Dr. Dan Burdick "retired" to Lakewood Ranch about a month ago. He is a world-class tuba player and teacher, was on the faculty of Edinboro University in Pennsylvania, has two degrees from Boston University and his doctorate in tuba performance from the University of Michigan. He has performed with the Canadian Brass, the Detroit Symphony, the John Philip Sousa Band, and has soloed on tuba all around the world, including Austria, Italy, Germany, Scotland, and Canada. He is now the new tuba euphonium teacher at the State College of Florida and can't wait to immerse himself in the cultural arts scene on our Florida Suncoast.
Hear his story and find out how much the tuba actually weighs!
Come along and join the club!
• Dr. Dan Burdick website & Facebook & Twitter & Instagram
• International Women's Brass Conference Website & Facebook & Instagram
• The Harry T. Burleigh Society Website
• The Stiletto Brass Quintet Website & Facebook
• The Pops Orchestra of Bradenton and Sarasota Website and Facebook and Instagram
• Asolo Repertory Theatre Website & Facebook & Instagram & YouTube
• West Coast Black Theatre Troupe Website & Facebook & Instagram & YouTube
• Florida Studio Theatre Website & Facebook & Instagram & YouTube
• Perlman Music Program Website
• Sarasota Orchestra Website & Facebook & Instagram & Twitter & YouTube
• State College of Florida Music Program Website & Facebook & Instagram
• State College of Florida Foundation Website & Facebook & InstagramSupport the show (https://scf-foundation.org/suncoastcultureclub/)
Robyn: One of the things I've always loved about living and working in the cultural arts on the Suncoast is a number of fabulous musician who retire here, but never really hang up their music making. And today I am so pleased to introduce one of those people. Dr. Dan Burdick retired the Lakewood ranch about a month ago. He is a world-class tuba player and teacher was on the faculty of Edinburgh university in Pennsylvania. Went to one of my Alma maters Boston university and has his doctorate and tuba performance. Yes, you can get a doctorate in tuba performance from the university of Michigan. He has performed with the Canadian brass, the Detroit symphony, the John Philip Sousa band, and has soloed on tuba all around the world, including Austria, Italy, Germany, Scotland, and Canada. I'd snatched him up as the new tuba euphonium teacher here at the state college of Florida, where he has already made big contributions in just two weeks on the job. Dan Burdick. Welcome to the club.
Dan: Thanks Robin. It's great to be here.
Robyn: . Now, Dan, do you remember the day when you said I want to play the tuba?
Dan: I do. I was playing the trumpet. I played the trumpet for five years. Yes. For four years I was. Very bad. And it was not a good time. And think of my teachers back then and I, you know, I hope they're doing well because I did not help their days.
Robyn: Sure. There've been scarred for life.
Dan: So then I was a ninth grade and I was playing the trumpet and I was a lot better and I heard the piece of music. It was called universal judgment by, Denardis.
Robyn: Oh, you still remember that?
Dan: Well, because it started with this wonderful euphonium tuba, beginning, they did a fugue and a, you had the melody and of course the tuba never has the melody. And so I was so excited. I thought I've got to play that. So I went to my band director and I said, Oh, I really want to play the tuba. And he needed more. Trumpets. So he said, you know, I don't usually tell people, but next year you can be in the top band and you should stay out of the trumpet. And I said, no, no, I've got to play the tube
Robyn: and says,
Dan: I said, well, what's your mom think of this? And I go, Oh, she says, it's okay.
Robyn: You had never talked to your mom, had you?
Dan: No, not at all. And then I went to go see my mom and I said the same thing. And she's like, you know, I can finally sleep through you're practicing. It's gotten a lot better. Don't change. And she goes, well, what does Mr. Reed, the band director, what does he think? And I go, Oh, Oh, he says, it's fine. If you say it's fine.
Robyn: You've played that. Well, my friend,
Dan: I did, , big 14 and you know, yeah. So I, worked on both and I started the tuba and I still remember it was on December 1st and I went in and I practiced every morning at 7:00 AM on the tuba and I would get it. Frustrated, I wouldn't know what to do. So I would ask the band director, keep you come in and show me how to do it. And so he came in and he showed me how to start and do things. And it was amazing. At two months I went to the district soul and ensemble festival and I got a top rating. And then at four months I went to the state solo and ensemble festival and I got a top rating.
Robyn: . It came more naturally to you than trumpet.
Dan: It did. And of course I used everything I had learned from trumpet. You know, they gave me about maybe five or six notes the first day to learn, and that was on a Friday. And then by Monday, I'd already learned to Okta because I figured it out from the trumpeter.
Dan: But , it did, it spoke to me a lot more and I love the sound. And then my mom and the band director, they got back together about five months after I started. And they were like, I wasn't in favor of this. I wasn't either.
Robyn: They found you out to get put in timeout
Dan: almost, but I was doing well. They said, well, maybe he should have switched.
Robyn: Yeah. Yeah. That's a great story. And just from there, you were all tuba all the time.
Dan: It tube all the time. I did play your phone name at high school too. I had a friend that played and she was so much fun. I wanted to play a duet with her. So we did.
Robyn: Yeah. Some people might not know what are you phony? I miss some of our listeners. I always describe it as a mini tuba. How do you describe it
Dan: as a mini tuba?
Robyn: Oh, perfect. Then I was right all this time.
Dan: It is. It's part of the tube of family. A lot of times in band, we call it a baritone.
Robyn: Right? I call it the barely atone.
Dan: Well, it has the range of I'm baritone singer and it's, and it's a gorgeous sound. But , it's more official. Name is the euphonium, but they all work and it's just the most fun instrument.
Robyn: Yeah. And it's kind of a, the same sound as a trombone if you're at home and you don't know when you're listening, most people, it doesn't do the slides obviously. Cause it's , valved like a tuba. Yeah. Yeah, that's the difference. So some tubas are what we call piston valves. So like a trumpet. So the vowels go up and down and they have these holes just like you can imagine a piston and then some tubas are what we call rotary valves that are, if you can imagine what a French horn looks like, where you, when you press the valve, this rotor turns, but you phoniums are all. Piston valves, right?
Dan: They, they are you probably could find some in Germany with the rotors, but they're all piston. And a lot of trumpet players switched to baritone euphonium
Robyn: , and they actually published trouble. Cliff, you phony and parts in B flat. So that trumpet players don't have to learn to read bass clef because we are so lazy or dumb. I'm not sure, but anyway, I know that the question on everybody's mind listening to this podcast, when they see the tuba is. What does that thing way. And do you ever wish you just played the Piccolo?
Dan: You know, I have thought that because they don't tell you this when you start, , know, it weighs a lot, but it weighs about 20, 25 pounds and then the case weighs about the same and they don't tell you, you have to travel with a hard case. So it's about 40 50 pounds, but then they don't tell you that when you're trying to get orchestra jobs, you have to travel with two tubas. And that
Robyn: I don't know this. Why is that?
Dan: Well, you need the big tuba the Contra bass tuba to play the low music like Wagner respect. Biggie some really low notes. And then you need the bass tuba the play, some of the higher things like barely owes.
Robyn: It's a smaller tuba.
Dan: Yeah. It's not as small as a euphonium, but a base tube and a Contra base tuba are both big tubas, but one's gigantic and one's or reasonable.
Robyn: And I think most people would be shocked. To know that they're also not very cheap.
Dan: Oh no.
Robyn: Now you're sitting here telling me I have to buy two. So what's the going rate. If I want to buy, you know, I talk about instruments like cars. So I, tell students, I don't want you to buy a Pinto that most of them don't know what a Pinto is. So I might say, okay, now I want you to buy a Chevrolet. But if you could buy a used Mercedes, we could get pretty far. So tell me if I'm going to be shopping for a brand new Bentley. What can I put down? What do I need to go to the bank to ask where to bud?
Dan: If it's a brand new one, it's probably 15,000 would be. I have a ballpark. It depends. And a lot of people do buy used. I, my tubas are used because that I know they're good.
Robyn: Yeah. You get a new one. You don't really know.
Dan: Right. But it depends on what you're looking for. And, one of the best makers is in Switzerland. And of course the exchange rate in Switzerland is very difficult for the U S dollar. So it's very expensive. You could be getting closer to 20.
Robyn: Wow. \
Dan: But you could also find something for 10. Oh, but that's a lot of money.
Robyn: Yeah. So sometimes students like particularly here at the college, they have to go, do I want to purchase a car or do I want to purchase a two book? Has it's about the same price
Dan: it is. And the, Chinese are making some good tubas. , they're not as well made as the German and Austrian tubas and Switzerland tubas
Robyn: quality of the. Brass and the quality of like the inner workings. They don't seem to last
Dan: exactly. They don't last as long. They're not welded as well, but they've copied them from great instruments and they're very good.
Robyn: Yeah. Yeah. Our tuba player and the brain and symphony orchestra, Chris Benson, he's a alumnus here from the state college of Florida. He recently purchased one of these Chinese tubas and he's very happy with it.
Dan: Yeah, they're very nice. And for the price point, it's a good way to have one because it comes down to when you leave school, if you don't have a tuba, you can't go borrow one.
Robyn: That's right. Hey, can I play your too? But today it doesn't work, especially in COVID everybody's like, no, get away from my doula. And it's, it's interesting too, to me that , as you said, while I go, if you get to be a really serious tuba player, you have to own at least two of these instruments. Right? How many tubers do you have?
Dan: I used to own three and then I thought, well, I don't really play this other tuba. And so I've regretted it ever since I sold it because I had one that was perfect for brass quintet, and I have another one that's great for solo gigs. And then I have the large one that's perfect for orchestra.
Robyn: That's fascinating. Well, as a trumpet player, I kind of relate because I owned four trumpets and I've just kind of, I'm down to two now, but, but I have five Bhutan's,
Robyn: Yeah. They're much cheaper than trumpets or tubas now, you know, when they do the other things, I think about Dan, these 3d printers that were so cool. And I thought to myself at some point, I wonder if you could just print yourself 3d tuba,
Dan: you know, it would be exciting. They may some tubas, at least the bells out of carbon. So it's
Robyn: carbon fiber,
Dan: right? A carbon fiber, like the airplanes it's much lighter.
Dan: But think it would be possible, but of course you'd have to have a very large 3d printer at that. All of the supplies that go into the printer would probably be expensive.
Robyn: Yeah, but maybe cheaper than the two of us still.
Dan: Yeah. Would that be cool? What would it be neat if you just printed it up for the concert?
Dan: You didn't have to travel or I
Robyn: know I'm just going to go to the local library and print my tuba. Give me a second. That's hilarious. Well, I have to say sometimes, you know, if we have too busy, we own four here at the college ourselves. And if one of them needs repair or instrument check-in day and I have to go put it in the locker. Always. I say the same thing to myself. I pick it up. And a couple of , ours have soft cases, but then some of them have hard cases, but regardless I pick them up and I think to myself, I should have been acquired director as choir directors never have to haul around instruments. So I think when most people think of the two, but they sort of hear this, Paul, Paul, Paul, sometimes it's boom, boom, boom, boom, boom. Right. But if someone really was interested in hearing what the . Tuba is truly capable of, you know, like musically and technically what are some pieces of music they would need to go listen to?
Dan: Well, they're the standard two pieces that if you'd go to the tube of repertoire, you've heard these it's the Vaughan Williams tuba concerto. And that was the first tuba concerto written for the instrument. And. Like 1954.
Robyn: Wow. Really late.
Dan: Yeah. The tuba wasn't invented until 1832 or so.
Robyn: , there was no composers that really felt it was worthy of having its own concerto. .
Dan: Not back then. And sometimes not even today.
Robyn: Okay. I'm going to stop you there because I'm wondering maybe there really weren't virtuoso tuba players that a composer would latch onto because so many. Concertos are written for an individual person that knew a composer. You know, they are already a really great player. Maybe there weren't any real virtuoso tuba players that convinced the composers that could be written for.
, Dan: you might think that, but I have the opportunity. The tuba is, let me go. Lots of different places. At one year I went to Paris and I got to chair a brass pedagogy, a brass teaching seminar, which was wonderful. Yeah. But it only took about an hour. And so I had all the rest of this time in Paris and I went to a concert at the conference of historic brass instruments and they had an early tuba concerto, , , it was for the OFA Clyde, the early tuba and. It was amazing. So the players back then were stunning.
Robyn: Have you ever played an awful Clyde?
Dan: I have. got a grant, the work with my teacher during my doctorate, and we went and played the instruments from the museum at the university of Michigan. And we took them around and played off a Clyde duets.
Robyn: And how was that
Dan: super fun?
Robyn: Was it hard to get in tune?
Dan: Yeah, because they're like a saxophone, they have pads and a fingering like that, but you can get to the notes to bend very far. So it's hard to be in tune.
Robyn: Wow. Okay. So the Vaughan Williams concerto for tuba, what's another piece that I'm going to go pull up on Spotify and check it out.
Dan: Well, the other one for that same time period is the Hindemith Sonata for tuba and piano.
Robyn: And he wrote a song for every instrument that
Dan: he did, and some of them are better than others. We think as tuba players, of course, we got one of the best. love it. , it's a fun piece. Though there was some more pieces that I like that are more modern. And I was thinking about a piece. I was listening to it just the other day. It's the yacht Cuzzi or concert Tino. And I had a chance. When I was in Germany, again, the tuba, you get to go places. Yeah. Sorry. I was in Germany and I to meet, yeah. I could see her and the pieces full of lots of fun moments. And I realized he was really being sort of snarky or making fun of the tuba. Cause he really does think the tuba was a great musical instrument. He didn't come out and say it, but you could see it in his face when I talked to him. But the piece of super fun, the last moment sort of expresses that a lot. He comes out with a big boomp. Boom, you know, just bladdy sounds at the beginning. And then he goes under the clarinet polka plan. But of course not in the key of the clarinet, he does it as a minor key. And it's a little bit sad, but fun and humorous and
Robyn: well, when you think about it, . My first real experience with a tuba solo in marching band in high school was we did a wizard of Oz show and the tuba player had the solo too. If I only had a brain. And I think that is kind of what this connotation that people have, unfortunately
Dan: , they do. , but of course the tuba has the most wonderful sound and it's so fun. So another time I got to go to Sweden, as one does with the tuba. And I was in Stockholm with a friend of mine, let her nor to plays the tuba there. And he was playing a piece for solo, tuba and brass quintet, and it was gorgeous and fun. So of course. I had to do it and after much practice, I got to play it. So I think when you go out on Spotify or other places, you can find lots of great tuba solos, and there's so much
Robyn: yeah. And , the tuba literature, and the level of playing, especially the, I would say the last 50 years has really, really risen.
Dan: Yes, , there are a little tube of virtual sows or big tube of virtual. So is there too, but virtual sows everywhere. And it does you fall over them and maybe 20, 30 years ago that wasn't the case.
Robyn: Yeah. Well, I noticed on your bio, Dan, that you're very active in several organizations in your field. Tell us about those organizations in your role with them.
Dan: Well . Right now I'm part of three different organizations actively. And the first one is the international women's brass conference. It was started by Susan slaughter. She was principal of the St. Louis symphony trumpet. Yeah. And she's a wonderful person. And she realized she didn't have any colleagues or very few colleagues. And she thought, well, how am I going to have more colleagues? And her response was that she started the IWB, see the international women's brass conference. And I had the opportunity, I just finished my doctorate and I was looking for something to do, and they were looking for an executive director. So I got hired as the executive director.
Robyn: . I remember this because I went to university of Tennessee and Cathy leach was my trumpet teacher. And she, as a woman, a brass player was involved in this organization as well. And if I remember it was every other year when I knew of it and was sort of an active trumpet player. Is that still the case?
Dan: Yes. And it happens every two years or every three years. Sometimes. Yeah. And I know Kathy, she's a wonderful player.
Robyn: I learned a lot. Absolutely.
Dan: And that's what I like about that at WBC. Is there all these wonderful women brass players that you get to meet and it's been great. And , I was the executive director for about two years and I helped Organize finding new conference sites, they were doing things on St. Louis and I was saying, well, that's good, but we need to go to the rest of the country. And so I helped develop those procedures, And then one of the great things that happened is I would go to the conferences and I played solos at the conferences and it was really fun. But one of the great things in my life that happened was I got asked to be on the board of directors and that was so much fun. And it's a, great group of people. And we've been working with COVID the next conference is going to be at the university of North Texas.
Robyn: Well, I don't know if our little campus here is big enough to hold something like that, but we have a lot of venues in town and if they ever want to come to Florida for a sunny vacation conference, let's, let's see if we, that would be super goal. I've hosted the women band directors international conference here on our campus. So we should look into that. Now you probably through that also know my friend Marie Speziale.
Dan: Of course, Maria and I, we toured, we went on the first tour with IWC. It was called Monarch brass and a merit Alsace for the Baltimore symphony conducted.
Robyn: So, so my connection and for our listeners of, with Marie Spotsy YALI, first of all, we should say she was the first woman. Brass player. I don't think trumpet, I think overall brass player that we know of in the country, she was with the Cincinnati symphony as principal trumpet. Then when she retired from there, she went to rice where she taught, but she is from Tampa and she grew up in Ybor city. . And she winters here. And you may not know this. She drives. To Sarasota and comes to all of my pops concerts.
Dan: Oh, that's wonderful.
Robyn: Yes. We become very good friends. And when we had the stiletto brass solo with us, she of course knew all those ladies and we all went out to dinner and I just love Marie.
Dan: , she is amazing. And I it's teaching out at USC now. And . She has the most wonderful sound. She's the most wonderful soloist the group, the large brass ensemble, but play, then she would start playing and it was amazing. She was really so gorgeous. A player.
Robyn: Yes. And like Cathy leach, they're both about five feet tall. And do you think, how does this huge sound come out of little woman? It's amazing to me always.
Dan: Yeah, it is amazing. And she has a huge, big sound and she could play classical and she could also play jazz and pop.
Robyn: Yeah. She's multi-talented
Robyn: , okay. So what are some other organizations you're involved with?
Dan: So just recently back in 2003, I was the administrative director for the national conference on Harry T Burley and Mr. Burley was famous. People may know him for Bringing the spirituals to the concert stage. So he does a lot of arrangements and he was from Erie, Pennsylvania. So I taught at Edinburgh university, which is right next door to Erie, Pennsylvania, and maybe my fifth or sixth year at the university. I met the leading scholar in the world at Harry T Burley. Dr. Gene Snyder. And on her first day, we went to some function and I thought, you know, we should do some kind of festival or something about Burley. And so we did a lot of a number of weekend festivals and that grew into this national conference on early. Wow. But then, you know, his things move on. She was working on her book, which she finally published and, you know, things drifted apart and. Last year a group in Erie, a forum to the Burley legacy Alliance. And I was part of that group and we're working on preserving some of the papers that have been people's garages. And we're trying to get those preserved by an archivist and working on that
Robyn: that's a big project.
Dan: It is, and it's an expensive project. . We just got a grant to pay for that. Mr. Burley was from the Harlem Renaissance. He lived in New York city and he was with all the artists of the Harlem Renaissance, but he doesn't have a U S postage stamp and we thought, well, he needs a postage stamp. So, yeah. So we're working on that. And , I'm working with Tennessee state actually on a Burley festival that's gonna premiere February 25th or 26th.
Dan: . He was African American and they had a marker at Erie about his birthplace. And I mentioned everything except that he was, , a famous black composer. And so we, worked with the state and we have a new marker. Now that actually.
Robyn: Yeah, it does. It gets that. So, you know, we have a wonderful organization here called the West coast black theater troupe.
Dan: I bet. It's great.
Robyn: Yeah, they're fantastic. I see some symbiotic relationship here. They would probably Nate, Jacob's a good friend of the college in of the Suncoast culture club. He might be very interested in talking to you about that. Very cool. And okay. And there's one more really neat organization you're involved with too.
Dan: Yeah. , I was just on a call with them last night. It's just beginning. They're incorporating it's the chromatic brass collective. And
Robyn: first of all, I love that name.
Dan: Yeah, it's great. And it's a group of women of color brass musicians. And , it's a really amazing group. I, again, someone in the group looked around and said, there is no one, , that looks like me playing with me and these professional gigs.
Dan: And so it's a very energetic group of black and they're hoping to find more Latino. And so it's a great group and it's just starting and we're hoping to feature them at the international women's brass conference down at Texas.
Robyn: Super neat. And of course, now that you're here on the faculty of SCF are. Programs are ensembles. Our facilities are open to any of these groups that want to come and perform, and we could get them in the public schools. And , the sky is the limit on that. Now, one other really cool things that you do is you tour internationally with your instrument music theater show called tales from the gay tuba song book. Now that sounds like something even I will. Would never have heard before. So how was the show conceived and what exactly would want to experience if they attended a performance?
Dan: Well, , it started, when I was working with Abby Kona, she's a trombone player. She was the former principal trombone of the Munich Philharmonic, and she teaches at a conservatory. In Germany and she was been working on doing new things with brass instruments and she's been telling her story of what it was like to be a woman trombone player and to be discriminated against and all of that. And I thought I'm a gay man. And I thought, what is it like. To be a gay man and a tuba player. And I have often found the brass environment to be sort of hyper-masculine
Robyn: hyper-masculine. Yes. Yeah.
Dan: And I, the, you know, as a gay man, there were times when I wasn't out of the job and I felt maybe I wasn't welcome, or it wasn't a place where I could be out. Of course when I have been out I remember one time the trombonists were incredibly hyper-masculine I thought, Oh, this isn't the place. But somehow it came out that I was gay and they were very welcoming. They couldn't have been more collegial.
Robyn: Isn't that nice. It kind of , subsided your fears about that.
Dan: It did. . And I thought, well, How could I bring that into my life and to help others? And I saw Lee and team price when I was a freshman in college and she did a recital. She's a famous African American singer. Just incredible. And , at the end of her recital, she does a set of spirituals some by Burley, some by others. And I thought, wow, she's, , bringing in her African-American culture, her heritage into the concert. And I thought, well, how could I do that? As a gay tuba player, there really aren't any gay tuba songs. And I had the opportunity to be a, for a semester. At the Banff center at Calgary Alberta,
Robyn: I've been to Banff. Beautiful.
Dan: Oh, it's gorgeous. And they gave me a practice room with a gray, a piano and a view of the mountains. And so I started thinking and I developed , this multimedia show of different pieces relating to Being gay and being a tuba player. And I've given it at the Edinburgh fringe festival and O other places. And it's been,
Robyn: yeah, it sounds really interesting. I'm hoping that you can bring it to the Suncoast and we can produce that for you here.
Dan: It'll be a lot of fun at . The pieces are interesting. When I first started, I thought, Oh, you know, I'll just do these different pieces, but I realized that they were very sad. So I try to have an arc where it starts out with, you know, love and there's some sadness, and then it has great joy.
Robyn: Yes, that's awesome. I can't wait to see it. Now. One of the things I love about this business in this podcast really is the connections we make with people that then lead us to more people. And so before you moved to Florida, you and I actually got to meet one another one time through sort of this chance performance, tell our listeners how our paths crossed two years ago.
Dan: Well, I came to hear a performance of the stiletto brass. You bring it a lot of great artists here at the campus and the stiletto brass. It's an all women brass quintet, and they were here. And I had known some of the people Amy go wreath was principal trumpet, and yes. Susan Ryder was the other trumpet trumpet player. Right. She was just on for the inauguration. She was just featured on the TV. There was a nice shot of her. And of course, a, a good friend of mine was the tuba player velvet Brown and velvet. And I did a our masters together. So I've known her for years. She told me, Oh yeah, you've got to come here, this concert. And I came and they were wonderful and they did a masterclass and the students were wonderful. And then.
Robyn: You flew here from Pennsylvania just for that?
Dan: No. No.
Robyn: Okay. I was about to say
Dan: I was here because my husband is the Dean of the dental school at Lee calm, which is right nearby.
Robyn: Okay. But you hadn't moved here yet. Okay. I see.
Dan: And he, would come every other week. He would come back and forth because , we have three children and our youngest hadn't graduated from high school yet. And so he just did. And so then I moved down here.
Robyn: You had come to spend some time with him and say, Oh, I'm going to be here at the same time as this concert. And you were at the masterclass and we just had 10 of a brief encounter. You introduced yourself, we talked. And then all of a sudden, right before our semester starts, I get an email. Do you remember me? Well, I'm here full time and I go fill out this paperwork or we're not. Yeah, it was great.
Dan: It was great. I was really excited so
Robyn: Will blame velvet Brown for that one. And when we returned, Dan is going to tell us about how the COVID-19 pandemic altered his life. And although he hasn't been here too long, what are some of the wonderful things he and his husband are enjoying on our beautiful. Suncoast to Florida. We'll be back after this break.
Welcome back to the Suncoast culture club, where today my guest is Dr. Dan Burdick, our new tuba and euphonium teacher here at the state college of Florida. Now, Dan, I had an interesting conversation the other day with a music education professor at a four-year university here in the state of Florida. And we were discussing the job market for music education majors, who are getting their degrees during COVID. And his claim was that there won't be many jobs because people are afraid to give up their salaries during this time. But I argued two different points. One, I said that the older teachers who are retirement age or near retirement age, They said Philly on all this. I don't want to teach band orchestra choir in this virtual environment and they are retiring. I've seen it leaving actually lots of jobs for our young adults coming into the career field. But the other thing I said is that the pandemic has created a severe economic burden on school systems, as well as colleges and universities. And they're actually looking at purging some of their higher paid teachers and faculty members through early retirement incentives so that they can bring in less experienced and therefore, you know, lower paying faculty. You personally experienced this phenomenon, correct?
Dan: did. Yeah. I was teaching at Edinburgh university and I was a tenured associate professor. And the college was going through some fiscal problems. It's part of a 14 university system and, you know, it was going through a little bit of a problem and then COVID hit and that created a lot more expense and a lot more difficulty with.
Robyn: Well collecting tuition dollars and probably housing and that you weren't bringing kids in the dorms and that's a revenue generator for universities.
Dan: Yeah, it was. And and so one of the responses they had was, well, let's offer early retirement, a retirement incentive, and it turned out I'd actually been there 25 years, even though I'm not close to retirement, I'd been there awhile. And that was enough to take advantage of that retirement incentive. And so that was good. And then our youngest son was graduating from high school and I thought, well, this is the perfect time , to say, you know, thank you and goodbye, and moved down to Florida. It's always hard to leave, , after being there for so long, right. It's been wonderful. And the people here have been very welcoming and I can't wait until we're past the COVID. I know. It's been very sad with the people dying at the people being sick, but I'm hoping that we get the vaccine and we can be back to making lots of music.
Robyn: Yeah. I see things opening up slowly and I'm with you. Let's cross our fingers by the fall. You know, that things are okay. Back to as normal as they can be. Well, we're glad all that worked out though that you're here now. So there , have been some good COVID things. You know, I try to focus on the positive. One of the things that I really worry about Dan is the skill level of our band orchestra and choir members in our public school music program, summer able to still rehearse him. Perform, but many are not and are being asked to do so virtually which hasn't really been too successful. Let's say you have a seventh grade tuba player who has Ms. Playing rehearsing, performing for, you know, 12 to 18 months in your estimation is like the professional in the room here. How far behind and tuba playing will that student be? And how long will it take him or her to make that up?
Dan: It depends. Part of this equation, of course, are the band directors, the choir directors, the music educators are very dedicated. And so they're making sure that students have their instruments and they're trying to do virtual ensembles. And, but of course we all remember being kids. We want to be with our friends. We want to be in the band room. We want to be rehearsing. And so I think you're right, there's going to be a delay and skill levels, you know, being able to play certain pieces and I guess. How far back it'll depend on the students. And I think that it will be important when we are back together in person of doing all the the basics, you know, what are the basic warm as well? How do we do articulation? How do we do flexibility
Robyn: fundamentals as I call them? Yeah,
Dan: the fundamentals. I, just finished some videos on this our outline with the Erie junior Philharmonic for their students. And So that's what I was covering is how, do we do these activities and do the daily? And I think that's what we're missing when we're virtual. We don't have that nudge from our, you know, Hey, did you do this doing yeah.
Robyn: Peer pressure, almost.
Dan: , it is. They one time worked with the entire tuba section at a high school down in Kentucky. And the first chair tuba would lead them and their breathing exercises every day. And because of that peer pressure, when they went off to the state band festival, everyone will great tuba sound great tuba sound. Well, you knew it was going to be a great tuba sound because he got all of them to do the,
Robyn: yeah. And when you're sitting in even four or five tubas in a seventh grade band. Yeah. One of them is progressing and the others say, Hey, , I need to keep up. And yeah, you know, I hadn't thought about it from that angle. I think it's really important. One of the cool things about working here at the state college, Florida, Dan, is that we have a lifelong learning program where students in the public schools or even community members, , we have a very active. Community band program around here, they can take lessons with you through our lifelong learning program. So I know our listeners, most of them know about that, but if you don't well, now you do so spread the word. I'm sure you'd love to have 50 or 60 private students a week.
Dan: I would, I would add it's I really entered the arts, , as a lifelong participation and it's great to have adult students middle school, high school. I actually Back in Pennsylvania. I started a community music school and it's just so much fun to have everyone participating and taking lessons and playing.
Robyn: Now, when you're husband got his job at Lee com and then you were sort of coming down here to visit and now down here, full-time. But when he came down here, were you aware of all the cultural arts things there were to do in Sarasota and Bradenton?
Dan: Well, a little bit. I realize now that I didn't know hardly any of what was going on I grew up in Detroit and of course I, 75 goes right up to Detroit. So there's a lot of the people I knew growing up, came down to this area.
Dan: But when I got here, we started going out to the. Different theaters because I would come at times when the music series had ended. So I'd be here, , in the summer or at Christmas.
Robyn: Yeah. They also always says there's summer, the Florida studio theater has their summer stuff. Yeah.
Dan: Yeah. And that's why I went to, I went to the Oslow wrap. I went to the Florida studio theater. I mean, Wonderful productions. I just saw murder on the orient express at Christie and they did that and it was amazing. Yeah, it was gorgeous. And I've been to the West coast black theater, which was great.
Robyn: They're amazing.
Dan: Yeah. Yep. And and then I've been to the Pearlman. They have a violin string ensemble.
Robyn: Yeah, the Perlman music program.
Dan: Yeah. It's like Pearlman and his wife and, and it was great. I heard some wonderful masterclasses. It was sort of a busman's holiday. I was on vacation that I went to string masterclasses.
Robyn: Well, you haven't had a chance yet to hear our Sarasota orchestra or the Sarasota opera.
Dan: No. And I'm really looking forward to it cause I see what their programming of what they're doing. Of course, I know the tuba players,
Robyn: right? Yes. The Sarasota orchestra has a chamber music program going where the brass quintet is playing around town for free. So maybe we should pick a Sunday afternoon, day in a new, and I go hang out Benderson park or something and listen to the brass quintet.
Dan: Oh, that'd be a lot of fun.
Robyn: You know, and I'm sure, you know, this, that , one of the trumpet players in the brass quintet is Aaron rom, who is the son of Ronnie rom, who was the founder of the Canadian brass of which I'm sure that connection goes a thousand miles for you.
Dan: Yeah. I haven't met him yet, but it course I played a concert with his dad , one of the greats and it's so much fun, all this interconnection.
Robyn: Yeah. And Aaron is our trumpet teacher here at the college. So I know the two of you will run into each other and then, errands. Mother Ron's wife is Avis rom and she is a pianist. And so they do all this collaborative stuff and I can't even keep up with all the stuff that they do. It's amazing to have those kinds of people here on the Suncoast at our disposal.
Dan: Well, it's amazing the faculty having you and other faculty, you do such a great job here, and that's why I'm so excited to be here.
Robyn: We try our best.
Dan: Well, the students are very excited and they're really making great progress.
Robyn: So you moved to Lakewood ranch, what you and I jokingly called land of the beige. Cause you know, you know, every home is just a slightly different color of beige. It's a beautiful part of town though, out East instead of West. So if you're visiting here, you know, West is the water East is the golf course. So do you guys golf or do do pickleball? What do you like to do besides music for your hobbies?
Dan: Well, we, moved there because it's near work. And because with the commuting traffic, you know, during the season, it's tough. Yeah. So we're very close to my husband's work but the things we like to do, we're not much into golf yet. But we like to hike. So we found an app that has all these hiking trails near us. And we've been out to the rye preserve. That's been nice and we've been to little tiny ones near the house that it's, it's been a lot of fun. We also like to go to movies, lots of movies and the Sarasota film Society.
Robyn: Yeah, that's really cool. We used to go down to burns court. I think they've closed it until who knows when, but that is the neatest theater I've ever been in just old time. You can hear the movie and the next one play playing over, you know, but I love it. They show the real artsy films. They're
Dan: really fun. And We also like just to go out and eat and of course that's difficult to do right now, but
Robyn: were your, some of your favorite restaurants? Some place I need to check out?
Dan: We want to get into having more Cuban food. I have a friend that used to live down here and she loved Cuban food. So we haven't been up to Ybor city very much. Yeah. It's been.
Robyn: Yeah, well, there's the Colombian is also in St. Armand's circle. So they have one in Ybor city, but one here in the food is the same. So it's really good. And then there's some hole in the walls. There's a place on my way, home in a little strip mall that you wouldn't know it unless you go in every Friday. Chicken and yellow rice special. And that is a staple in my household. I'll say I'll pick up the specialty, the Cuban stored away home. And so good.
Dan: Yeah. So we're looking forward to exploring that more.
Robyn: Yeah. And Lakewood ranch has some really nice, the main street area has some really nice restaurants, the Grove and some cool things like that. And as soon as we can go sit in a restaurant life, I mean, in Florida kind of year round, we could sit outside. I mean, sometimes it's a little nippy, but I'm sure you guys will. Check out some favorite places. Well, Dan, we have reached. The famous part of the podcast called the rapid fire. I have a couple of questions for you. I tried to gear these towards what I know about tuba and in the industry when I hear people like in fights about tuba stuff. So you got to settle it all for us.
Robyn: All right. Piston valves or rotary valves.
Dan: Oh, piston. Well, they're much faster and easier to take care of. And they sound just the same, I think.
Robyn: Okay. There is no change in sound from a piston to a room
Dan: it's so small that I think you're in a blind test. You can't tell them
Robyn: cool. Okay. To play tuba with a German polka band or a Mexican mariachi band.
Dan: Oh, a , Mexican mariachi band. Yeah,
Robyn: I agree. I love the mariachi band and the sound is a whole different breasts down. Yeah. I love it.
Dan: Yeah. It'd be so much fun to take the place of the big guitar, the bass guitar. That would be so much fun. Yes.
Robyn: Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Okay. Well, I think this one's going to be hard. The Boston symphony or the Philadelphia orchestra.
Dan: Oh, , that is tough. I went to school in Boston. So Boston,
Robyn: there you go. Plus the Boston pops.
Dan: Yeah, the tuba world's small. So I know the tuba player in the Philadelphia orchestra, Carol Yonge. And she's amazing. So
Robyn: the two, but world is very small. Yes. Yeah, the woman conductor world is small as well. So I'm sure there's some sort of symbiotic relationship there with all of us. Okay. Either to play or attend. You get to choose musicals or operas.
Dan: Ooh. Musicals.
Robyn: There's so much fun. There's so much variety.
Dan: Yeah. And , if the tube was written for it, we get a lot more
Robyn: yes. In the opera you probably would just sit there for four hours and play like six nodes.
Dan: Yeah. It's interesting because when I was an eerie, the job for the Erie, Phil opened up and the other professional tuba player in town, and I, we both didn't audition because it's mostly sitting and we're like, yeah, life's too short.
Robyn: That's right. I get paid by the note. Okay. If you had to go to a deserted Island with your tuba and you could only take one piece of music with you, what piece of music would that be?
Dan: The world brass quintet.
Robyn: I love the evil brass quintet.
Dan: Yeah. There's so much fun. And
Robyn: we own them here in our chamber music library.
Dan: That's great because some of them are out of print and the good addition. So you probably have the really nice additions.
Robyn: Yeah. Our chamber music library here is massive. It's it's huge and we don't really play as much of it as we can. I'll have you take a look at it. Maybe we can get that running. Okay. The sousaphone or the over the shoulder? Marching tuba.
Dan: Ooh. I guess I would say the over the shoulder,
Robyn: you don't like just use a phone.
Dan: I like the sousaphone. But you can't just sit down and play in a band, whereas the over the shoulder you could convert it.
Robyn: Yeah. The convertible. Yeah. Yeah. That's always a tough one. You never know what you're going to see there. Okay. Coffee at sunrise. Or cocktails at sunset.
Dan: Oh, coffee at sunrise.
Robyn: You're a morning guy.
Dan: Not really, but I like coffee and I liked slept rises. Yeah.
Robyn: Okay. This is going to be a good one. A British brass band. Yeah. Or a symphony orchestra.
Dan: Ooh, that is tough. Isn't it? I guess I would say a British brass band.
Robyn: They're fantastic. Aren't they?
Dan: They are, they play so well. It's so much fun,
Robyn: really. And we have little pockets here in America, but boy, not like they have over there. I keep waiting for it to really take off.
Dan: I have a whole system it's like El Sistema, you know Venezuela they have this whole brass band system going from the very little up to. , adults. Yeah. It's so, so fun.
Robyn: Yeah, of course. They don't have the marching band system that we have here. So I guess we, okay. What do you look for most in a conductor?
Dan: Oh a couple of things I look for them trusting me. So I like them to look up near my entrance and see that I'm there. And then I just like a subtle kind of cue. And then I look for how musical they are, , because I have to sit there and listen to it. Cause I don't play very much when I'm in the orchestra because we have very small parts. So most of the time I have listening and it's wonderful when they're really musical
Robyn: and they can make the orchestra reach a level of musicality where you sitting in the back of the orchestra, you can enjoy it as a, almost as an audience member from behind.
Dan: Yes. Because a lot of that is I'm an audience member most of the time.
Robyn: Yeah. Yeah. I had never really thought about that. Okay. You almost made it one final question. If you didn't play tuba, what instrument do you wish you would have specialized in?
Dan: Ooh, I think it's either the violin or the Viola. I love the sound of the Viola. But my fingers are sort of small and , my head is not that big. So I was thinking probably the violin and I guess it's because I get to play the melody , if I did play the violin and or the tuba it's, you know, oompah.
Robyn: Yeah. Yeah. You don't get a lot of melody, but boy, when you do.
Dan: Yeah, it's so much fun.
Robyn: It is so much fun. Well, congratulations, Dr. Dan Burdick, you are officially part of the club. Let's say our listeners would like to follow you on social media to keep up with your career. Where can they find you?
Dan: Well, I'm just launching my website, Dan burdick.com. And so they can find audio samples and contact me. They're
Robyn: awesome. You have Facebook?
Dan: I do, but I'm not that so much. So it's a Dr. Tuba,
Dan: Yes. Dr. Tuba
Dan: Not yet
Robyn: Snapchat, just to keep up with, well, we will put links to your website and your Facebook and Twitter account so that people can find you there. And if you ever go to those accounts, you can connect with them. Dan, we are so excited to have you on our faculty at the state college of Florida above and beyond your fabulous teaching of our euphonium and tuba students. I'm excited for you to put on a recital in our new recital hall. That's opening in the spring perform some solos with our band and Bradenton symphony orchestra, and get you involved in the very vibrant, brass playing scene here. I think you're going to fit right in and probably be more busy in retirement than you ever were while working. I promise. So thank you so much for spending some time with us today so we can get to know you better.
Dan: Oh, thanks a lot, Robin. It's been great being here. Thank you.