there is a downside to this as you were getting at, and that is taxes, the number of 10 99, so that I get all sorts of states and so many different employers. It's a lot, it takes me about a month to finish my taxes. So Yeah. boy, you, you never know what will come your way. I think that since. I'm not quite like another trumpet player, you know, I do what I do that allows for some opportunities to just come my way. And nowadays it's a tricky time, so I'm trying to figure out what. To say yes to not to say no, to too many things, because you still want to stay active. And that's a challenging thing that we're all going through now is, I'm sure many of us. Sort of reassessed over the last year and a half, what it is that we're doing and trying to choose the things that are really meaningful, important to do at the same time. Not saying no to everything, because staying active and meeting new peoples is always the way to hopefully lead to that next thing somehow. As long as you feel like you're doing enough of the things that feel right.
Robyn Bell: We talked to a musician that was here performing at the Florida Studio Theater on like an 11 week show. And we went and saw the show as all the music majors here at the college, kind of a special viewing. And then there was a question and answer and sort of talk about. And I'm going to tell you, this was his number one point that once I got one job, then it spindled out to other jobs. And every job I get is because I did the last job I did. Right. It's about meeting people and connecting with people. And then building that career upon that, you found that to be the case.
Brandon Ridenour: Yeah, you're building lots of many relationships out there and sometimes not many relationships and some are serious long-term relationships supplemented with other many relationships. And you, want to be sure that you're giving. Positive care too, those things, especially the ones that you want to keep coming back and the ones that you don't want to keep coming back then, you know, you can control that.
Robyn Bell: Well, we're going to talk in detail in just a minute about your life during the pandemic and how things changed, you know, for all of us, but particularly for someone, a self-employed musician. But I want to talk about there's two really cool things that you've done, that I've latched onto. Number one. Come Together Project, which is just fantastic. And when you read about it, it's something you just want to be a part of. And so I want you to tell us about that. And then The Music Box, the, that I, I couldn't stop watching Brandon on YouTube with the Brazilian music and we had. World folk music class here. And I shared it with that instructor. I said, you have to show this to your class. So that was kind of one of the pandemic projects, but talk to us about the Come Together Project and how that came about and where it is today.
Brandon Ridenour: Yeah. So the Come Together album and project Big thing that I did before the pandemic. And I did it originally because it was the 50th anniversary of the song when it came out, Come Together by John Lennon. And at the time it was 2019. So I thought I wanted to create. Some sort of album and project with this philosophy to remind us of the importance of, looking past all of our differences and coming together so that we can work and function well as a society and take care of. planet and each other and all these wonderful things. And environmentalism is, definitely something that I think about, like on a daily basis, taking care of, our planets. And I do believe that that every person can do something however little it may be to just not hurt our planet offended. Every little thing helps. So part of this project is just to remind people of, those things of, equality and looking past and accepting diversity and also environmental efforts and the project itself, musician wise, and just a bunch people that I've come across over the years that said yes to being a part of this project. So I've had some great collaborators Caroline Shaw who's won like all sorts of great things. The last few years lives here in New York as well. She sings a song on the album. There's the best Quatro player in the world or one of them. And if he isn't yet, he's going to be, you know, within a few years Jorge glum and Venezuela, he's playing on a couple of tracks. My friend from Canadian Brass Achilles near Mkapa list is playing trombone on a couple of tracks And Vienna Tang, a singer song writer gone environmentalism supporter. Her job now is, working full time for organization that's devoted to climate change and environmental efforts. Vianna Tang just admire her so much. And she was somebody that had. Got me thinking about that and wanted me to somehow include that message in my musical efforts as well. So she's singing on, a track and anyway, there, check it out. There, all sorts of wonderful people from all sorts of places as well coming together to play on the CD. And,
Robyn Bell: And all the proceeds of the CD go to your cause for environmentalist's.
Brandon Ridenour: Yes. Yeah, there's, a list right there on my website, a suggested list of places that this could go to. And if people don't suggest anything, then once I accumulate a certain amount of money, I just will donate it to one of these organizations on behalf of, all of the contributors to this.
Robyn Bell: Well, it's such a great project and just says a lot about you, you're a musician and you're just this really. Deeply connected human being, which I think may your music making so much more special because that's what I see. You know, I, I think you have like 4 billion YouTube hits or something kind of crazy.
Brandon Ridenour: Yeah.
Robyn Bell: Oh, oh no. Okay. But it's because when you connect with you, even online, you feel this humanism that you have, and I feel the same way about your parents. You know, your dad told me, oh, we bought an electric car. You know what I mean? They're really kind of into those same things. And so I can see where the, fruit doesn't fall far from the tree, I guess they say Yeah. Well, and you know, as musicians and performing artists, we've all had some very special challenges since March, 2020. What did the shut down look like for you, Brandon, how, did this experience change your day-to-day life? During that time. And also what positive things came out of all of this for you?
Brandon Ridenour: Well the pandemic time, hot subject. Everyone's talking about this still and we will for years. It's such an interesting time, at the beginning it was something that I weirdly. It's tragic because it was a personally. I welcomed it. I mean, I hate to admit it. I was actually, so busy and kind of yearning for, something to disrupt things so that I could kind of have just a moment to have a reality check and reassess what I was doing in life and to make sure that I was on the actual track that I wanted to be on.
Robyn Bell: But of course we all thought at first it was just going to be maybe two or three weeks. And so like, yeah, exactly. Like you, Brandon. I was like, Ooh, I'm going to take a breath. This is really nice. Maybe I'll take a walk this morning. That kind of thing.
Brandon Ridenour: right. how foolish we all are. but still, I, I would say there were a couple of months there where things felt good. Took some time off. I stopped playing the trumpet. I definitely needed a physical and mental break from playing the instrument. But I came back to it and, tried out some, new projects and recording routes and new things.
Robyn Bell: if you would not have had time to do had it not been for the pandemic
Brandon Ridenour: Right. Exactly. So I wrote and recorded small book of trumpet etudes
Robyn Bell: they're spectacular.
Brandon Ridenour: oh, thank you. And I worked on some other little recording projects and learned Logic which is like an advanced Garage Band for those who don't know Logic. And so I finally got to know my way around that program, I'm still not a master at it, but that felt good. And I learned final cut. I bought a camera, I got into filming and decided, okay, well how can I put all of this stuff together with everything that I know? And we still got, a lot of lonely alone time here. What can I do? What can I do? And it's sort of ties in a little bit to the Come Together philosophy and I thought. What might the world need, but doesn't have now. And I kept thinking somehow I stumbled upon Bill Nye, the science guy, and I used to love watching those shows when I was in grade school. And it was just so highly entertaining and informative. And I thought, why isn't there a music program? It was after like that. And I'm no Bill Nye, the science guy. I wish I had his level of. What he's able to do on camera granted, he had all of the PBS staff to help them put together a show. But that's what I set out to do. And I thought let's make a global music program of which I've only made one episode of. It's the Music of Brazil it's episode one. And I employed at a very, very low rates, embarrassingly low rate, my friend, Luis who plays guitar and he's from Brazil. And I interviewed him and he's a big part of the show. Right? I learned a lot in the process as well because the music of Brazil was, it was sort of picked at random. And because There's. while he was somebody who lived about a mile away from so I rode my bike over to his place and filmed some stuff over. place. We played a little bit together. I learned more and I went back to editing things together and filming myself and being like kind of upset with, you know, how terrible I was like alone with a camera and, getting used to that awkwardness. It was all new stuff, but, , I guess I somehow persevered and finished the episode because there was nothing else to do. So hope to make more episodes
Robyn Bell: Well, I hope so too. Cause I loved it, but you know, the tricky is because we put all of us learned how to do, not, not to the extent that you did. I mean, really it's fantastic, but all of us had to learn to do some video, audio editing, but then the question is how do you monetize this? Right? so that is the problem. What I've been impressed with. Like if we go to your website which give us your website so we can all go follow you.
Brandon Ridenour: Yeah. brandonridenour.org.
Robyn Bell: Very easy, brandonridenour.org. If we go there, we see how, you have it's most impressive collected these things where people through Patreon can either have a monthly subscription to what you put out and what you perform and produce. Or I think they can pay one time to buy something. There's a lot stuff going on in the pandemic, but has that been a little bit of help? And you were work product out there to people.
Brandon Ridenour: Yeah, I didn't have Patreon before the pandemic. That was something that was also a sort of a hot subject and continues to be it's because it's, it's really tough. Is it classical and jazz musician to monetize your music, especially your recordings, because you're competing with pop artists who have a whole. Of people who understand the marketing and how to monetize this music and sell it. And this is what the majority likes. So we make pennies from Spotify compared to these pop artists. So there needs to be other avenues for, people in, our music to still. Make some kind of money off of our output. And, also unfortunately, because of the pandemic and visible continue to see, there's just an enormous amount of content out there, which makes it even harder to compete with and, make any kind of money off of. So I'm still seeing lots of other organizations pop up. And sometimes the, write me an email asking if I would sign on to this new philosophy or, website or program or app, to help with this very thing. So that artists can have some kind of equal competency. Because it is a problem and I'm not Sure. if it's going to get better or worse. We'll see if some of these places are, viable solutions just depends on how we react to it. And if enough people can jump on board. And the other thing is withholding. Why wouldn't you go on Instagram and just watch your favorite artist, post things for free. Artists are, definitely not. So withholding these days, we're expected to just put out a lot of free content and that's what a majority of people consume is free stuff. And you're sort of expected to do that, to maintain your, image and, just to show that you're doing stuff. But it's a little contradictory because then it's, really challenging if you're constantly putting out free stuff. Then how, how can you actually make money off of this? Especially if people aren't hiring because of the pandemic still like not putting on concerts. So I truly hope that the. Classical music scene in particular, but the live music scene is able to come back. Soon. I know that they are, but I'm still seeing places that are very, very hesitant to open. For instance, Carnegie Hall is just now opening. I went to a private event at Carnegie just last week. With a secret guest artists that ended up being Lee, just giving a solo set for about 40 minutes on stage there at Carnegie. And there were probably only, I don't know, a hundred people there. But it was a private event. So I hope. And the Carnegie Hall, I think is a great example. It saddens me that Carnegie has taken this long to come back because they set an example for everyone. And I hope that Carnegie and other places, like it figure out a way to overcome this allow for musicians to get back to work. Cause we've been the last ones to get back to it. It seems,
Robyn Bell: Yeah.
Brandon Ridenour: ready and eager.
Robyn Bell: And as we see, for instance, Broadway opening back up now, are you starting to book some more gigs? Is life looking a bit more like it's going to be normal here pretty quick for you.
Brandon Ridenour: Yeah, it could be, it could be, it depends, I guess, on which direction I ended up going, but I am seeing things coming back. So yeah, things do seem to be picking up and hopefully they'll hold on.
Robyn Bell: Well, we hope that your performance with the Bradenton Symphony Orchestra falls into one of those opening backup experiences. Now you are going to be performing a very famous trumpet solo called the Carnival of Venice. Tell us about this piece in this special arrangement of it. We'll be doing together.
Brandon Ridenour: Yeah. The Carnival of Venice from Italy, I guess
Robyn Bell: Oh, it's not Venice, Florida. No
Brandon Ridenour: I'm not sure which.
Robyn Bell: Italy
Brandon Ridenour: Yeah, they look so similar Florida in Italy florida's the Italy of the U S just from the looks. I mean, the food's a little different,
Robyn Bell: Well, we have some pasta here.
Brandon Ridenour: Right. Yeah. Lots of Olive Gardens. Um, So the Carnival of Venice is a theme and variations show piece for a trumpet or cornet. soloist and. Orchestra or band or whatever you have available to you. And the idea of this piece is that once you hear the theme, there's a variation on that theme which basically just means. It gets fancier. And there are more and more notes arranged in different patterns with different rhythms. So as we go on progressively, each variation gets noticeably harder and harder to execute. And hopefully the trumpet player will make it to the end. This is the goal of the performance of the Carnival of Venice. We'll see. It's largely up to the audience because usually if the audience likes what they year after variation, they would show that somehow audibly, clapping, screaming, hollering, whatever these people do. And that would signal to the trumpet soloist to continue on to play the next variation. I've been told that historically, if there was no feedback from the audience that the performance would just stop and they would end at that variation. And so the, length of the piece is completely up to the audience. And hopefully we'll make it to the end.
Robyn Bell: I've never heard that part before. It's fascinating.
Brandon Ridenour: Yeah. I think my, dad told me, but he makes up, I've realized a lot of stories. And when you're young, you just kind of believe everything your parents tell you. I'm not sure if it's historically accurate.
Robyn Bell: Well, we'll go with it. Cause I love the story. And this isn't just the original Carnival of Venice that maybe Herbert L Clark would have played with the John Philip Sousa band way back in the, teens and twenties. But this arrangement was given to you by a very special trumpet player, perhaps mentor to you, Allen Vizzutti.
Brandon Ridenour: Oh, yeah, Alan created an arrangement of this arrangement originally by Del Staigers. And Alan was a huge inspiration to me when I was younger hearing what the trumpet could do, because at the time it blew my mind, hearing the notes. He could play on the trumpet. And then I learned Allen Vizzutti actually, his mother was neighbors with my grandparents from Missoula, Montana, where my mom grew up. And so it's a small world. We had a funny little connection there.
Robyn Bell: That's unbelievable.
Brandon Ridenour: yeah, that's pretty cool.
Robyn Bell: Well, when you come here, you bring a big suitcase with you because when you go home, I have for you the full orchestra arrangement and I full score it when all the parts and stuff. Because Allen Vizzutti, it's really originally a band piece. And Alan wrote the string parts to go with the band part, but I took it on my little computer skills. Mashed it all together so that it's one actual piece and everything's represented in the score and it'll be nice for you to have going forward. Should you ever play this piece of music again after your experience with us?
Brandon Ridenour: Right. And now I'm going to have to send this back to Allen Vizzutti as a thank you.
Robyn Bell: Yeah. So the gift that just keeps on giving. Many may not know this and you for certain, but I beat my chest a little bit, actually played the Carnival of Venice, my senior year of college with our colleges, wind ensemble. So as the conductor of this little Diddy, this time around, I can honestly say better you than me. And this is especially true for the audience. They get to hear you play it. And not me. But it's kind of like having a violin solos with a conductor, that's a violinist or a piano soloists with a conductor. That's a pianist. I certainly understand how this piece works. The challenges of it and getting the ensemble through it with you, because it is a dance all the way from variation to variation. I'm so excited about that. And Brandon's performance of the Carnival of Venice with the Bradenton Symphony Orchestra. At our Welcome to Our Carnival concert will be preceded by Berlioz's Roman, Carnival Overture, and insane display of orchestral virtuosity, and then proceeded by Camille Saint-Saëns', Carnival of the Animals, which is a humorous musical suite of 14 movements, all very evocative of different species of animals, such as elephants and kangaroos and fossils and lions and hens and roosters and cuckoos and donkeys. And even. Pianists. We have an SCF Theater major. William Ashburn is going to be reading poems about each movement before we play them. And the whole evening should be even more fun than a carnival. So I do hope you all can join us on Thursday, October 14th at 7:30 PM at the SCF Neel Performing Arts Center for this fabulous concert called Welcome to Our Carnival you can get your tickets in advance by going to . scf.edu/neal du/neelThat's N E E L. Tickets are general admission, so you can pick wherever you like to sit. And they're only $15, but listen closely. If you use the coupon code podcast, you will get $5 off the cost of your ticket.
Brandon Ridenour: That's good to know.
Robyn Bell: Brandon, tell all your friends and family.
Brandon Ridenour: I'll spend that. So I can, I mean, I'm sticking around for the second half and I'm not going to stub in,
Robyn Bell: I might put you back in the trumpet section. Now you just, you hung up on that. So Brandon, thank you so much for being my guest this week on the Suncoast Culture Club podcast. And for joining our little carnival, the orchestra is so very excited to meet you and rehearse and perform with you. Safe travels flying in from New York to Sarasota, and we will see you very, very soon.
Brandon Ridenour: Sounds good. all soon.