4 Reasons DCI Is The Best (I’ve Been Converted) – Michael Martin | Ep. 42


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This week on the podcast, we have an epic interview with Michael Martin, 3rd/utility trumpet with Boston Symphony Orchestra. In addition to his duties with the orchestra, Michael composes, arranges, puts together brass symposiums, and somehow has time to spend with his wife Cassie and daughter Nora. You can find Mike’s website here: www.playwritemusic.com.

Mike and I cover a wide variety of topics in this episode. From building confidence as a musician, to what it was like growing as a promising young trumpet student with Chris Martin as your brother. For the purposes of this blog, I’m going to focus on our discussion of why DCI (Drum Corps International) remains such a big part of his life to this day.

The Whole Experience Is Amazing

Mike described the whole experience as life changing for him and so many others who participate each summer. The bonds you make with the other musicians you spend 12+ hours with each day on the field as well as electrifying performances are a few reasons he listed as to why it has been such a big part of his life.

You Don’t Win By Hoping Others Lose

Mike recalled some advice he received from Barbara Butler during his education about taking auditions and winning. She said, “You don’t want to win by hoping your friend loses. You want him to do well, but you want to win because you did even better.” Mike described the vibe of DCI to be very similar. The bands go out and they have 11 minutes to give everything they have, and they do. Winning is the goal, but the memories of performing at that level will last some people a lifetime.

Non-Music Majors Like It Too

While DCI has many performance majors that participate, they also have many young players that love playing their instrument but won’t make it their career. For these musicians, DCI gives them multiple performing opportunities, possibly even the best performances they will ever be a part of.

You Get Your Fundamentals, Too

Mike talked about how the players will get a 30-60 session on fundamentals each day. For me, I’ve always had the impression that the bands just learn and play the same music all summer long. I was glad to learn that they put a priority on fundamental work, and that they have great instructors to help the players grow .

If you want more information about DCI, check out their website here: www.dci.org

Here’s a link to the Brass Junkies interview with Michael Martin that I mentioned in the episode: http://www.andrewhitz.com/blog/episode63

Thanks for listening. I hope you enjoyed the episode!

Until next time,