Ronnie and Avis Romm, Suncoast Music Power Couple, Join the Club

Ronnie and Avis Romm, Suncoast Music Power Couple, Join the Club

He walked into Music Theory class at Juilliard on day 1, sat next to the prettiest girl in the room, and they have been making beautiful music together for the past 53 years.

In Part II of the Romm Family series, Ronnie Romm, founding and former trumpet player of the Canadian Brass, and wife Avis Romm, collaborative pianist extraordinaire,  tell us their stories, share their experiences, brag on their talented sons, and share their love of each other and the Suncoast, living on Siesta Key since 1991...and did I mention Ronnie is the original owner of a 1964 Porsche??? VROOM VROOM!

All that and more on this week's episode of the Suncoast Culture Club.
Come along and join the club!

• Romm Family Trio Website & Facebook

• Romm Trumpet Academy Website

• Canadian Brass Wikipedia Page

Dr. Aaron Romm Website & Facebook & Instagram & Twitter & YouTube

• Sun-Young Gemma Shin Website & Facebook & Instagram & YouTube

Venice Symphony Website & Facebook & Twitter & YouTube

• Siesta Key Beach Website & Facebook & Instagram

Village Café Website & Facebook

• Café Gabbiano Website & Facebook & Twitter

State College of Florida Music Program Website & Facebook & Instagram


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Robyn Bell: Today's Suncoast Culture Club Podcast presents part two of introducing us to the Romm family. Last week, we visited with Aaron Romm and his wife, Sun-Young Gemma Shin. And today we meet patriarch and matriarch of the Sarasota music, royalty family trumpet player, Ron Romm and pianist Avis Romm Ron and Avis. Welcome to the club. 

Ronnie Romm: Thank you 

Robyn Bell: so excited to have you both here for those listening, who may not know Ron, you have had such an exceptional life and career as a trumpet player and teacher, but internationally across the entire brass community, you are most recognized for being   founding member of the Canadian Brass. The world's foremost brass quintet. And we will certainly get to all of that. But Avis, I want to start with you. You are an amazing collaborative pianist  as well as performing record with your husband here, Ron and your son, Aaron is part of the Romm Family Trio, but take a moment and tell us your history. How did you get started with piano? Where did you get your training? When did you meet professor Ron here? And what has life been like living with a trumpet player? Well, actually two trumpet players all these years just must be miserable. 

Avis Romm: Well, I really haven't tried to run away from home, so, well, I think that's a good point.

Robyn Bell: Some of them worse than others. 

Avis Romm: I started, well, I was very fortunate. My mother was a piano teacher, so I am assuming that I started learning while I was still in the womb. 

Robyn Bell: Yeah, I bet. So 

Avis Romm: the story goes that on the day she came home from the hospital with me, she was already back teaching and I was on her lap. I don't remember my early stages of learning. I know that I played my first recital when I was three and it just went on from there 

Robyn Bell: three years old, you played a recital. 

Avis Romm: Yes. 

Robyn Bell: Was it like one of those little Charlie Brown toy pianos? 

Avis Romm: No, no. We had a real life piano, although I did give one of those little pink pianos to our granddaughters.

Robyn Bell: Yes. 

Avis Romm: However, it was so fortunate because I had that advantage of having someone in the background to assist me when necessary, when I first went to school and I was coming home for lunch because I grew up in a very small town.   

Robyn Bell: Where did you grow up 

Avis Romm: in Iowa. 

Robyn Bell: Okay. Good Midwestern girl.

Avis Romm: Absolutely. And it was a block and a half walk to school. So I was able to run home at lunchtime and my objective every day was to sight read through yet another piano book. 

Robyn Bell: Your mom must have been so proud. 

Avis Romm: I think she was. 

Robyn Bell: Yeah. And she was your teacher. 

Avis Romm: She was my teacher for quite a long time. Well, a long time when you're a child, I guess I was about 10 when she decided it would be better to turn me over to someone else. I don't think I was a difficult child or a difficult student, but we'll never know. 

Robyn Bell: Well, well, I mean, it's a very similar story to Ron and Aaron, right. It's really hard to be the teacher of your child. I would. 

Avis Romm: Absolutely.

Robyn Bell: Yeah. Yeah. 

Avis Romm: And, so in this small town, we would have to be driving to the next town to get the next teacher. That I was involved with, and by the time I was, 16. I started studying with a professor at, one of the university towns nearby that I could drive to 

Robyn Bell: further drive 

Avis Romm: a further drive, but I could do it myself. And at that point I really needed to have, my mother was an arthritic cripple and piano was her love and she was still teaching, but it amazes me that she could even. Move her fingers at that time, because they were so misshapen, but she said it was the only thing that kept her fingers moving well, by going ahead and doing that. So I think that's a great inspiration for everyone to just keep plowing ahead. No wonder what the obstacle is 

Robyn Bell: when I was in high school, we had, a student that was in my grade, that was a really good pianist and she kind of got tapped to be the accompanist for  our choir at the high school and that kind of thing.  Did you follow along those same kind of paths? Yeah, 

Avis Romm:  Because I could read very well. I started accompanying my mother's cherub choir at the church when I was about seven. Wow. And from there on I realized I loved collaborative piano playing as well. And so when I was  playing through all those years, I. Did playing within the band, within the orchestra for the chorus. I was all-state pianist, all the wonderful opportunities that I really was given, growing up in such a supportive community. 

Robyn Bell: And was it kind of a foregone conclusion that you would go to college and get a music major and be a pianist the rest of your life?

Avis Romm: I really never thought about anything else. 

Robyn Bell: Right.

Avis Romm:  I'm not sure that, people shouldn't, I think more thoroughly through,  life, but 

Robyn Bell: you never wanted to be a veterinarian or an astronaut or anything like that? 

Avis Romm: I don't think they had astronauts.

Robyn Bell: Oh, come on now. 

Avis Romm: But  I probably would have liked being a doctor or a lawyer or looking at it. With hindsight, because those are  skills that actually do get developed through music as well. That kind of focus that you need for reasoning and yeah. Yes.  But my brother was a doctor and at that point I never really wanted to do, 

Robyn Bell: do you just have the one brother?

Avis Romm: Yes. 

Robyn Bell: And  was, he also like had to take piano lessons and all of that? 

Avis Romm: Yes. And he played trombone. Oh, I forgot to tell you. I played French horn.

Robyn Bell:  I was about to ask you if you played another instrument. So you played French horn in the band? 

Avis Romm: Yes. 

Robyn Bell: Nice. 

Avis Romm: And through one or two years of college before I went to Julliard.

Robyn Bell: But I've heard of that place, 

Avis Romm: but French horn was not my first love.  And I was not. Well, I, did go to all the competitions, but I, 

Robyn Bell: people that I talk to, particularly on the podcast that played piano and then learned an instrument in the public schools, they're like, I just found it so easy. All of a sudden  I only had to read one line of music.  

Avis Romm: Well,  there was that I didn't have nearly the same focus that I was going through. The thing about the French horn though, was the  transposition because I have perfect pitch. So I would see something and hear it in my head, but then have to do a double transposition. And it wasn't that easy from that aspect, but I just played everything by intervals and did it.

Robyn Bell: So I didn't realize you had perfect pitch. That is a blessing and a curse. 

Avis Romm: Exactly.

Robyn Bell: Yeah. You hear planes going overhead and you're like, ah, get migraine headaches. 

Avis Romm: Well, when I listen to music, I'm. Doing pitch analysis of everybody's line and what their notes look like on the printed page. 

Robyn Bell: Do me a favor. Avis don't ever come to any of my concerts. 

Avis Romm: I love your 

Robyn Bell: teasing. I'm teasing. I find it. Um, w we talk about this too, with you, Ronnie that in a band or orchestra setting, when you have masses amounts of people, if you have 10 trumpets, easier for them to sound in tune and have this resonant sound, rather than just one trumpet  playing in tune with a piano or as a soloist, you know, and do something about the acoustics of multiple instruments that help that intonation and blending 

Avis Romm: than the single 

Robyn Bell: yes, for certain, for certain. So you graduated from your high school in Iowa, 

Avis Romm: and I went to the university of the Pacific in California. 

Robyn Bell: Okay. 

Avis Romm: For two years 

Robyn Bell: now, what made you decide to go there? 

Avis Romm: My father had passed away when I was 13. 

Robyn Bell: Oh, I'm so sorry to hear that. 

Avis Romm: My mother had two sisters 

Robyn Bell: okay. 

Avis Romm: In, California. And it seemed most logical to go somewhere that she could be close to her family. And I still would not be that far away because my brother was practicing medicine elsewhere in the country. And so it kept the family closer together for a period of time, even though I wasn't right there, but, and  I fell in love with California. Of course I couldn't believe springtime in February. And,  I was used to being snowed in at the time 

Robyn Bell: now, is that college  in the bay area? 

Avis Romm: It's in, Stockton.

Robyn Bell:  Okay, 

Avis Romm: which is about 90 miles inland in the bay area. 

Robyn Bell: Okay. 

Avis Romm: And,  after two years there, I knew that I really wanted to go to Julliard and, I had a wonderful education there. And extraordinary. Yeah. 

Robyn Bell: And that was a four year school, but you just were there freshman and sophomore year. 

Avis Romm: Yes, actually it had a doctoral program as well, but okay. I was there for only two years and I had a wonderful teacher who was totally devoted and I still credit her with a great deal of my music learning.

Robyn Bell: Sure. and while you were there, were you mostly studying to be  A soloist concert pianist. Okay. Cause that's Juilliard during that time, that was their focus as well. 

Avis Romm: Yes.

Robyn Bell:  Right.  They want to put out solo concert pianist all over the world. Yeah. 

Avis Romm: So when I went to Julliard, because I'd always been doing a lot of collaborative work, I had friends who'd say to me, Hey, I've got to read through this. Do you mind coming in and play it, read through it and we'd have fun and I'd go into, my friend's lesson with them. And after about four sessions with, well, I think this was the saxophone teacher and saxophone literature is notoriously challenging 

Robyn Bell: because this is more contemporary. 

Avis Romm: Yes. And there's usually a zillion notes for the pianist as well. The instructor said to me, Well, you haven't brought in your time sheets for me to sign. And I said, what are you talking about? And he said, your time sheets, so you can get paid. And I said, oh, I can get paid. 

Robyn Bell: Show me the money. 

Avis Romm: I had no idea. 

Robyn Bell: Wow. 

Avis Romm: Because all my work had been sheerly out of love. For and music. 

Robyn Bell: And that probably then opened up this whole new idea of revenue for you. Like how can I make a living as a PNS?  

Avis Romm: I didn't think that far ahead. I just wanted to play. I played with everybody and this was at a time I was very fortunate where you didn't have to. Isolate yourself. All right. You are going to play for strings only, or you're only going to play for vocalists or you're only playing for woodwinds. I played for everybody in the school. 

Robyn Bell: That's amazing. 

Avis Romm: And so I developed. a great repertoire, but it was a terrific learning experience and yes, I did get paid staff accompanist for this school.

Robyn Bell: Yeah. Wow. So as an undergraduate student, you were a staff accompanist or this was in w cause you stayed there for your master's, right? 

Avis Romm: Yes. And I was there for a year after where it was a staff accompanist 

Robyn Bell: And to make the segue. Is this where you met Ronnie? 

Avis Romm: Yes. 

Robyn Bell: Yes. Cause you went to Juilliard as well.

Well,   we'll get to that. Yes. I tell people, I also went to Julliard. It was the best tour I've ever been on the bookstores. Amazing. 

Ronnie Romm: My tour was much longer 

Robyn Bell: for certain. And then how was it for a girl from Iowa living in New York City? Oh my goodness. 

Avis Romm: It was quite an amazing adventure. I recall not having the vaguist idea how to get on a bus. 

Robyn Bell: Right? Well, that's very limiting. 

Avis Romm: I wore holes in my shoes because you, goodness, most of the streets went north and south or east and west 

Robyn Bell: and are numbered. 

Avis Romm: And,  I rented a room in a professor from Columbia's.  Apartment, which was in Morningside Heights, right by Columbia. And so it was a five or six block walk.

Robyn Bell: Okay. So it's not so bad 

Avis Romm: to the old Julliard building.  It's not so bad, although it was a relatively dangerous, 

Ronnie Romm: um, one of the roughest neighborhoods, 

Avis Romm: which of course I had an idea. 

Robyn Bell: Right. You know, if you're clueless to it, it's fine. Yeah. 

Avis Romm: So I just kind of remain clueless 

Robyn Bell: Sometimes that's best. That's very interesting. Now let me ask you real quick, because we say now it's,  sort of customary,  that you're a collaborative pianist. Do you collaborate with other people singing or playing musical instruments, but back then, was it called accompanist? 

Avis Romm: Yes. And I still don't mind that term.

Robyn Bell: Okay, good. Ask what was going on? 

Avis Romm: Not, not at all offended by that. It's making music together. That's all it is. 

Robyn Bell: Some people look at that term accompanying and it like, it makes your job less. But yeah, no, no, I don't think so. 

Avis Romm: I don't think it does in my mind. It doesn't. So if in my mind it doesn't, I'm satisfied. 

Robyn Bell: That's right. So, you meet. Ronnie at Julliard. And while you're doing your master's or you stayed in the other way 

Avis Romm: was still an undergrad.

Robyn Bell: Okay. All right. 

Avis Romm: We met in a class the first week of school, probably. 

Robyn Bell: Oh, 

Avis Romm: Ronnie tells his story very well. 

Robyn Bell: Well  we'll segue there. Then a quick internet search. Ronnie tells me that you were born in New York. 

Ronnie Romm: I was born in New York. 

Robyn Bell: You grew up and studied trumpet and Los Angeles. So we see this sort of California connection. And then you went back to New York to attend Julliard. 

Ronnie Romm: Yes. 

Robyn Bell: And then found your way to Toronto, where the connection is made here with me and the Canadian Brass. Right. But I'm sure there's a lot more to this story.  I think  I read you were a child prodigy on trumpet, very similar to Avis. Right.

Ronnie Romm: I managed to be able to learn the trumpets quickly. And basically, I started on piano at age seven, but it was a disaster. And, uh,  our piano tuner, who was,  an elderly fellow who owned a music shop,  said to my parents, you know, this young man would be a wonderful cornetist and I have an instrument he'd love to try  well, we went down to try this cornet. And I was eight years old at the time and I could not make a sound on it, nothing, zero, no matter what, I just did nothing, nothing. And so that was the end of that experience for the next year. But,  along the way between ages eight and nine, I heard I, I used to walk to school as well. And elementary school was two blocks away and,  I came home for lunches and we always had music playing, always music playing, and, and there was this wonderful stuff coming out of the radio. And I said to my mother, mom, who's that what's that? And she said, that's Louis Armstrong, he's a cornetist and. I said, that's what I want to do. And all of a sudden I had  this yearning to do it again. And so when it was time  to try it again, I was then nine years old  and they had these instruments at the school and they didn't have any cornets, but they had trumpets by then because the, the cornet had become a bit passe in the Los Angeles area. Everyone was playing trumpet.  So I picked up the trumpet and I found that I could actually not only make sounds, but I could learn quickly. And then  all of a sudden it happened.  And so  that kind of was the launch point. 

Robyn Bell: And this was in the Los Angeles area. How old were you when you moved from New York to California?

Ronnie Romm:  I was about six. 

Robyn Bell: Okay.  Did your family get a different job? 

Ronnie Romm: Well, what happened was my father, had been, an iron worker, a steel worker  in New York. And,   when he had been a child, he had  run the street, got his foot run over by a truck and it smashed his foot, which was rebuilt as best as he could be for the technology at the time.  But every winter he was suffer, he would suffer. He would suffer. And so  he decided we needed warmer weather. So we,  piled pretty much everybody, which was my older sister,  three years older  than me. My mother was pregnant with my younger brother at the time. And we had a dog and, we piled into our 1951 Plymouth and drove across the country. 

Robyn Bell: Wow. 

Ronnie Romm: And,  I remember we stopped at one place to stay overnight and I kept hearing these roaring noises overhead. It turned out that they were testing jet planes. 

Robyn Bell: Wow. 

Ronnie Romm: So this was the beginning of the jet plane age. And,  so anyway, I grew up in Los Angeles, we moved to an area called Westchester, which is right by the LAX airport. 

Robyn Bell: And so probably once you start playing trumpet, there was a plethora of opportunities to find a teacher. And 

Ronnie Romm: absolutely.

Robyn Bell: Yeah, 

Ronnie Romm: Absolutely.  My first teacher was my mother who was a clarinetist. She was a classically trained clarinetist who became a saxophone player. So she could go and play dance jobs with my father who was a drummer. 

Robyn Bell: Okay. So both your parents, very musical as well. Nice 

Ronnie Romm: They were musical. And, they were semi-professional musicians and,  they were very involved in,  the concert environments. So we,  were members of community orchestras and community bands and things like that. And I learned all of the repertoire for the orchestral repertoire that I learned very early on by playing in community orchestras.

Robyn Bell: Okay. And did you also play dance band style music? 

Ronnie Romm:  I played dance bands and we had a family dance band called the Romm-Antics, R O M M hyphen antics.

Robyn Bell:  I love it. 

Ronnie Romm: And we,  were a big success. We played all over  Southern California to Arizona. 

Robyn Bell: And this would have been your dad on drums, your mom on saxophone and clarinet?

Ronnie Romm: Uh, yes. And my sister. Was a pianist and songwriter and a singer, and she's still around. She's still doing that stuff. She's in Las Vegas now. 

Robyn Bell: Oh, wow.

Ronnie Romm:  And,  so  we had , the panel. Family dance band. And so my life, I managed to get myself a scholarship to go to the University of Southern California. And, so I went to the university of Southern California study with a fellow by the name of James stamp, Jimmy stamp. So  my week went like this. Because I was on a scholarship, anything that had a trumpet in, it had me in it. 

Robyn Bell: Got it. 

Ronnie Romm: So I played in band in the orchestra and the brass ensemble. I played in the small chamber ensemble. I played with the concert choir when they needed trumpets, 

Robyn Bell: marching band, 

Ronnie Romm: marching band, too. I did marching band  the University of Southern  California Trojan, marching. 

Robyn Bell: Yeah, totally. 

Ronnie Romm: That was a member of that marching band. So we had,  all of these things that I had to do during the week and,  on the weekends we had the. Romm-Antics at, we would play our dance gigs. We would have a Friday night gig. And, if there was time and we would have a Saturday night gig, cause on Saturday, it was football day. So playing football, 

Robyn Bell: but basically the trumpet was on your face 24 seven. 

Ronnie Romm: And then  the church circuit discovered that I could read and improvise and transpose.  By this time, and,  so I had a Sunday morning church gig regularly as well, which I would then drive to do so. So  we would have sometimes  a Saturday night gig  until  two and then drive home and then I would have a Sunday morning we would have Sunday afternoon weddings, right. And sometimes a Sunday evening as well. And then Monday at 8:15 in the morning was my trumpet lesson with Jimmy Stamp. 

Robyn Bell: Wow. 

Ronnie Romm: And my lip was. Six inches out from my face swollen. 

Robyn Bell: That's what I hate about playing trumpet. 

Ronnie Romm: It's actually the most interesting part, but that's another story too.  And Jimmy Stamp would very carefully helped me to restructure myself to get back so that I could make it through another week. And then he was marvelous teacher. He was just really, he taught me a lot about the,  way I wanted to teach. 

Robyn Bell: Yeah. 

Ronnie Romm: Yeah.

Robyn Bell: Yeah. Because as musicians, we're making music, but we also, in both of you are avid teachers and passing that knowledge along to people. You even told me, Avis, you have a lesson you're giving a two o'clock today.  

Avis Romm: I am giving a bit of this. However, I'm a firm believer in continued education for all of us, no matter what our instrument is.

Robyn Bell: Yeah. 

Avis Romm: One of the interesting things about playing with the family is it's very interesting for any of us to really help each other along the way, what we feel musically. So we're still learning 

Robyn Bell: Yes, and as a family. How, how cool is that? Yeah, 

Avis Romm: it's the best 

Robyn Bell: I can only imagine 

Avis Romm: playing with your own heartbeat.

Robyn Bell: Yup. Yup. Very neat.  So Ronnie  you're with  Jimmy Stamp at USC, you're doing all the trumpet playing in the world. Do you graduate from there with an undergraduate degree? 

Ronnie Romm:   The,  Los Angeles Philharmonic had auditions and I managed to come in second to Tom Stevens and, that put me top of the freelance list top of their sub list.

Robyn Bell:  Did you have to join the musicians union at the time 

Ronnie Romm: at age 12? I was already, I'm a life member, 47 in Los Angeles. Yes. Since union.  And so I started  to play regularly with the Los Angeles Philharmonic as a section player and an assistant. And  then when the fourth trumpet player became,  ill. and instead of getting  a gamma globulin shot, he died, 

Robyn Bell: oh, 

Ronnie Romm: He refused to get his vaccination and he died. Which left a hole in the section. And since I was there, 

Robyn Bell: Bad for him. Good for you. 

Ronnie Romm: I became well bad,  for all of us, but that's another story 

Robyn Bell: during this time. 

Ronnie Romm: So  I became a regular,  member of the Los Angeles Philharmonic all at the same time.  So I'm 18, 19 years old. And, I'm playing at the Hollywood Bowl one summer and  I just,  taken delivery of a 1964 Porsche that I, still have incidentally 

Robyn Bell: Really.

Ronnie Romm:  And I, that was one of the pieces I didn't play on. And  so I was out in back of the Hollywood Bowl, which faces the parking lot and all of the Hollywood Hills, it's just a spectacular, view and  I'm just standing there kind of taking it easy, just enjoying the sunshine and the air and this tall lanky fellow walks down the hill and comes up to me and he said, hi, hi, I'm Fred Mills. 

Robyn Bell: Oh yes. 

Ronnie Romm:  Coincidentally,  the day before you've been hanging out with Tom Stevens at Tom's house.  And he was playing recordings of the Pittsburgh Symphony and the first trumpet player in the Pittsburgh Symphony for the recording set of sessions had become ill. And  Steinberg,  the conductor had  called Fred Mills to come in and play first trumpet. And it was a Poem of Ecstasy and the couple of other things, most extraordinary trumpet playing. And I had been hearing Fred Mills on,  record. And then the next day the guy comes up to me and introduces himself. And I said, Hmm, Fred, okay. I'm Ronnie Romm. And I was just listening to you on records. I just taken delivery of my Porsche. You want to go up and we'll go hang out with Tom Stevens after the after rehearsal and a list of records and chat and have a good afternoon. And that was the beginning of my. 30 year relationship with Fred Mills. 

Robyn Bell: Most people use a Porsche as a chick magnet, but you use it as a trumpet player magnet. 

Ronnie Romm: It just happens. It happened to be that thing, but, you know, and Fred subsequently bought Porsche's after that. But,  anyway,  after two and a half years , they had another audition for the regular, trumpet position that I had been filling. And I came in second to Mario Guarneri. 

Robyn Bell: Okay. So the in good company, you're in 

Ronnie Romm: The inventor of what is known as the BERP is the buzzing, you know, 

Robyn Bell: I own one, the one that made your trumpet so long that you'd knock your teeth out. You know, 

Ronnie Romm: He had to print a warning on the box. 

Robyn Bell: It's in my trumpet case, in my office right now. Yeah. He made $3 and 25 cents off of me too. 

Ronnie Romm: And it's a great tool. 

Robyn Bell: It is 

Ronnie Romm: Mario and I  have remained friends and he was also a Jimmy Stamp student and also a Bill Vachianno student as was I. So anyway, 

Robyn Bell: The connections are amazing, really. 

Ronnie Romm: I imagine, yeah. To,  migrate to New York.

Robyn Bell: Okay. 

Ronnie Romm: And I,  played an audition for the Julliard School. And I managed to play well enough that I knocked three violinists off the perch and got a scholarship to the Julliard School. And so there I was at the Julliard School and now I'm getting to the,  crux of this store. Go ahead. 

Robyn Bell: Well, you had to leave your family band behind to do that. I'm sure that was a big. 

Ronnie Romm: But there are many other stories that we can continue, but 

Robyn Bell: we need a part three and four and five, 

Ronnie Romm: maybe, maybe, but  I apologize if I'm rambling, 

Robyn Bell: please ramble away. I love it. 

Ronnie Romm: And Avis knows these stories. So she's, 

Robyn Bell: she's taking a nap there in the corner 

Ronnie Romm: and he's being very, very, very patient with me as she has been. We're working on 53 years now. So that's another story as well. So,  I'm at the Julliard School. It's my first week  I managed to test out of the ear training things and I managed to get into an advanced ear training course taught by  Madam Langi. So I walked into the class. And there was this gorgeous blonde lady sitting up at the top row. And I said to myself, self, you have to go sit next to this blonde lady. So I did. And for the next four weeks, I could not remember her name. I was so struck. 

Robyn Bell: Wow. And 

Ronnie Romm: It was Avis. 

Robyn Bell: It was love at first sight for you and Avis, you were like, 

Ronnie Romm: not so much.

Robyn Bell: Who is it? 

Ronnie Romm: Not so much for her, 

Robyn Bell: but that's a great, beautiful, beautiful story. Yeah, it really is. Did you have a chance early on to accompany? Do any  collaborative music making? 

Avis Romm: Oh yes.  I was in the,  trumpet studio playing for all the trumpet students of Bill Vachianno. 

Robyn Bell: Yes. 

Avis Romm: So we  started our. Collaborative work together.  Shortly thereafter. Yeah. Yeah. So we're 

still working on some of the same repertoire. 

Robyn Bell: Well, you'll get it right. Eventually. 

Ronnie Romm: I don't know. I used to do it better than I do it now. I don't know what that is.

Robyn Bell: Everything changes. So you finished Julliard around the same time 

Ronnie Romm: she finished before I did. 

Robyn Bell: Okay. 

Ronnie Romm: With smarter. She is. 

Robyn Bell: Well, she had been there a little longer than you or you came in together. 

Avis Romm: My credits transferred more easily. I simply a matter of. What gets 

Robyn Bell: me. Yeah. You, maybe you had to retake some classes that didn't transfer.

Ronnie Romm: Yes. Sure. It didn't do me any harm, actually. I, 

Robyn Bell: yeah. And did you both immerse yourself in the New York City music making Broadway stuff? I mean, you just took all the gigs. You could. 

Ronnie Romm: Yes. Okay. Yeah, of course, because you have to pay rent. 

Robyn Bell: Oh yeah. It's not cheap 

Ronnie Romm: and rent. , even rent control buildings for,  college students. It was expensive. 

Robyn Bell: So okay. At some point in time, you depart New York. So how long are you there together in the music scene? 

Ronnie Romm: About six years. About six years? Yeah. Six years.   So one day Fred Mills   he'd been playing first trumpet in the New York City Opera. And he invited me to come and hang out in New York  when I was there.  And I would go up and we would play duets and things like that. And then he managed to get this wonderful job playing principal trumpet in the Canadian National Orchestra. Wow. So he was also a professor at the university.  It was a pension job. It was a fabulous, fabulous job. Anyway, he called me up one day and he said, Ron and I was finishing my master's degree and she was working freelancing in New York and doing all the stuff that she could do. And,  Fred said, look, there's this group that's,  forming in,  Hamilton, Ontario, which is just  25 miles out of Toronto. And,  are you interested? And I said, sure.  I'd like to do that. So  we went up to Canada and  I auditioned them and they auditioned me and,  I joined the  soon to be after that Canadian Brass, we were just a group.  Going as a,  group to the Hamilton Philharmonic, 

Robyn Bell: Now here's something to interject a little bit to your story, because we've mentioned Fred Mills several times. And one of the things you probably don't know. Is that before I came to Florida, I taught high school band in north Georgia, and I had a really good high school band and some really great trumpet players. And I would send them to the University of Georgia where they would study with Fred Mills. So  I had that connection and I took my students there to their University of Georgia. They had big honor band thing. My band was one of the featured bands that played there. And so I came across his path and exchange students with him many times. And what a terrible day. I remember the day that I learned that he, you know, maybe fell asleep at the wheel or had some sort of medical thing, driving home from the airport to Athens, Georgia, and, uh, what a terrible loss that was. But yeah. So anyway, when you say Fred Mills, I  also have very, very wonderful memories of,  his teaching my students. 

Ronnie Romm: Yeah. Fred, fred and I were 24 years in the Canadian Brass together. 

Robyn Bell: Wow. 

Ronnie Romm: And,  it was always about the music. It was never about. Personality was never about competition. The competition was to see how well we could get the music played.  So anybody that plays Canadian Brass charts from that period of time, we'll find that  there'll be cruising along playing  one line, all of a sudden there'll be skipping to another, the other trumpet part.

Robyn Bell: Right.

Ronnie Romm: And coming back, 

Robyn Bell: it wasn't a first or a second trumpet. It was like equal. Trumpet's 

Ronnie Romm: pretty much. Yeah. Or two second trumpets. 

Robyn Bell: Let me, which is always better than two firsts. 

Ronnie Romm: Absolutely. I thought I was going to make is that we never fought. We actually transcended that,  trumpet players handshake. Hi, I'm better than you. We,  transcended that and we were always about. The music , typical day was we would, we rehearsed with the group and then, we would have a dinner break and then Fred and I would get together and work on our own parts together. And we would rewrite sections and we would practice them and we would work out all of the little foibles. So we would come totally prepared for the next rehearsal the next day. 

Robyn Bell: And one of the things that I've most admired about the Canadian Brass, cause you know, any brass quintet can play music that's put in front of them. But the arrangements that you guys did to make it so special, I mean, that was the sound of the Canadian Brass.

Ronnie Romm: Well, thank you. Yeah.  I'm very proud of my contributions and of course Fred wrote a bunch of stuff for the Canadian Brass as well. 

Robyn Bell: Yeah. Really, really cool stuff. And,  you eventually moved from New York to Toronto? 

Ronnie Romm: Yes. 

Robyn Bell: And then Avis where you're like, okay, let's move to Canada.

Avis Romm: Absolutely.

Robyn Bell: And when did the children come about? 

Avis Romm: Oh, no 

Ronnie Romm: long time after 

Robyn Bell: they were born in Canada though. Are they dual citizens? 

Avis Romm: Yes. 

Robyn Bell: Okay. Yes,  we can talk about Aaron because he teaches here and he's a trumpet player, but you also have another, an older, amazing son, right older than Aaron.

Avis Romm: And he's four years older. 

Robyn Bell: He's like a researcher and has done some really cool stuff for COVID vaccines. 

Avis Romm: He's very, very immersed in, that aspect of,  life as it's going forward. I do need to say though that he is also naturally a tremendous musician. I don't know whether Aaron mentioned that. 

Robyn Bell: No, he said he was horrible. So no, no, no, no. He didn't. He didn't, 

Avis Romm: But Orlin has perfect pitch. 

Robyn Bell: Wow. 

Avis Romm: And he has an incredible sense of rhythm. Anything out of rhythm really upsets you. Yeah. Psyche, 

Robyn Bell:  The whole world starts spinning differently. Yeah. Yeah. 

Avis Romm: But he, yeah, much preferred playing soccer and we as parents didn't want to be the pushy musician, parents that force their kids to play music.  I don't know whether he regrets, not having more education because I did start teaching him piano. Aaron was born in time. Got a little. More difficult to spend alone time at the piano. And I think he started on trumpet start a little bit 

Ronnie Romm: playing as well. 

Avis Romm: And then he got braces. Yeah.

Robyn Bell: Oh yeah. Yeah. I actually got braces as an adult for 36 months and didn't touch my trumpet. It hurts. It's really painful. 

Avis Romm: Yeah. So his career in music is yet to come. 

Robyn Bell: Yeah,  it will be there for him that, you know, here in this community. That's what I see. So many people they retire here. Oh, I played this instrument and in high school college, I really want to pick it up again. And this, I call them musikers, you know, these community music maker. So maybe that's in his future. 

Ronnie Romm: Maybe

Avis Romm: it could be, or maybe in his children's future. 

Robyn Bell: Sure. 

Avis Romm: Never knows at this point, 

Robyn Bell: but do you have grandchildren through him? Yeah, 

Avis Romm: we have three. You can see me smiling. 

Robyn Bell: Yes. 

Avis Romm: Three adorable granddaughters, nine, seven and three.

Robyn Bell: Oh, how nice. And they're all living in Louisiana. New Orleans. Okay. So you have to make trips 

Avis Romm: Too far apart. 

Robyn Bell: Yeah. Maybe that'll change one day soon 

Avis Romm: perhaps.

Robyn Bell: Yeah. 

Avis Romm: But life is good. 

Robyn Bell: Yeah. And then Aaron tells me the story that maybe you did some rehearsing with the Canadian Brass. One of the members had parents down here in this area and you just said, we're moving. Is that how you came? 

Ronnie Romm: Well, yeah, it kind of is that way. David Ohanian's folks lived in Sarasota and,  he was a fabulous musician, wonderful hornist. He was with us for 12, almost 13 years.  We were on tour. And,  he said, listen, I'm,  thinking of,  getting a place,  here. And  how about you,  would you like to take a look at some properties with me? And so Dave Ohanian and I  called an, real estate agent and we got in a car and we traveled all around and,  I took photos and collected a whole bunch of, photographs and,  a lot of tear sheets. And, then  I dragged them back to,  Toronto and showed them to Avis and, she fell in love with one particular place. So 

Avis Romm: He, put a separate photo that he had taken and a tear sheet from a realtor and a number of other photos and put them out on the coffee table in the living room. He went to play with the kids. And I got rid of everything except one photo and one tear sheet. And I said, you know, I kind of eliminated it to these two. And he said, well, that's the same house, easy house. I like, so we bought it over the fax machine. 

Robyn Bell: Oh yes. I remember those. 

Ronnie Romm: We have two,

Avis Romm: we're cleaning house 

Ronnie Romm: We have two fax machines.  If anybody needs them, let us know.

Robyn Bell:  Okay. We'll put that out to the world. That's funny. 

Avis Romm: My I had never seen the house when we bought 

Robyn Bell: Sight unseen. 

Ronnie Romm: I saw it. 

Robyn Bell: Now, what was the idea to have a second home or let's move from Toronto. 

Avis Romm: It was time to move. And 

Robyn Bell: is it the home you still live in now?

Avis Romm: Correct.

Robyn Bell: Wow.  I see this with the Porsche and with the home, it's like you buy something you like and you keep it. 

Avis Romm: It's not exactly like being a hoarder, but it's 

Ronnie Romm: not far off. 

Robyn Bell: So what year, what year would you have bought this home? 

Avis Romm: 91 

Robyn Bell: and in Siesta Key?. 

Avis Romm: Correct.

Robyn Bell: So it's probably appreciated a time or two there. So that's a fantastic purchase. Good for you guys.  

Avis Romm: We'd love it. Yeah, really? 

Robyn Bell:  We're on the key. Are you. 

Ronnie Romm: We're on Heigl avenue. 

Robyn Bell: I'm familiar. Just, yeah, 

Ronnie Romm: we're just about a mile and a third,  south of the north bridge. 

Robyn Bell: Okay. Very nice. 

Avis Romm: And on the way to the beach, 

Robyn Bell: I was going to say, are you beach people? Do you get there? 

Avis Romm: No, 

Ronnie Romm: no, 

Robyn Bell: no. But your village people you're like the Siesta Key Village. 

Ronnie Romm:  The last year or four months, we hadn't gone at all. And then they changed the village quite a bit in the last five or six years. 

Robyn Bell: It's much more touristy. 

Avis Romm: Yes. 

Ronnie Romm: Yes. It used to be really charming.

Robyn Bell: You, yeah, there's an Italian place. I like at the very, I guess it would be the north end of the village. It's near the post office and it's the only place you can go where there's never a wait and there's really nobody ever there. Yes. Yeah. I was about to say, I couldn't remember the name, but that's where we always go. Just, just get away from the tourists and the ice cream shops and the, 

Avis Romm:   When we first moved the boys were nine and five and. Aaron was used to in Toronto being able to walk out into the middle of the street because we lived in kind of a cul-de-sac. So the day the moving van moved us in, I thought I was taking very good care of him. And they had left the doors open while they were moving things. And I looked out and I see Aaron standing in the middle avenue. Now I think of that. When over here, boy, fake today, I could never, well, it wouldn't be long. 

Robyn Bell: Right. And so you moved your Homebase from Toronto to Siesta Key and you were still touring doing all the work, but now you're in a nice, warm, beautiful place, Avis, did you tour with Ronnie? Did you  go on some trips  

Avis Romm: Very few. Yeah. 

Robyn Bell: Okay. 

Avis Romm: We have,  a conversation about not wanting. The children to be left without one parent there, we felt it was very important to their wellbeing. Not that we didn't trust anybody, but we didn't have any family close by anywhere. Certainly when we were in Canada, nobody within the country. And so we tried to space any of our tour work separately, and this is one of Ronnie's greatest dedication to his children's stories that I know.  The Brass had a two week no work. They were blocking that off. And I had booked a two week tour, so I was going out on the road. But had been planned very carefully so that Ronnie could take care of the boys. Well, about three or four days prior to this tour, the Brass got an invitation to play in Hong Kong, 

Ronnie Romm: Hong Kong. 

Avis Romm: And because it's four, five people's livelihood. 

Robyn Bell: Yeah. 

Avis Romm: And they were also then, well, we've got this two week span. We could stay in Hong Kong and, well, I couldn't go, which upset me a little, but I had the tour and I couldn't not do the tour at that point. He was going to be out of the country. So Ronnie So that he could get back to take care of the boys. He took the plane over to Hong Kong, played the concert, got on the return flight. 

Robyn Bell: Oh my stars. 

Avis Romm: He did a run-out from Hong Kong and the boys had a babysitter for two hours before he got back. 

Robyn Bell: That is amazing planning 

Avis Romm: Well, it was amazing for him to be in hindsight, I look at it now and 

Robyn Bell: never had jet lag. Cause you never really left. 

Avis Romm: I look at it and think I trusted this man with that incredible jet lag to take care of these kids. And 

Robyn Bell: That's a great story, but 

Ronnie Romm: I did Hong Kong 

Avis Romm: so that we could each keep our careers going.

Robyn Bell: Wow. Now w I'm going to ask one more question about the Canadian Brass in that. I'm just curious because  this is how it started. You gave us that story. It was just, we're going to get together and do this at what point, or how long were you in the Canadian Brass? At what point was there something significant that happened that you said we've got something that is not just special, but it's kind of transcending brass, quintet playing. And this is going to make, you know, we're like superstars, if you will, 

Ronnie Romm: huh? That's a difficult one to answer because, we all had the desire to not be stuck in the back of an orchestra. And we all had the desire of creating an environment  that was a collaborative success. And at, from the very beginning, we,  committed to doing things as the Canadian Brass as a group.  We just committed to doing it so much. So that, for example,  Fred joined the group in 1972. I was already with,  the group. We had another trumpet player who left after one year. And, Fred said to my colleagues, he never told me this. He said, said to my, my colleagues,  if you can get Ronnie to come, I'll join you guys. So he left this storied job and career. yeah. National Orchestra and at the university, a pensioned job, he left it to join us,  to do what we wanted. 

Robyn Bell: And your intention was that to be a full-time job.

Ronnie Romm:  Yes, it was to be a full-time job. The idea was that there was no other. Full-time brass quintet. We didn't think of it. Well, we kind of thought of it that way we discussed it that way, but we noticed that  all of the,  brass quintet in existence had other jobs. So they were,  basically part-time endeavors and we realized that  what we wanted to do was more than that  and we took a lot of flack  from all kinds of people,  at professional people 

Robyn Bell: for bringing an entertaining group for selling out, they call it, 

Ronnie Romm: but selling out, we called it creating a career 

Robyn Bell: a hundred percent. I can't tell you  all these  YouTube videos I watched with you guys,  you come out with the Boston Symphony and your Boston Pops and you get your tennis shoes on. And I was like, this is just awesome. 

Ronnie Romm: Right. You know, and,  the whole idea was that we,  always put the music first, so we never fooled around with the music. So when you listen to the, you could turn the, video completely off and you're still hearing performances. So,  that was the idea and that we were always going to be true to the music and that we were going to,  bring our joy of the music with us. To share with the audiences. 

Robyn Bell: And so along with being in the Canadian Brass and doing all the touring and the arranging of performing, you were still teaching at someplace, or was that just kind of side work? 

Ronnie Romm: No. 

Robyn Bell: Okay. 

Ronnie Romm: I was teaching  privately. And we were,  parachuting in doing hundreds of masterclasses or we would play  at all the colleges and universities and conservatories, and we would do masterclasses and, sessions like that.

Robyn Bell: And so we should say that once you finished your  tenure with the Canadian Brass, you then picked up a little side gig being the trumpet teacher at the University of Illinois. And today, today you told me is your official retirement day from that 20 year teaching stent. How many students have you put out into the world?

Ronnie Romm: Uh, I don't remember, but there are a lot. 

Robyn Bell: Yeah. Yeah. The connections will go on for generations. Really? 

Ronnie Romm: that is our.  Legacy. And,  we,  think about being performers and we're all performers, even as teachers we're performers.  But  we think about the performing part, but long after the performing part has disappeared and we've disappeared in the mind's eye of people as performers, we are creating the next and the next and the next generation. We hope three generations. Players and teachers, 

Robyn Bell: Well, cheers to retirement. I know you're not done both of you have projects in the making. 

Avis Romm: This is just the new beginning. 

Robyn Bell: That's right. Good for you. Okay. So before we get to our rapid fire section, I'm going to tell you, I could sit here and talk the two of you for like four or five hours.  We're in a very small room and you're very patient with me here, but I want to know does it, this was a little fun question. What is the perfect date night for Ronnie and Avis Romm?

Ronnie Romm: Have we ever had one of those? Okay. We'll let you know when we have one, 

Robyn Bell: I know things have been a little crazy in the past 16 months with COVID, but what do you say, okay, let me word it this way. Is there something on the Suncoast that you particularly like to attend? Any of the organizations, the cultural arts events 

Avis Romm: You know, it's so seldom that we have been in town together. 

Robyn Bell: Yeah, yeah. 

Avis Romm: That, it's hard to put that in,  terms of a date, 

Robyn Bell: right.

Avis Romm: With Ronnie teaching at the university, he was there a great deal of the time and I would parachute in and when he would parachute into Florida, there were too many little projects to even think about having a date night. 

Robyn Bell: Right.

Avis Romm: And then during summer breaks, we were always on the road doing whatever festivals. And concert. So, you know, we love theater. We love opera. We love all the wonderful musical activities that are available. 

Robyn Bell: So maybe now as they're going to be that time to experience 

Avis Romm: I hope so. 

Robyn Bell: Yeah. 

Avis Romm: And Ronnie has been saying he wants to get back to golf. It's been, um, 

Robyn Bell: Oh, you're a golfer?. 

Ronnie Romm: I used to be a bit, bit of a golfer, not a very good one.

Avis Romm: That's why we are all learning. 

Robyn Bell: That's right. You're not going to take on Phil Mickelson anytime soon. Anyway. Yeah. 

Avis Romm: Well, you never know. 

Robyn Bell: And Avis, do you have hobbies outside of playing piano? 

Avis Romm: You know, during all the years when Ronnie was touring, I really didn't have a hobby there. There was not time.  I love reading. And I do love going to theater. 

Robyn Bell: Yeah. You go to the Asolo, Florida Studio Theater, things like that when you can. 

Avis Romm:  But it will be very interesting to see what,  our joint.  Efforts are that we both like doing the same time. Although Ronnie being the consummate artist, anything in that area will be, fun for him 

Robyn Bell: Yeah. I would get, imagine though, with Aaron and Sun-Young, both playing in the Venice Symphony, maybe you get down to hear some of those performances. Yeah. 

Avis Romm: Yeah, of course. 

Robyn Bell: It's kind of cool. I tell people all the time when your job is your hobby, it's just so blended. And now here you have the son and daughter-in-law that are immersed,  in our cultural music making. So it's another way to be supportive and still enjoy what you do. So that's really, yeah. Cool. 

Ronnie Romm: So did Aaron talk about the Romm Academies at all? 

Robyn Bell: Yes. I was going to ask actually about that your online classes in school that you've established and that sort of your next big project, right?

Ronnie Romm: It's the w the launch for, us has been the  Trumpet Academy and,  that has been,  Ronnie Romm's,  fundamentals mania  as the lawn

Robyn Bell: I've been thinking about signing up for it myself. 

Ronnie Romm: Well, that could be arranged. 

Robyn Bell: It's everything from like beginners through it, but it's a lot for community adult.

Ronnie Romm: Absolutely.

Robyn Bell: Music makers 

Ronnie Romm:  The original target. When we were discussing it was,  a comeback player. Someone who had had a career and it started in high school and gone through the,  routine playing through college and then realizing they needed to be a dentist so that they can put  their own kids through school and all that kind of stuff. And here they are in their mid fifties or so, and they're retired from their dentist career and they  really want to get back to the trumpet and, they don't know exactly what to do because the stuff that they were learning when they were. Good, , is too hard for them to start back at, but, what connects that, what connects to all these little sectors and it turns out it's fundamentals and we're always going to be involved with fundament.

Robyn Bell: We put the fun in fundamentals Ronnie. 

Ronnie Romm: Well, we have plans for,  the Romm Academies to have a piano class and the violin class, and, and we're going to do all kinds of, 

Robyn Bell: and now, especially with COVID, we have realized what we can do with the technology and how far our reach is. 

Ronnie Romm: Right?

Robyn Bell: Yeah. I think that's an incredible project and you're going to be doing stuff with piano and Sun-Young and we'll be doing so for the violin.

Avis Romm: Yes, 

Robyn Bell: that's great. 

Avis Romm: You know, prior to COVID I never would have thought I would encourage students to do online lessons and now. Actually, my students are loving it. They don't have to leave their home. They can play on their own instrument. 

Robyn Bell: You know, Aza Torshkoeva teaches here and we had this discussion, same thing, you know, there's some great benefits she says, but it's tough if they're all on a piano that they haven't had tuned, sometimes you're at the mercy of the instrument in their home. And she said, sometimes I can't see, like they get the camera just right. So I can see their hand positions. And yeah, 

Avis Romm: on the other side of that, it's interesting to find out what they are dealing with at home, because sometimes when they come to my instrument, they don't know how to approach it. I'm a Steinway artist, so I have a very fabulous Steinway. 

Robyn Bell: Yeah. And like a 1964 Porsche your living room. 

Avis Romm: Yeah, that's right. Yeah. His is white mine is black. Yeah. So learning to deal with these different elements, but for some players, the once a week issue of playing a different instrument is more than they can adjust to. In a one hour session, 

Robyn Bell: know, I teach a music appreciation class here, and one of the discussion posts in a semester will be,  if you don't play an instrument or even if you do, what instrument would you choose to performance? We talk about it kind of when we're discussing jazz, like pick a jazz instrument. And when a student says piano, I always point out, keep in mind, you can't pack it up and take it with you. You were at the mercy of whatever instrument is when you walk into that club or,  room. That's the tough part about piano. Yeah, 

Avis Romm: It truly is. No matter whether you're on a concert stage, 

Robyn Bell: right.

Avis Romm: Or in a bar 

Robyn Bell: is right  in a trumpet or a violin, I can tune myself pretty quickly, get it right. And you have to have someone come in with all their tools every once in a while. And adjust., 

Avis Romm: You know what you're going to get when you've got your own instrument. 

Robyn Bell: Yes. That's very true. You become very connected. You know, when I pick up my trumpet, I know exactly what it does on every note and how to manipulate it,  that's how I've always found that really fascinating about piano players. Is that level of difference in what they have to deal with. 

Ronnie Romm: Yeah. Well, one time   at the tail end of one of our concerts,  the entire liar. That connects the pedals disconnected and fell on the floor. Boom. And so she was playing the end of the tune without any sustained. It was really interesting. 

Avis Romm: Fortunately,

Robyn Bell: Add percussion! 

Avis Romm: Landed about one inch in front of my toe. 

Robyn Bell: Oh, wow.  And we,  should also point out before we leave here, we still have a connection, not just through you and the Suncoast and Canadian Brass, but, our other sort of Victor Borg, piano person in town Rich Ridenour and his wife, Stacy, their son, Brandon, who also went to Julliard.  He plays in the Canadian Brass right now. Right?  

Ronnie Romm: Yeah, I think he's in and out, but I don't know.  I've had a different life for the last 20 years. 

Robyn Bell: That's right. Yeah. You don't track all the personnel and that kind of thing. Yeah. Well, Brandon is  a talent and it's really nice to see that continued connection with us in the Suncoast and the Canadian Brass.  And I love the Ridenour family, as I love the Romm family and  I'm trying to figure out how we can get all of us together for dinner at my house or something.

Ronnie Romm:  I just played on one of Brandon's,  charts.  He did a chart, of hallelujah. Yeah. Yeah. And, so I just did an audio version of my part and send it into him. So I expect it it'll be there on which it's a Canadian Brass reunion, 50th year production. So,  Brandon wrote a chart. And so I played on that. 

Robyn Bell: Can't wait to hear that. Okay. Some rapid fire questions for us here to wrap things up.First thing that It comes to mind. I'll get one question for each of you.  And then I've got one question at the end that you both have to answer. Okay. Avis, you go first a day at the museum or a day at Disney 

Avis Romm: A day at Disney. 

Robyn Bell: I'm surprised at that. 

Avis Romm: Disney with my grandchildren. 

Robyn Bell: Yes, of course, because it's no fun by yourself for the grandkids. Right. And museums with grandkids aren't as much fun. Totally. Ron only trumpet players will understand this B flat E flat C or Piccolo trumpet. 

Ronnie Romm: B flat E flat.

Robyn Bell: Okay. You cheated, you cheated. I cheated Chopin or Liszt. 

Avis Romm: Chopin.

Robyn Bell: Yeah, me too. I love it.  Sometimes,  Aza we'll do a Chopin concert  and we'll  put it on the Neel stage and we'll put the piano in the middle and we'll put tables, round tables, just like a salon style concert. Yeah, that's great. Okay. Ron, the Chicago Symphony brass section or the New York Philharmonic brass section 

Ronnie Romm: Chicago Symphony. I love them both. I mean, there's no, because I studied with Bill Vachianno and,   we made a recording this interesting side story to me. It's interesting. Not maybe not to anybody else, but,  the Canadian Brass was going to do a 10 brass set. We were doing a recording with,  double brass quintet, and we started rehearsing with the Chicago Symphony brass section, and we had one rehearsal and then negotiations, for some reason with the record company didn't happen. We ended and we went back and forth and back and forth, back and forth. Kept,  trying to get it to go. Eventually we did the record, but not  with the Chicago Symphony, guys we did it in Berlin, the Berlin Philharmonic brass section called Brass in Berlin. And so for the rehearsal with the Chicago Symphony guys was done in the back room of Reynold Schilke's  place. Okay. Well, and,  I sat right next to Bud. Oh, wow. Okay. For that hour and a half rehearsal 

Robyn Bell: That would  be Bud Herserth, 

Ronnie Romm: Bud Herseth. Yeah. And I sat right next to him and it was one of the best thrilling rehearsals of my life.

Robyn Bell: I can't imagine I would  have so much stress on myself, 

Ronnie Romm:  The other interesting side piece that has nothing to do with that story is that I was freelancing at the Radio City Music Hall playing  in the orchestra,  and I got a call from James Chambers who was the hornist of the New York Philharmonic principal hornist, who had become the personnel manager, who said,  Jimmy Smith got,  ill and we need a sub to come in and play the concert. It's Leonard Bernstein. It's a  Tchaikovsky concert, no rehearsal.  Can you do it? So I had to sub out, which I refused, always refuse to sub out of anything. I know, I,  that was a rule for me. And I called Bob Swan  at the music hall. And I said, Bob, I never do this. You know, me, I never sub out, I got a call from Jimmy Chambers. And before I finished the sentence, he says, go and do it. 

Robyn Bell: Yeah. That might be one. You would break your rule. 

Ronnie Romm: So,  I got to sit next to Bill Vachianno. For that concert Leonard Bernstein conducting. 

Robyn Bell: Wow. What an amazing life. 

Ronnie Romm: It's just, yeah. So anyway, so the question of Chicago Symphony or New York Philharmonic Difficult!.

Robyn Bell: Yeah. I know that's the point is very, very difficult. 

 Avis, oh, this could be tough to perform alongside Ron or to watch him perform as an audience member. 

Avis Romm: Tough. Very tough. Probably can I elaborate a little bit? 

Robyn Bell: Absolutely. Yes. 

Avis Romm: To perform with him, however, to watch him and hear him play always turns my heart. 

Robyn Bell: That is the sweetest thing. 53 years.  Okay. Ron, same sort of question to perform with Aaron or to watch him perform as an audience member,

Ronnie Romm: I think to perform with Aaron. 

Robyn Bell: Yeah. That's pretty special. All three of you make a music together. Okay. Avis, best breakfast place in Sarasota. 

Avis Romm: We went back yesterday to the Village Cafe 

Robyn Bell: In Siesta Key. 

Avis Romm: Yes. 

Robyn Bell: Yes. They've got, they've got good breakfast there. 

Avis Romm: Yes, 

Robyn Bell: Outstanding. Okay. Ron, how many trumpet players does it really take to screw in a light bulb?

Ronnie Romm: None.

Robyn Bell: For those of you listening, you don't know the joke, just Google  the joke and you'll  know why we're asking it. Yes. The world revolves around us. We don't have to screw anything in. Okay. Avis favorite trumpet, solo to play piano for.

 Avis Romm: Doc Stichers arrangement of Rhapsody in Blue. 

Robyn Bell: Oh, wow. Very cool. Especially since it's a piano solo, it like makes you think of the whole piece differently. I bet. 

Avis Romm: Yes, 

Robyn Bell: Very good. Okay. This is for both of you is a very difficult question. I need you to think about it.  Your answer is going to change the world. Roundabouts or stoplights, 

Avis Romm: Stoplights.

Ronnie Romm: I like roundabouts. 

Robyn Bell: That's a man and a woman. Cause I'm like you I'm going to die in  around about giving me a  stop light. 

Ronnie Romm: The focus is,  the point of interest for the stoplight. You don't use the same focus unless you know that someone could run that stoplight.

Robyn Bell: That's a very interesting point. It makes you concentrate her. Yeah. 

Ronnie Romm: Yeah. Round about  in this country, we're looking for the traffic on our left and we're looking for pedestrians across. 

Robyn Bell: Yeah. 

Ronnie Romm: So with the roundabout, but with, a stoplight, you never know whether somebody's drunk or stone or anything or texting, and they're going to run that and,  kill you at least with a roundabout, you stand a half a chance to get the hell out

Robyn Bell:  I asked this question a lot because they've changed so much in downtown Sarasota with the roundabouts in 

Avis Romm: just on the way out here today. 

Robyn Bell: I know. Right. You took 41 here. 

Avis Romm: Yes. 

Robyn Bell: Yeah. Yeah. And  I've been thinking they should put video boards in the middle to kind of show people how to do it. Like, uh, yeah. Cause that's the thing is we don't know how to do it 

Avis Romm: exactly. But then with it being such a major tourist community, even if we're all educated, everyone else is maybe not 

Robyn Bell: sure. And so we have a lot of foreigners here and yeah. Well, that's like, those are great answers and I loved it that you both don't agree on that. Well, congratulations, Ronnie and Avis you are now both officially part of the club. If our listeners want to check out your upcoming performances or your project with the academy, where can they go to follow the two of you? 

Ronnie Romm:

Robyn Bell: Okay, easy enough. And we'll put a link to that in our show notes. So anybody listening on the website can just click. That's my sound effect and go right to your website. Great. 

Avis Romm: Thank you. 

Robyn Bell: What an immense pleasure it's been having both of you on the podcast today? Two of the Suncoast, most amazing musicians who also spawned yet another incredible musician in Aaron who has married a fabulous musician in Sun-Young to finally bring a string player into your clan. You must be so proud of really both of your sons. As I say, time is our most precious commodity, and I greatly appreciate you sharing yours with us today. I'm looking forward to see what all is in store for the retired Ronald Romm, and can't wait to get to a performance of your family very, very soon. Thank you both for sharing your stories with us today. 

Avis Romm: Thank you for having us. 

Ronnie Romm: Thank you very much, Robyn. Thank you.