Well, if your dad was one of the founding trumpet players in the Canadian Brass and your mother is one of the foremost collaborative pianists on the planet, your destiny maybe laid out for you.
Oh, while you're at it, why don't you marry this brilliant violin player you went to doctoral school with at the University of Illinois and move to the Suncoast to make beautiful music together all the rest of your days!
Want to hear how Suncoast music power couple Dr. Aaron Romm and Dr. Sun-Young Gemma Shin got started in music, eventually met and fell in love, and now are a staple in the music communities of Bradenton and Sarasota? Tune in to Part I of the two part series on the Romm families musical gifts to our beloved Suncoast.
Truly, a family of musical royalty.
All that and more on this week's episode of the Suncoast Culture Club.
Come along and join the club!
• Dr. Aaron Romm Website & Facebook & Instagram & Twitter & YouTube
• Aaron Romm Voice Over Website
• Sun-Young Gemma Shin Website & Facebook & Instagram & YouTube
• Romm Family Trio Website & Facebook
• Romm Trumpet Academy Website
• Warburton Trumpets Website & Facebook & Instagram & Twitter & YouTube
• The Pops Orchestra of Bradenton and Sarasota Website & Facebook & Instagram
• Sarasota Orchestra Website & Facebook & Instagram & Twitter & YouTube
• Venice Symphony Website & Facebook & Twitter & YouTube
• Chamber Orchestra of Sarasota Website & Facebook & YouTube
• Jimmy Johns Sandwiches Website & Facebook & Instagram & Twitter & YouTube
• Sung Cho’s Tae Kwon Do Website & Facebook & Twitter
• St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church Website & Facebook & Twitter
• Siesta Key Beach Website & Facebook & Instagram
• St. Armand’s Circle Website & Facebook & Instagram
• Big Olaf Creamery Website & Facebook
• Meaney’s Mini Donuts Facebook
• Café Gabbiano Website & Facebook & Twitter
• Café Baci Website & Facebook & Instagram
• Ssam Bar Korean Restaurant Facebook
• State College of Florida Music Program Website & Facebook & Instagram
• State College of Florida Foundation Website & Facebook & Instagram
Robyn Bell: Today, I'm beginning my very first two part series. How exciting. The Romm family is simply too important to cover in just one episode. So this week I'm excited to have trumpet player and teacher Aaron Romm and his wife violinist Sun-Young Gemma Shin, join us on the podcast. And next week we will visit with Aaron's parents, Ron Romm trumpet player and founding member of the Canadian Brass, and Avis Romm collaborative pianist extraordinary. So Aaron and Sun-Young come to the club.
Aaron Romm: Thank you for having us
Robyn Bell: Now, Aaron, you have a very strong background and history with the Suncoast, and we're going to hear all about that, but let's start with you Sun-Young as my dad would say. You aren't from around here. Are you, you Sun-Young tell us your story. Where are you from? When did you start playing violin? Where did you get your training and how did you end up on the Suncoast of Florida.
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: Oh, it's going to be a long night of stories.
Robyn Bell: That's okay. We got plenty of time.
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: Well, first of all, it's an honor to be here. I've been, thank you for having us. Um, I grew up in Seoul, Korea. Yeah. I started with piano first because my older sister was playing the piano,
Robyn Bell: Oh, peer pressure, sibling rivalry.
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: And then, um, you know, my early on piano teacher was not so understanding of a left-handed student.
Robyn Bell: You're left-handed?
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: I was at the time now. I think I'm, uh, I don't know where I am. I use both.
Robyn Bell: Ambidextrous is our fancy word for that
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: Ambidextrous so, um, my left hand was very loud for the piano playing at the time. And my right hand was very soft, like extremely soft, I guess. Um, so it wasn't that much of a fun experience with that teacher. And then I decided, okay, it's not much for me anymore. And then we happen to have a very wonderful nurturing violin teacher in the same area.
Robyn Bell: Isn't it amazing how one teacher can make such a difference changed your whole course.
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: Yes, completely. And you know, I go to her and I already knew how to play both left and right. Hands, pretty extensively on the piano. And so reading one line, in Suzuki book one, it's just like, yeah,
Robyn Bell: We hear people say that all the time, they start on piano. And then they go to like a band instrument. Like our clarinet player said the same thing here. Our clarinet teacher, he said I already played piano. So when I joined band, I was like, oh, I only have to read one line of music,
Aaron Romm: This is the original purpose of the piano to see who really wanted it. Didn't we go play something else. Right.
Robyn Bell: So you started playing violin. It's one line of music you're hooked.
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: Yeah. Hooked. And the teacher was amazed that I was able to read the notes so fast and I was so amazed at how nurturing and kind she was. So I wanted to do well every time. And so, you know, after each lesson I'll memorize the next three, four tunes without realizing I was memorizing them because it's a lot simpler version of both churning hands, you know? So, um, so that was how it started. And then, um, in junior high, I had a choice of auditioning for this arts junior high school in Korea. And my sister in fact has gone there and my mom and dad were like, nah, we cannot afford to have two musicians in the hall to pay tuition. Well, it's like the lesson, private lesson fees itself, as you know. So
Robyn Bell: she said, some things never changed.
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: They were like, oh, why don't, you know, Sun-Young, you're just good at studying as well. Why don't you just keep up with the studying? And then the violin teacher was very devastated by that. And so when it was time for the audition for that particular high school, within the same foundation, um, the teacher was like, you have to at least take the audition, you know? And so I had to convince my parents and they said, okay, then one year, that's it. And if you don't make it forget about the violin,
Robyn Bell: No pressure there. Where were you? The 13 or 14 at this point
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: In Korea, the high school and junior high school system goes up to seventh through ninth it's junior high and then 10th to 11th. It's high school. So it was ninth grade, I think. Yeah. And I say, okay, well, nothing to lose, you know? So I prepped for the audition. I had a very rough teacher at that point, you know, I switched over and then he was, uh, he was very intense and, uh, I had to work really hard for him and I was always nervous around him. But one day before the audition, he said, you know, you'll make it, don't worry. I just wanted you to get in there, had a, one of the top players so that you'll get along with your peers as well.
Robyn Bell: Nice.
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: Yeah. So that one sentence of compliments throughout one year of studying with it,
Robyn Bell: One sentence of compliments,
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: That got me really comfortable for the audition. And so audition went well. And then, after the high school, I came to the United States because my sister was at Oberlin College. Conservatory of Music.
Robyn Bell: Yeah. Yeah. We talked to a lot of people that go through Oberlin, same thing. Eric Anderson, our clarinet teacher. He went to Oberlin.
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: Oh, it's a beautiful place.
Robyn Bell: That's what he said. You could walk from one side of the campus to the other in five minutes.
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: Uh, with my speed about 15 minutes,
Robyn Bell: but let me, he went there because he said his mother wanted him to dual major really important. And he said that they encouraged that. So did you do a dual major?
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: I think got one major was enough for me. cause I had just came into the country. So I was trying to learn the language and the culture and doing all the readings in English and you know,
Robyn Bell: no, I was about to ask. So because your sister was here, you came your parents supportive of sending both of you off.
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: Yeah. Well, my mom said. I'll send you off only if you go to that school.
Robyn Bell: Okay. So the two of you could be together. And did you speak much English at the time?
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: Not much at that time it was fun.
Robyn Bell: Well, it adds a whole new dimension. Uh, Aza Torshkoeva, one of our piano teachers same, came from Russia to Tampa and was like, I just started watching Friends. That's how she learned English. Yeah.
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: TV shows with the dictionary right next to me, you know? Um, Dawson's Creeks was one of them.
Robyn Bell: hilarious.
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: Yeah. And I was thinking, I got, this is what kids do high school in this country. Completely different than what I had to go through.
Robyn Bell: Right. Totally. So how, how long would you say once you got to Oberlin? How long before you were like comfortable talking in the English language?
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: I think about two years.
Robyn Bell: Okay. Yeah. Um, well, your English is really good.
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: Oh, thank you so much. There are still some words that still bite my tongue. You know, I just go, like I'm not having a good tongue muscle day today.
Robyn Bell: What would be an example of that? What's something that gets you a little tongue tied.
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: What was the MB? MBA is good and be part is good ambidextrous ,
Robyn Bell: ambidextrous
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: ambidextrous . Yeah. And sometimes on my tire days, my R and L's get kinda mixed up within, like for instance, Cole slaw yesterday. was a little tricky the other night. Yeah.
Robyn Bell: That's hard to, first of all, I don't need cabbage, so I never have to say that word, but yeah, that's tough for anyone.
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: Cool. Cause one of them inquires, rounder mouth shape, and then the other one I have to drop that. Bottom part of the mouth, a little low. So Coles law, I think that's yeah.
Robyn Bell: Interesting.
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: Yeah. So I had a good friend who helped me figuring out the pronunciations, you know, so she would show me she was a Korean American, so she was fluent in both language. And then she was showing me, okay, when you're using, you have to, you know, the tongue goes between your teeth, but then the speed of extraction of the tongue, she would say, don't go, you know, it has to be gentle and slow enough to become,
Robyn Bell: And this is something I don't think about. I remember when I was, 17, I went to the Sewanee, Summer Music Festival on Monteagle Mountain. And we had a group of five. I think they were Korean students come over. One was a trumpet player. And so we became friends, but they didn't speak much English. And we became friends and I remember in the lunch hall one day they would serve ice cream. And I said to her and her friends. You scream, ice cream, we all scream for ice cream and they went nuts.
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: That's really good that, yeah,
Robyn Bell: they went nuts. It sort of the whole concept of that, so, yeah. Interesting. Okay. So you were at Oberlin, you finished there, you got a degree?
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: Yes. I got my bachelor's degree there. And then I went to the Chicago area for Northwestern University. Um, my undergrad teacher was perfect for me at the time. I still owe him a lot. You know,
Robyn Bell: Who was that?
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: His name was Greg Fulkerson. He now resides in New York City. Um, and then after that I had an opportunity to study with Almeida and Roland famous up in Chicago at Northwestern University. Um, I had my master's degree there and then also they had another degree that's equivalent of artist's diploma, which is called performance certificate. So I had the honor of doing both study degrees, working with them. And then after that, I went to the University of Illinois to study with the Pacifica Quartet and that's where Aaron and I met.
Robyn Bell: Okay. And you finished it, did you? That was for a doctor, like a doctorate in musical arts and you finished that degree as well. Okay. So two doctors sitting here with three doctors in this room. I know. Does anybody need a prescription today? I'm going to send you to Dr. Aaron Romm for that. Well, that's cool. and all the, while you're doing this on a student visa. Okay. So how was that process?
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: I think that's also one of the reasons I ended up collecting more degrees than I, in honesty, you know, which all helped because, um, during my doctoral studies, I was just thinking, okay, you know what I do next? Right? Um, after a coursework, my teacher at the time Simien, connatural the first violence of the Pacifica Quartet. She gave me this brochure, uh, of a job application. It was a fellowship program in Alabama. And she said, I know enough people that's gone through this program. I they're all very fabulous violinists and I want you to apply for it. And it was in Montgomery, Alabama. And I was like, okay, all right. So it was after the coursework and sent it in. I got lucky to get that position.
Robyn Bell: Yeah. That's that program through the Montgomery Symphony, right? Yes. I'm familiar with that.
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: It's very wonderful program. Like,
Robyn Bell: yeah. Natalie Helm, the cellist in the orchestra. She went through that as well.
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: I did. Yeah. So I was in Alabama for a couple of years. Oddly enough, my first question, what the, uh, lady who helped me showing the town around. I said, like, she asked me, what do you think? You know, what do you think about this town like, I think it's nice. I mean, like, is there a Korean grocery? I need to just need one Korean grocery and little as I knew at the time the Hyundai factory was right there. Yeah. And during my two year residency there, they built a Kia factory in between Georgia and Alabama. So, oh boy, the selection and choices of the Korean food that I could have.
Robyn Bell: Oh, it exploded a bit, right.
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: It was fun. , it was more fun than I had expected to be. The job was wonderful as well.
Robyn Bell: You were in Montgomery after Illinois.
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: Between my coursework and then finishing the rest of the doctoral.
Robyn Bell: Okay. But while you're at the University of Illinois, that's where you meet Aaron.
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: Actually, that was after I came back from Alabama. Yeah. And so coursework, and then I was away for two years and I had to decide whether to go back to campus or not because I already had enough work stuff going on in Alabama. And then knowing my personal tendency, I figured I will never finish if I don't get back to the campus. So I. Made the jump of going back to the campus. And then that's where I met Aaron, which was a good choice, obviously.
Robyn Bell: Yes. Sometimes fate plays its part. So that's a good segue. Aaron, we know that you guys met at the University of Illinois. So at some point you ended up there, but full disclosure, your dad's trumpet royalty, Ronald Romm, right? A founding member of the Canadian Brass soon to be retired trumpet teacher at University of Illinois and your mom Avis Romm world-class collaborative pianist. So was there ever any talk of you like just being a mechanical engineer or something?
Aaron Romm: Um, you know, I think one of my teachers in middle school, I had approached them one day and said, you know, Aaron would be great as a mediator.
Robyn Bell: A mediator,
Aaron Romm: you'd be a great mediator. And, you know, I, from a financial perspective, yeah. I probably would be pretty good at that. Um, but, no, I think the, creative side of, of the arts, you know, it was more like, We're in good company here. Right? Um, that was, that was where my heart has always been. But in terms of, um, you know, helping people that's, that's, that's also a plus too.
Robyn Bell: Sure. Well, we'll tell us your, your life story kind of up to this point. When did you start playing the trumpet? Where did you go to college and where is your favorite college to teach at?
Aaron Romm: Ooh,
Robyn Bell: that's a loaded question.
Aaron Romm: The State College of Florida. If you haven't heard, just built this beautiful new facility and, uh, Dr. Bell here , has been heading up so many wonderful programs here that I'm honored to be.
Robyn Bell: Well, we're glad to have you. And we're soon gonna add Sun-Young till the faculty roster. So we're so excited. You double your SCF salary.
Aaron Romm: Oh, we don't do this for the money anyway. So, let's talk about me now.
Robyn Bell: Yes.
Aaron Romm: So, , it's funny, at least funny to me, growing up. We would occasionally go to Canadian Brass concerts. Right. And at this point we have to say, Ronnie Romm is a former and founding member. Of the Canadian Brass. Yeah. we would occasionally go, to the conscience and, you know, I grew up thinking that this is just what dad did. Right. They never made a big deal about it. It was not a, um, you know, something to say like, well, my dad does this. It was always just like, Hey, dad has to go to work. He's going to be back in a couple of weeks. And this is what he does. And so I, I grew up with this idea of like, it's just dad. Right. And it wasn't until I got to playing actually in the, uh, But at the time it was a Florida west coast, youth symphony, but the other trumpet player in the band was, was like, wait, your name is Romm. Are you related to Ronnie Romm? I was like, yeah, he's my dad. I was like, huh,
Robyn Bell: no, it was in that moment. You said, oh, my dad might be a big deal.
Aaron Romm: Right. Kind of like that. Yeah. Yeah. So I though, of course I had to play the Ronnie Romm card anytime.
Robyn Bell: Yeah. Yeah. It's a big card.
Aaron Romm: Yeah. So I started in the band program at, uh, at, at that time outdoor academy. Um, you know, mom and dad believe and still do very strongly in a really good education. So they were able to send my brother and I to outdoor academy.
Robyn Bell: Okay. Well, let me, back you up just a minute, cause I want to know how Avis and Ron and I'm sure they'll tell us next week in part two, but. Were you born in sarasota?
Aaron Romm: No, I was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canadian. Okay.
Robyn Bell: Okay. So how old were you when the family moved here?
Aaron Romm: Five. I was five years old. I said, mom, dad, I'm tired of these winters, get outta here. And so they said, let's leave it now at the time, I think, taxes in Canada were, pretty steep. And, what they found was that, uh, at the time, one of the members of the Canadian Brass, by the name of Dave Ohanian, I think, uh, had his parents lived here and they happen to play the Van Wezel I believe if I'm getting the story right, I'm sure dad will correct this if I get it wrong, uh, next week, but they're playing at the Van Wezel. And, uh, they, they were looking around and said like this, this area is beautiful. So I think that the base of operations of the Canadian Brass was actually for about a year, here in Sarasota. And so we ended up moving down here and, I think part of it, my brothers and my, it wasn't bad health necessarily, but in terms of like allergies and things like that, the weather in Canada was pretty, this is pretty brutal. So we, um, yeah, it turns out everybody comes here for the weather, so, yeah.
Robyn Bell: And the arts. Yeah.
Aaron Romm: So, when we moved down here and, and, uh, I grew up in, in, uh, at the outdoor academy and they were just starting a band program at that time. And those of you listening in the area, uh, if you know the name, Victor Mongillo, he was the first band director, at outdoor academy, of course, the music program with Linda Vasa Lockie hadn't hadn't had been there for, uh, many years before that. And she's been great. Um,
Robyn Bell: still there,
Aaron Romm: still there. Yeah. Amazing. Yeah. And so, you know, with, with that, just having a really nice, group of mentors they know right from the beginning, so, yeah.
Robyn Bell: Okay. So you sign up for band, right? Maybe sixth grade,
Aaron Romm: fourth grade,
Robyn Bell: fourth grade,
Aaron Romm: fourth grade. And actually, this is a funny, story though. I think I meant to tell this earlier, um, they, you know, Victor sends out a message to all the parents and he says, We're starting a band. If your child would like to try out a certain instrument, come by, let me know and we'll, we'll figure it out. I'm sure it's worded more eloquently than that. But I marched into, my parents and said, mom, dad, I want to play the, and I, and I know they're like, oh no. I said, I want to play the tuba. And they're like, oh,
Robyn Bell: where'd that come from?
Aaron Romm: Where'd that come from? So dad says to me, and not that he had any ulterior motive, I think he was just, you know, reasoning about it. This you don't Chuck in the Canadian Brass is yeah. He says he plays the tuba. I said, yeah. So you know how, every time we go to a concert, he has to carry that big case around with him. Said. Yeah. Just do you want to do that? No,
Robyn Bell: that's all it took.
Aaron Romm: So I like to call myself even to this day, selectively lazy we'll know. will also say that we've talked about efficiency being also a selective laziness anyway, so, it was kind of the start and, of course I had the trumpet bug, but I wasn't, it was just kind of something we did. And it didn't really, you know, think of it as, as a career path until later, you know, everybody's applying to college and saying like, Hey, what are you going to do with your life? And it's like, well, I'm not very good at math. Maybe I'll play the trumpet. And you know, that, that I say that joking, um, with, with the idea that I knew how much it took, but saying like, well, this is, um, I feel like I'm farther along in this. Than I am in anything else that I would want to do.
Robyn Bell: Okay. I have a quick question. When you started trumpet in fourth grade, did they go out and rent you like a beginner trumpet or do your dad said I got eight trumpets here. Just play this one
Aaron Romm: more. The second one. Yeah.
Robyn Bell: Okay. I thought so.
Aaron Romm: And so, yeah. You know, one of the things of, that is, having those resources, um, I will say that, yes, I I've worked really, really hard just like everybody else. But, having a concept of sound right, right.
Robyn Bell: Cause your dad would practice at home. You would hear that and yeah.
Aaron Romm: And so, hearing those sounds and, from what a brass ensemble can sound like. And, and also from, a performance perspective, you know, what that feeling of, the communication between performer and audience can be, growing up around that was a really, really powerful thing. And so I didn't really think of it until much later that like, oh, that's something that you do as a. No career. Right. Okay. So ended up applying to a few, few different schools and I ended up going to, Vanderbilt University. The, Harvard of the South the Commodores.
Robyn Bell: So before we get to Vanderbilt, you stayed at outdoor academy, graduated from there, right. And when did you, you said you were in the youth orchestra, which was then the Florida west coast symphony. Now Sarasota. Orchestra. Where you like in the all-state band, did you take private lessons? That kind of thing?
Aaron Romm: It was never in the Allstate band? , cause I started practicing and stuff really intently very late. Okay. Yeah. I was always into, in, into other things, but, um, I did take private lessons and at the time, um, his dad was on tour a lot and I think they, mom and dad also wanted to make sure that we S we still had a good relationship with our family. So they didn't want to say like, Hey, I'll teach you. Right. Uh, they, they wanted to make sure that I enjoyed it first. And it was a passion.
Robyn Bell: You entered Vanderbilt as a performance major,
Aaron Romm: uh, yeah, performance major. And, before that I was actually studying and he's passed away now, but, Bernard Edelstein was, here, in town, and. That was one of those things where I think at the time he was very much used to working with the best of the best students. And I was no superstar at that time. I was just getting it going and I worked really hard. Uh, but you know, it wasn't, you know, making up for a lot of where a lot of other students would have been really cracking habits and since the very beginning. Sure. And so I, I never, you know, I made the joke earlier about the, the Ronnie Romm card. I never wanted to ever use that, you know, because I'm not him, you know, and he's not me, I'm not him. And, and it's, it's more about like, Hey, um, he's a great guy and we should all aspire to to play like him and, be like him as a colleague and a human being. Um, but I'm not him. And, um, you know, I'll try and sound like him because that's pretty cool thing, but yeah. But, , even then that's still a tall order. So anyway, um, I studied with Alan Cox at Vanderbilt University. And
Robyn Bell: you might not know this when I was at the Swanee summer music festival. Alan Cox was my private teacher. Yep.
Aaron Romm: So he was, he was a mentor and still is to this day. And he was a right teacher at that time. Uh, for, for me, he knew where he needed to meet me, to get me to, build the skills necessary to, play in any ensemble. And so that was, a really positive time at, Vanderbilt. You know, I initially that my brother was there too, so kind of in the same way as Sun-Young, right. Um, our siblings being there for my brother's, like you should apply to Vanderbilt. Okay. So I did
Robyn Bell: say that's a big tuition bill to two people there.
Aaron Romm: Yeah. And, uh, so yeah,
Robyn Bell: Your dad at the time, was he teaching in University of Illinois? Yeah,
Aaron Romm: because yeah. So dad retired from the, Canadian Brass in 2000, I believe. And, uh, after 29 years. And he started teaching at U of I, in 2001
Robyn Bell: while still located in Sarasota. Yeah. So he would be traveled there,
Aaron Romm: travel there. And actually at that time he had taken over a solo tour, from another trumpet player who got somewhere else. I can't remember exactly how it worked out, but he was doing a solo tour with, with my mom. Um, Whilst doing all that. So he was, I don't think he, he saw a home for like months at a time. Right. Um, but anyways, so yeah, he, was teaching there and I said, you know, that was the other place I was looking at to, to go study. It's like, well, do I study with. Dad and, um, Dr. Michael, you all, was there he, he, he grew up in the LA, uh, freelance scene around a few years after my dad. And, uh, he apparently played on the Rocky four soundtrack. Cool. Yeah, I know. So I grew up watching those movies and like, I find it it's like. That was you. So it was really exciting, but, uh, anyway, so my first year at Illinois, uh, the sadly youth, cause he's like an uncle to me, um, uh, he passed away, uh, I believe it was liver cancer. And, and so I was the TA, that was my first experience, really teaching as a master's student as a master's student. And it's like, well, what are we doing now? You know, so, and so a lot was left on dad's shoulders. So, um, you know, as everybody was, was figuring out, uh, kind of the, the dynamics of what happens when there's a major change in a two professor trumpet studio. So, at the end of the masters, I said to myself, you know, um, I need more time. Hmm. I, I, there's a lot that I want to accomplish in for trumpet wise any more time. So I think, okay. Performance certificate or artist diploma, or, um, maybe, uh, I'll start the coursework for the DMA and, continue to, work
Robyn Bell: For our listeners out there. DMA in music is like a PhD. So it's a doctorate of musical arts. And instead of writing a big research paper, you write a small research paper, but your big project is a recital. So it's a performance degree. Yeah.
Aaron Romm: Yeah. And so, at the time there was some changeover in the professors. And, I studied with, uh, the Jake Walburn and, uh, and then later on Charles Deval who, um, it was still,
Robyn Bell: so did they purposely try to keep you from take taking lessons with your dad?
Aaron Romm: they didn't, they didn't. I did. I did because the longer I was in it, the more I worked professionally, the more I realized that, You can do this gracefully without a target on your back, or you can make the target really big by saying, oh, I'm Ronnie Romm's son.
Robyn Bell: He is my teacher. And yeah, I totally see that.
Aaron Romm: I try to mitigate that , as much as I could, but, I was in his lesson section for a little while, but towards the end, when it came time to do the qualifying exams and final, scary stuff, all three of us remember, or try to forget, um, that I was studying with, professor Deval. But before I went to Illinois, I had a chance to study abroad and, so I spent a semester in Vienna, Austria starting with Carol John Reinhart. And, she was, one of the. Big female trumpet, soloists of the, 1960s, seventies, and a wonderful, wonderful player. Wonderful lady. And, I learned a lot about, what happens when you, have kind of a preconceived notion of what we want to do, right? And, so when the realities of things come in, cause I was thinking I want to be a soloist you know, let's let's study with, with a soloist and realizing how much extra goes into that. You know, from someone who's done it and made their mark, wow. You know, hats off to you. So she was wonderful and, very, very patient with me, I should say as well. But, anyway, when I came back to the states, um, having picked up surprisingly very well, a little German that
Robyn Bell: was about to ask. Yeah, because everybody speaks english,
Aaron Romm: they ended up with me. I don't think they wanted to hear me attempt to 10 Germany anymore than, than I could. But anyway, that's where, in the doctoral degree, I met Sun-Young, uh, Cantata 51. We got, a call to play Cantata 51. And, uh, for those listening, we, trumpet players liked to call it a trumpet feature, but it's, it's really not. It's just. an accompanimental role for the singers
Robyn Bell: just makes us feel better. It's a trumpet features,
Aaron Romm: but feature. Um, but now I got to play in a, chamber orchestra and that's where Sun-Young. And I met, she was driving to, the first rehearsal and I get this text and says, hi, you planning to drive I'll drive? So I said, okay, we'll, another, uh, violinst actually from Sarasota. Interestingly enough, that was studying there too. Hopped in the car. And we went there and, we headed off, I think. It's been, a wonderful friend, of course, you know?
Robyn Bell: Yeah. You became friends before you started dating. Yeah. And who asked who out?
Aaron Romm: I think we're both going to have different answers on this one, but whatever it is, hers is the right answer.
Robyn Bell: That's the secret to a successful marriage?
Aaron Romm: Yes, yes. I learned that one earlier, but, uh, anyway, so let's continue talking about me and after I finished, after I finished there, I ended up moving down here. And what was it? 2015, I believe. And, um,
Robyn Bell: were you still at, yeah, it
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: was still in Illinois.
Aaron Romm: Yeah. So, uh, we, we both, while we're still in Illinois, we both had the opportunity to teach at Illinois State University.
Robyn Bell: That's where, you know, Amy Gilreath from. Yeah.
Aaron Romm: Yeah. Um, she is another, another friend and mentor. Um, I don't know how she does what she does on the trumpet. She's amazing.
Robyn Bell: Amazing. And it was a great connection you made between she and I, when we brought the Stiletto Brass here for the Pops and the college. So that was great. We're still friends to this day.
Aaron Romm: I'm glad that that worked out so well. And they're just wonderful, wonderful people. So, I finished up there and saying like, Al I could at that time, and I'm going to be very, very old honesty or for, for, uh, for you and listening to, I was so, um, quite frankly, beaten down after the, and this isn't because of anything anybody said at the university, this is my own perception of it. Um, at the time I say hindsight is 2020, but I was so beaten down the trumpet was no longer fun. And I, I was this close and I'm holding up my fingers for those listening about, uh, half inch or so, putting the trumpet down and saying, you know, um, my brother's working in Orlando. Um, uh, he works in clinical research. He's doing some really important things. I might see if I can join him. And I said, you know, but that's, that's leaving the trumpet non on my terms. And so I said, okay, you just did your thesis on the Canadian Brass and how they started. Why don't you do what they did, model what they did and figure it out and see if you can at least make it fun before you move on. And so I started putting together a one man show, for schools and, you know, 40 minutes of just you, you know, in a trumpet, in a bunch of trumpets like, I gotta tell you Robyn, and I'm sure you could probably guess, but the, uh, the first few shows were dismal failures, just awful practice. It takes some practice and, I was willing to go through that right. And saying like, okay, you got to figure this out because you, as soon as you do that, even though that first one was not as effective as we know that we could be later on, I got the bug and I'm going to do this. And, so I, I ended up doing that and, kind of touring throughout Illinois. Uh, it was a really, really powerful thing to go back to why we started doing what we do and why we continue. Yeah. And so concurrently with that, a buddy of mine, uh, was a bass trombonist. Now lives in the St. Louis area plays with the symphony every once in a while. , he said, Hey, I'm forming a group. And it's going to be three trombones and two trumpets, which there's very little repertoire written for expressly that instrumentation. So we ended up building it. We, created a quintet. We were grant funded to do a series of school concerts with our own special curriculum, throughout Illinois. And, you know, those are really, really powerful way for us to say like, Hey, we're doing something that nobody else is doing right now. We tend to think of the brass quintet as something we just do. We kind of tend to take it for granted in a way, but knowing what dad did. I had a bit of a leg up saying like, okay, I know the background, what we see now on Instagram is this, all this amazing stuff and everybody looks really cool on stage and the lights are there. What they don't know is that the years of struggle behind to get that to where it is. So somebody else can, have that spotlight. and no, I don't mean that in a negative way. I mean that, and that's just the way it is, you know, with every enterprise, there's a lot of struggle at the very, very beginning. So we went through that and that was a really powerful thing. And then all of us, you know, we decided saying like, well, how far do we want to take this? How far can we take this? Everybody finishing grad school, we tend to have chips on our shoulders, right. Like, well, I have this degree, I have that degree. I can do that. Um, but saying, okay, what's the actual impact we want to have? And then there's also the idea of, Hey, I got to pay my bills, right?
Robyn Bell: Oh yeah. There's that?
Aaron Romm: So we, we can't live in the accidentally elitist idea of, of just for the art only for the art and, doing that without being able to eat. So, yeah, we ended up, putting that on hold while we all ended up taking different jobs and I ended up, Very fortunately building a relationship with the Warburton music products company. , and I became an artist and that was something I never expected would what happened at the time, I guess I didn't really believe that I could and it happens and I'm like, okay, so let's work with, this is there's another opportunity to make a positive impact that way. So I've been very fortunate to, work with the company and have some pretty high profile performances, uh, internationally. And that's not to toot my own horn. Ha ha. But to say the people have been very kind and trusting of me to represent. Them. And I appreciate that. I'll always be indebted to them for that. And plus they make great stuff. So buy it. Um, anyways, so
Robyn Bell: we'll put a link to that in the show notes.
Aaron Romm: There you go. There you go. Warburton music products, product placement. Um, but anyway, so, you know, it's, it's, it's been a really fun ride so far over the last 97 minutes that I've been blistering on about, sorry. Um, but thus far, and I'm excited to see where we're at.
Robyn Bell: You come back to Sarasota and. Sun-Young, are you still in Illinois finishing up?
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: I've already finished. And then I stayed in the area to continue with the teaching and performing.
Robyn Bell: And at some point you to decide, we can't live apart like this let's make a union and you came down to beautiful Sarasota.
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: That's pretty much what had happened.
Robyn Bell: Put a bow around that, wrap it up.
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: Yeah, the last job I had before or coming down was teaching at the Illinois Wesleyan university, which was another wonderful institution. And, um, he was down here. I think I remember this. I was, doing an adjudicating job in Alabama. Uh, for the blocks loss and competition, one time there was the winter before we officially started dating, you know, um, and I was there and then I met this, another wonderful trumpeter as part of the judges. And then, you know, we just FaceTimed and I was like, look, I met this person. They know, she says hi to you guys and blah, blah, blah. And then, um, I think to me that was kind of like we're friends, but this is friends, but, huh. You know,
Robyn Bell: there could be more here to this. Yeah.
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: Yeah. Huh. Okay. Um, and that summer was a summer that I had gone home to Korea for the first time in awhile. It was really interesting. Aaron is always great at knowing when to contact me, even if he had not, you know, we were not on the phone every day, you know? Um, it was. The day before my departure coming back to the states and he. Messaged me. He's like, Hey, I'm going to be in the area for the teaching at the summer Institute that we had at the university of Illinois, you know, would you be in town? Would you be teaching this time as well? You know, you want to get together and, and he's always so polite and formal he's like, but just in case if you're seeing anybody, yeah. You don't want any trouble.
Robyn Bell: Yeah. Yeah. SmartAaron. Very smart.
Aaron Romm: Let me know where they are
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: literally the day before my travel back. And then I was like, okay. Um, so we met and then we had an, was it a lunch or dinner?
Aaron Romm: It was the, uh, The, the cuisine of Jimmy John's. Is it the time that made it past the film? Why don't we,
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: you know, Jimmy Johnson Champaigne, Illinois is really great because, um, did you know that the headquarter of Jimmy John's is in Champaigne?
Robyn Bell: No, I did not know that.
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: Okay. Yeah. I
Aaron Romm: heard it gets out of the way, the delivery drivers. It's amazing.
Robyn Bell: I have a feeling I know where we're going for lunch today,
Aaron Romm: the gentleman jimmy. Anyway.
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: So, I've actually had the fun time working with one of the, executives of Jimmy John's their children as well.
Robyn Bell: Teaching them
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: yeah, teaching them. Yeah. That's how I learned about how Jimmy Johns. They work, you know, how, meticulous they are with training their trainees and, you know, um, yeah.
Robyn Bell: And so you start dating, you say all of this could be like a forever thing. And do I remember you actually got married in Korea?
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: No, actually we just got married in Sarasota area,
Robyn Bell: You know what I'm remembering is you went to yes. You proposed in Korea.
Aaron Romm: Yeah. Yeah. I figured I had not met her parents and I was thinking to myself, I was like, look, if I were her father I'd want to know. This dude that,
Robyn Bell: yeah, you're going to support my daughter playing trumpet.
Aaron Romm: Wait, who is this? This, this clown. You know, in my own mind, I was thinking like that. That's how I would want to be treated as a father. Um, and saying like, just, just to meet, even though I couldn't speak a language there, once again, they're very patient with her. I guess people tend to be very patiently, including you, Robyn. You've been so patient with me this entire time. Thank you.
Robyn Bell: Hold on. You have a question because do your parents speak English?
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: Uh, not really.
Robyn Bell: Okay. So that was a huge barrier to you. Yeah. Asking for his daughter's hand in marriage.
Aaron Romm: Yeah, there was certainly an opportunity for me to butcher the Korean language, somewhere in there, but I grew up studying TaeKwonDo, right down on Bee Ridge Sung-Cho's TaeKwonDo, and I owed them a lot that family, because they've always treated me like family. And, so I asked, the grandmasters Sung Cho what do I say? What do I say? So there's a process of doing this big bow you get down off the big bow and out of, respect. And I'm pretty sure he told me what to say, and I butchered that horribly horribly, but, her sister actually came to my aid. , I said like, is this? Right when I'm supposed to say. And so I'm reading my phonetic cue sheet off of Facebook messenger at the time. So I'm kind of like half making eye contact, looking down, you know,
Robyn Bell: making a great effort. I'm sure it was appreciated.
Aaron Romm: I hope so. But, um, yeah.
Robyn Bell: Where were your parents able to come over to Sarasota for the wedding? Oh, nice.
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: So, you know, what he did was, he came out to Korea and then, he was the most appropriate person you could ever imagine. And, I was. Deeply touched by the effort. Yeah. Um, so they weren't expecting that big bow coming from him. Right. And then he's like, wait, wait, wait. You know, and he did that and they were like, oh, what's going on here? And then, you know, um, also the way how he asked for their permission was he had me a go way to a different room. He said, you cannot be here. You cannot be here. I got to talk to your parents. And I'm like, I
Robyn Bell: know this was coming
Aaron Romm: in her own home. I told her to go to the other room.
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: Well, I kinda knew that what he had planned on, but I didn't know in what methods, like how he was going to do that, you know, I did not know that he had reached out to my sister for the phonetic sentences and wordings and,
Robyn Bell: that's a really sweet story.
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: Yeah, yeah, yeah. And then after that, he said, okay, we had to go to a different part of Seoul, like, that afternoon.
Aaron Romm: Oh, yeah. So Warburton has distributors in Seoul and I figured like, well, I'm there because it's not very often that they said like, well, I'm here. I'll go visit them. So brilliantly I plan a meeting with these distributors on the same day that I proposed. Right. So there's a, I know, I know, brilliant, brilliant thinking. It's just like, yeah. It seemed like a good idea at the time
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: Packed scheduled to begin with, because we had a recital.
Robyn Bell: Okay.
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: And then we had him do a masterclass for one of my classmates, trumpet studio. And then maybe this was like two days before our return to the United States. Right. And then we had scheduled those meetings with the distributors and they, in the morning, first thing he did was asking. Talking to my parents. And then after that, you know, in Korea, it's beautiful. What, so many mountains and so many hiking paths. And we would go on my hiking every morning with my dog at the time. And he would say, okay, well, let's go hiking. And I'm like, kind of looking at the time. I was like, I don't know if we have enough time.
Robyn Bell: You weren't going to ruin this for him. Get dressed, put your shoes on, go.
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: I was like,
Robyn Bell: that's hilarious.
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: We're going to go fast and we're going to, okay. So we go across the street, which was a shorter path. And then I'm seeing him walking far ahead of me. Usually he wouldn't do that. You know, he would always walk with me and he's kind of looking around and say, let's go to the different path, which is behind the house. You know, if I were one of the biggest temples in the country is right. And then we go up and up and up and to the point that I was like, it was in the area that had never been to because it was so high up. And then the air was completely different. You can even feel. The cloud, like, you feel like you can touch them, you know? And it was gorgeous. It was beautiful. It's like never been here. They go. You got to watch your steps because it could be the movie, like the movie story. And then that's where he turned around here. It's like he nodded to himself. And then that's when he asked me, I was like, Okay. I know we're trying to reach out to the family members to call it. Of course we're not getting the reception because you are so high.
Aaron Romm: We're in the stratosphere there.
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: Okay. We're going to run now deal.
Robyn Bell: Okay. We're done. Let's go onto the next thing. Perfect. Yeah. Check mark. That's so funny.
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: It was the part of the Korea trip. And, , that's probably why it made you think that, , we also had a wedding in Korea as well,
Robyn Bell: because I followed all this stuff on Facebook, so you had to, then you get married. You're in Sarasota. You've got to find a way to make a career here.
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: Wedding was end of September. Um, my moving was beginning of August and I was teaching until the last of July with all my students. So moving was. I don't know how I packed my stuff. And Aaron came out to help. And a couple of my friends in Champaign, Illinois, they came and helped.
Robyn Bell: When you first came to Sarasota to visit, you were like, wow, this place is great.
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: Yeah. It was very unthinkable, unimaginable weather to begin with. I practically, other than the two years in Montgomery, Alabama, my whole life in the United States was in the Midwest.
Robyn Bell: It gets bitter cold.
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: Well, my car got ditched in the middle of the median with the snow on the way to the performance, you know,
Robyn Bell: going to happen here. A hurricane might take your car away, but yeah,
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: so the trips were wonderful. It was very short often times because we will try to work with the allegiance schedule on the weekend flights and down and in between both our performance in teaching and stuff. It was just like, bam, bam, bam. One thing after another, you know,
Robyn Bell: it's almost too frantic to even worry about getting it done. You just get it done. Right. I know that feeling
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: until. May I taught at Wesleyan university and my private students have 20 some students. And then I continue with the private students until the end of July and movers decided to come a few days early.
Robyn Bell: Yeah. Mover showed up too early.
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: Yeah. Mover wanted to, I just wanted to show up like about three days earlier. So which made my packing days three days shorter. Right. So it was a chaotic process. And then we drove down with my cat, who was yelling a lot of times,
Robyn Bell: not happy cats don't like that.
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: Yeah. But I kept on telling him to like, cause I got him in Alabama. Right. So I said, come on, boy, you know, we're going back to the South again, this is different kind of South, but yeah. So that happened. And then wedding was end of September. And so I was trying to organize everything. In an area that I don't know too well. Right. Cause yeah. But it was really wonderful, you know, we had great help along the way and it was just the perfect as the way we wanted it to be, you know, I I'm a big fan of smaller weddings. Yeah. So,
Robyn Bell: yeah. Cause I wasn't invited, so I'm sure it was probably very easy if you only knew the wonderful wedding gifts I give. No, I'm kidding. I'm kidding. Yeah. Well, I don't like to brag. So you got married, you're starting your career here and it's been really nice to see you both, Aaron, when you came, you started teaching for us, but there was a lot of, well, what do I do now? What do I do now? And I've just watched both of your careers take off here. So tell us as active music makers here on the Suncoast, we're all. Are you playing? Where are you employed?
Aaron Romm: So, um, that actually,
Robyn Bell: cause you got a piece of a lot of this together, right?
Aaron Romm: Yeah. Piecing it together. And also with, COVID because the musicians is as a whole over the last year and a half have been everywhere and nowhere. And I don't mean that as a joke. I mean, that's a, it's been a really challenging time I think for, for everybody. But, the way that we viewed that as actually as a chance to build those projects that we've been wanting to build, but didn't have time for it before. Pre COVID, I I've been fortunate enough to be, an active, substitute trumpet with the Sarasota Orchestra and, as well with the Venice Symphony, and playing chamber music everywhere. Right. And, before the Romm Trio, of course, with my parents, we were, we were traveling a fair amount before, the shutdown. And, with that juggling, it. I don't know, but, but you Robyn, but in the moment I feel like, it's tough not to say, oh man, look like nothing's going on right now. But then you look at the calendar over the past year and say like, wow, holy beans. I've done a lot.
Robyn Bell: Yeah. And how did I actually fit it all in?
Aaron Romm: Right. Let me correct that by saying like, my version of a lot is very different than your version a lot, Robyn, because you, do everything. It's, it's, um,
Robyn Bell: I'm a chaos addict,
Aaron Romm: but you accomplish it. There's a difference with
Robyn Bell: some would argue, but I try. Yeah.
Aaron Romm: And you'd do it. So since that time, since moving down, , Sun-Young has been able to play with, a bunch of different groups, Venice Symphony as well. But you know, when the shutdown happened, we were very fortunate to be able to play, when all the services at St. Michael's Catholic church on Siesta Key, they were livestreaming everything and nobody was there, but, we've been very fortunate to be, playing there pretty much every week, since, right after.
Robyn Bell: Very nice. And then Sun-Young, you have a new concert series that's been started, right? St. Boniface?
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: Yeah, Saint Boniface has a Wednesday quarantine, a concert series. They've started, they launched it since the pandemic shut down that it will be live streamed and it started. From last year's either March or April, and then it was ongoing. And I had the honor of playing a couple of them recently. So first one was with my mostly regular violin. And the second one was the Baroque violin on my profilin. So it was a fun, fun experience too.
Robyn Bell: Yeah. And then Aaron, of course we saw you play with the Sarasota Orchestra brass quintet, and we saw that performance at GT Bray, but I know you, yeah, it was great. But you played it a lot at different places with that group.
Aaron Romm: Yeah. I'm very fortunate to be able to play, especially where, I grew up, you know, not only like location-wise, but musically it's home brass quintet is home, so yeah, it's been, good. When we focus on, more of the idea of like what it is that we really want to be doing versus what's not happening.
Robyn Bell: Right. Yeah.
Aaron Romm: You tend to find more of that stuff.
Robyn Bell: Cause you guys remember, I think right before the shutdown, I actually hired you both to play with my Pops Orchestra when we, well, we did the, you know, the, the, we played at Patriot Plaza, President's day for a big, kind of the history of the American flag thing. And that was so cool finally, to get, to make music with you and, and Aaron, you know, it was like, no worries. There's Aaron in the back of the trumpet section. Cause it was kind of a hard book to follow. You know, it was an hour show that never stopped and my arm fell off at the end, but it wasn't long after that when the world shut down. But it sounds like you two stayed really busy as busy as you probably could.
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: It was a good experience in a way. I try to think of the positive side of everything, you know, cause otherwise it just gets too difficult. Right. And every day is full of good and bad things.
Robyn Bell: Right.
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: So you decide to choose which direction to look and think about. Right. For me it was nice because it was finally time to be a little more settled and get used to the new environment
Robyn Bell: because you hadn't been married all that long.
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: Right. It's been a little over a year at this point, but a year and a half year. Um, yeah. So,
Robyn Bell: and then you're like, oh, we got to spend 24 hours, seven days a week together. Well, I didn't sign up for that. No I'm teasing..
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: Well, you know, right after the wedding and , we all were working even like until a few days before the wedding too. So we were coaching at high schools in the areas, Performing and you know, everything that everybody does. And, finally got to sit down a little bit and calm down the nerve of the roller of busy hectic
Robyn Bell: it. The first two weeks was actually kind of nice. This is, I think I'll watch a Netflix show and maybe read this magazine. That's been sitting here for six month. Yeah. And then it was like, I'm sure you're like me, like I had to get busy doing something.
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: Right.
Robyn Bell: Yeah.
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: And the, seeing the calendar being kind of like empty when things were like hourly scheduled
Robyn Bell: to the minute. Yes.
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: Yeah. And, you know, really luckily and thankfully to St. Michael's the Archangel Catholic church in Siesta Key because they figured out what to do with the Zoom. Right. And I think it was the Sunday after, or the second Sunday after the Easter. Right after that, they asked us, because of the streaming service that they were trying to figure out, everybody was trying to figure out how to do the streaming services at the time. And then they've discovered that the parishioners have to log in. Earlier enough so that they will not deal with the traffic right. At the beginning of the mass hour. So our father, realized, wait, what are they going to do? Just staring at the screen.
Robyn Bell: They need music.
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: You need music. Yeah. So Father Michael said, yeah, um, can you and Aaron create about 20, 25 minutes of recital program so that
Robyn Bell: every week,
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: every week our parishioner can. Watch you guys and listen to you guys instead of just sitting there staring at the empty screen, he was like, of course we'll pay you, but it's just like performance opportunity. You know, it was really weird because the first few weeks I almost felt like I forgot how to stand and play the way my muscles, my standing leg muscles, my back muscles, everything was just kind of like, oh, you know? Um, yeah,
Robyn Bell: but what a neat opportunity for the two of you to develop every week, 20 minute recital, just the two of you. So cool.
Aaron Romm: That's, been a really great time for, and I don't mean to make it seem like we're making light of any of all, the horror that's gone on around the world, but the, you know, when we're, staying. In indoors. Yeah. We, do stuff and we, had that chance to put that together, build that repertoire and especially repertoire. I, tend to get a kick out of this and the stuff that you wouldn't think that would be possible for violin and trumpet. And I like being the first person. Yeah.
Robyn Bell: Did you have to go hunt it out or, did you have to do some of your own arranging to make this work
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: a little bit? Yeah, both. Yeah. So for instance, one of the things that I'm really proud of or happy to say is that the Telemann violin duos. Then we found a couple of tunes, they worked for both our instruments and then, he's music looks completely different than mine because it has different key signature,
Robyn Bell: right? Yeah. So different key, unless you play on C trumpet, those Telemann's would be in A and D and,
Aaron Romm: and also the range wise. , I love the little trumpets for fellow trumpet geeks that are listening. I love the little trumpets and so any chance I get to play on a Piccolo E- flat or, or any of what we consider the auxiliary trumpets, they have souls too. We love them. So, any chance to do that, I'll take it. So it's a really nice opportunity to change the color.
Robyn Bell: Did you have any accompaniment or just the two of you
Aaron Romm: occasionally.
Robyn Bell: Okay.
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: Yeah, mostly just the two of us.
Robyn Bell: Okay.
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: there was also a new challenge for us. In a way it was for us too. develop more things, you know, um, it was,
Robyn Bell: you have this real robust repertoire for the two of you that w like we were going to start this faculty recital series here at the college. And you guys just pull it out of your back pocket. All this is old hat for us, right.
Aaron Romm: We'll try and make it look like it's old that we know for performers listening, we know that we're like ducks on water. We might look really, great, but underneath the feet are kicking,
Robyn Bell: they're there. They're kicking. Now. I know it's, we're sort of out of season now because here we are at the end of May and things, here are very seasonal, but it looks like we are coming out of this pandemic really strong. I know the two of you have several projects and concerts in the works. Can you tell us maybe the next six to seven months what's in store for you?
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: I've recently been appointed as a concert master for the Chamber Orchestra of Sarasota.
Robyn Bell: Congratulations. That's exciting.
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: It's been wonderful to work with that group. And we were in discussion of the repertoire and this calendar for next season. So that's one of the projects.
Robyn Bell: Well, I just sent one of our alumni your way.
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: Oh great.
Robyn Bell: Because he's a really talented classical guitarist and he has this piece he's working on and he came to me to play it with the Bradenton Symphony, but we're like a 65 piece full symphony orchestra and people pay tuition. I can't, you know, if there's no trombone or tuba parts or whatever, I tend not to program a lot of that. Anyway. I said, you know, this piece might be perfect for the Chamber Orchestra of Sarasota. So he was going to reach out to Robert about that.
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: That's wonderful. Thank you. Thank you. Yeah. And so that's one of the things, , I have, project. Well, what do you say cooking or with a wonderful friend of mine who is a renowned harpsichord is in an organist up in Illinois. Her name is Martha Steel and, she visited Sarasota, uh, during our wedding. She was actually our organist for our wedding as well. We were very spoiled. You know, we didn't have to worry about music for the wedding.
Robyn Bell: Yeah. Well, that's the bonus of being a musician. Totally. So this project does it involve harpsichord?
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: Yeah.
Robyn Bell: Okay. So, you know, we own a harpsichord here at SCF.
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: That's wonderful to know.
Robyn Bell: Yes. I'll show it to you before we
Aaron Romm: beautiful. New Recital Hall.
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: I know. I would
Robyn Bell: just say, wait, wait, wait, do you smell that? I smell something cooking. Oh, sounds like we might have a plan here. Chord is a wonderful instrument. It doesn't get played enough. So please, if she's going to come here and you guys are doing a tour of this, please put us on the calendar.
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: Oh, we would love to do it will be our honor.
Robyn Bell: Very cool. How about you, Aaron? You've got a lot of work with the Venice Symphony.
Aaron Romm: Venice Symphony. We actually have a concert coming up at the end of the week.
Robyn Bell: Oh yes. I tried to get tickets to that. I wanted to go. It's sold out. It's really? Yeah. The, the one at the baseball stadium where the Braves stadium.
Aaron Romm: Cool Today Park.
Robyn Bell: It won't be cool. No,
Aaron Romm: not be cool. I mean, cool. As in like fun. Sure. But temperature wise. Yeah, it'd be very hot, but, uh, you know, one of the things that, during, the pandemic, the initial shutdown that, dad and I had been working on for, geez, about two years now, before the shutdown, it was actually what we call the Romm Trumpet Academy, which is , taking everything online. And we started off with a video course. And we acknowledge the fact that no video course will ever take the place of the live in-person lessons and nor should they, but it's a great way to develop a curriculum, basically formatted by Ronnie himself with a little help from me.
Robyn Bell: But you can reach so many more people through the Internet and through virtual. Yeah.
Aaron Romm: So as a platform to, take that to. Other countries, even, so with the students that have come about so far, we do have an international following and, we have, , translated into Portuguese, thus far for our friends in Portugal and Brazil and, as well, work on the Spanish.
Robyn Bell: And this is for something for beginner level, intermediate advanced.
Aaron Romm: Initially our, target audience, when we first started thinking about it was those who started playing and developed a career in something else and came back to it later on when they had more time. In the trumpet world, we call them comeback players and some of the most fun that I've had, has been playing with, community groups where, we might have some seasoned professionals and alongside, players, that might've been great, starting off and then they've come back to it after a long time. And their heart is in it. Every fiber of their being is I love the trumpet. So that was our original, target audience. But what we found is that it works for everybody. And, developing these things first from, high school age, all the way up to 75 year old,
Robyn Bell: but originally geared for the adult who played in high school, maybe college had their career has come up. A lot of the kind of people that I work with, could these, what I call Musikers, community music makers.
Aaron Romm: Yeah, absolutely. So that was, a really exciting thing. And, that's been kind of, you know, for those that, saw. Ronnie's career, sorry. Dad's career develop with the Canadian Brass or, were there, going to concerts in the late eighties, early nineties, those say like, I want to learn from Ronnie Romm, you know, there's your chance. And, and of course with that comes an opportunity for ease, with everything going online, you know, Skype lessons, zoom lessons, and all that, uh, another way to connect. So that's been the, one of the big projects and the, I had no idea how time consuming that would be. And when we first got started,
Robyn Bell: well, you wouldn't have had time otherwise. So it's just one of the good things. I think like me, this podcast is my pandemic project turned plot twist. If it hadn't been for the pandemic, right, I wouldn't be sitting here and really learning about you guys. We would see each other in the hall. Thanks for teaching juries. You know what I mean? This, connection now Sun-Young, do your parents know the trumpet royalty family that Aaron is from.
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: No, but, but the funniest thing is, when we first met, you know, I said, oh, okay. So he's a trumpeter. Okay. All right. Yeah. So what do you, do? Okay. Okay, cool. All right. And then along the way, I said what, um, cause because I didn't know too much about trumpet world.
Robyn Bell: You didn't really? Yeah. I mean, because his dad was teaching right there at the university.
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: Yeah. And then I've known him from playing in an orchestra together too. So he's just wonderful, graceful beautiful face with beautiful smile every time, you know? I've known dad first. I think I've known Ronnie first before I met Aaron. Um, so I was like, oh, that's your dad. Oh wait, what really? Okay. You know, that was pretty much it for me.
Robyn Bell: Do you show your parents? Hey, here's YouTube videos of Aaron's dad from .
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: Yeah, because you know, one way for them to sort of meet partially, you know, so, I didn't know how big of a deal his father was or his mom was, it was just because the way he introduced himself to me was, it was in the hallway at one of the orchestra rehearsals during the break. And right after we first met him, he came up to me and he's like, well, what's your name? I'm Ronnie Romm I'm Aaron's father is like, oh, I'm Sun-Young. So we've seen each other face. All the time, but I'd never knew what the name was or, what it meant, it was just Aaron's father, who was always so kind to me,
Robyn Bell: you're very kind also to, talk about his mom, because she can kind of get lost in this whole trumpet royalty thing, you know? But your mom is an amazing musician and pianist, and I know you make a lot of music with her and maybe you also have to. Yeah.
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: Yeah. The first time I played with her was so much fun. So I said to Ronnie was like, it was so fun to play with Avis. Cause he goes like, yeah, she does that. Yeah. Yeah.
Robyn Bell: Yeah. Really, really cool. Okay guys, we've reached our rapid fire section. I have some, questions here. We'll go one at a time. Okay. Only the last one. Will you answer together? Okay. So Sun-Young, we're going to start with you cause always ladies first, I'm telling you, this is your icebreaker so easy. Korean barbecue or American barbecue.
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: Korean. barbecue.
Robyn Bell: Easy enough. Aaron Haydn or Hummel?.
Aaron Romm: Hummel.
Robyn Bell: Yeah, we played that one with the BSO. That's why it's your favorite? I'm sure
Aaron Romm: that was fun. I enjoy it.
Robyn Bell: It's fun. Right?
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: There was a great concert.
Robyn Bell: Well, you know, it was stressful for me during that concert as they were doing that television. Spot on those beginning of the BSO. Do you remember when the video cameras were here and they were doing this whole, like documentary on, how do you start an orchestra from scratch? And I was like, oh, I just want to focus on the Hummel Trumpet concerto.
Aaron Romm: You didn't have enough to do that day. And then
Robyn Bell: I know it's 10 30 at night. Let's do an interview. I'm exhausted!. Did I look like I've been through the ringer,
Aaron Romm: those glasses with the eyes painted on them. Sure. Do you have the Robyn? You're a champ.
Robyn Bell: They're on the internet somewhere, somewhere. You could find that. All right. Sun-Young, Chicago Symphony or New York Philharmonic.
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: Oh, can I have a different answer?
Robyn Bell: You have a third, a better answer.
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: Met opera.
Robyn Bell: Oh, the Metropolitan Opera. So do you like playing operas?
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: , I think I began to like it more.
Robyn Bell: Um, it's not a lot of fun to play in an opera orchestra. I don't think.
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: Yeah. At the beginning, my very first opera performance was Carmen during school, back in undergrad. And it was just a lot of notes. I didn't connect the dots that, the opera was a complete form of an art. But then, you know, kids don't really think that far unless you're programmed to think differently. . So you're just staring at a bunch of first violin part with many, many noodles in many, many dark pages. Right. And you're just thinking of looking for a good three and a half hours in this like circulated air and my arms falling apart. And this is like,
Robyn Bell: and you wake up at 3:00 AM going
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: Right. But then once I understood it was more of a form, like this is live television. Basically my first Met Opera experience was with my sister at the very top of the hall, you know, top of the, like far, far up north, like up high, so that the ticket was cheap, student tickets, you know? But I felt like I was watching a live television and I got to see
Robyn Bell: complete entertainment.
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: Yeah. And I got to see the pit orchestra. Because I was so high.
Robyn Bell: Cause normally you can't right. Cause they're in the pit.
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: Right. So seeing the movement of the musicians and the scene, like and the singers and actress, it was just, yeah.
Robyn Bell: Do you remember who was conducting that performance? No,
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: I was just mesmerized by the whole.
Robyn Bell: Do you feel the same way about musicals?
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: Kind of, yeah. Yeah. The musical, seems a little more challenging and more, would you say it, , more intriguing in a way because the rhythmic patterns tend to change much quicker,
Robyn Bell: right. And in a musical that is one of the goals as there's every style you're going to have your blues tune. You're gonna have your six, eight tune. You're going to have your ballad, your swing to it. Yeah. They purposely start to finish. You have to, you have to know, they have to know every style. Yeah, that's tough.
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: Yeah. I've also discovered that whenever my high school students after playing a musical pit, their level of playing.
Robyn Bell: Oh, it raises,
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: oh my goodness. You know, and that's when I was just so thankful. I don't have to explain the difference between tripling and quadrupling anymore.
Robyn Bell: That's right. Cause they learn it by doing yeah, totally. Yeah. All right. Aaron Siesta Key Village or St. Armand's Circle. Okay. Good. Good. Um, I love the, Big Olaf of ice cream there is that your favorite place?
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: We have a doughnut place.
Robyn Bell: Donut place?.
Aaron Romm: There's a little, shack, like right across the way from Big Olafs, we've since moved away, but, when we were there, our frequent this little mini donut shack, right. This isn't not only is the, shack itself small, but the donuts are also small.
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: Yes.
Robyn Bell: But you should put more in the shack.
Aaron Romm: You can eat more of them. And it's just a glorious thing.
Robyn Bell: It is, you know, my favorite place in the Siesta Key Village. Is the Italian place where nobody goes, cause you can get right in, so. Okay. All right. Sun-Young symphony orchestra or string quartet,
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: string quartet,
Robyn Bell: Aaron roundabouts, or stoplights,
Aaron Romm: stoplights,
Robyn Bell: I'm going to die. I'm going to die. Sun-Young on football or baseball,
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: football,
Robyn Bell: new for you. I'm sure when you moved here, Aaron, best Italian food in Sarasota.
Aaron Romm: Oh, oh. Cafe Baci. This is where we
Robyn Bell: go. Your rehearsal dinner or Cafe Baci is great and huge. You can fit 8,000 people in there. Yeah. All right, Sun-Young. Yes. Best Korean food in Sarasota.
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: Samm Bar.
Robyn Bell: Ah, yes, you are not the only person to tell me that I get that answer a lot.
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: Oh, good.
Robyn Bell: Alright. Both of you to play in an orchestra with each other or to sit in the audience and watch each other perform. Sun-Young, your first,
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: oh, I don't know. They're both so good if I'm oh, oh my gosh. That's a tough question.
Robyn Bell: I know it's hard
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: playing together,
Robyn Bell: playing together. All right. Aaron
Aaron Romm: playing together.
Robyn Bell: Oh, that's sweet. Well, congratulations, Aaron, Romm and Sun-Young Gemma Shin. You are now officially part of the clubs. So let's say our listeners want to follow your careers. Find out more about your projects and performances. Where can they go? You have some websites.
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: Yes. My website is syshin.com. No, it's syshinviolin.com. Yes.
Robyn Bell: Okay, good.
Aaron Romm: And aaronromm.com and, also, for my voiceover exploits, , aaronrommvoice.com and, rommtrumpetacademy.com.
Robyn Bell: And we will put a link to all of that in our show notes. So listeners can just click away. Thank you both for being my guest today. It's been awesome to learn more about the two of you and your lives and careers. Aaron, I've reached out to your mom and dad and they are going to be here next to be our next couple interview. Part two, we are so lucky to have you here teachingwith us at the State College of Florida, you soloed with the Bradenton Symphony Orchestra, and done some wonderful work coaching, our brass quintet, and Sun-Young looking forward to having you work more with our students. We're going to get you on the payroll here, this summer. Um, I think a solo opportunity is in the cards for you too. Yes. And I hope we can go enjoy some stone pot rice very soon. My absolute favorite.
Sun-Young Gemma Shin: Good sounds good to me.
Robyn Bell: I'm sure you can more, but that's the only thing I've ever eaten. So anyhow, we are also lucky to have you both here on the Suncoast and I can't wait to catch your next performances. Thank you for sharing your stories today.
Aaron Romm: Thank you so much.