Author Archives: Howard Owens

High Notes – Q&A with Musician Edward VanZandt

highernotesept2015The GSO core group of musicians is exceptionally talented and dedicated!   In a Q & A format, High Notes will feature a member of the GSO core group in each of our quarterly newsletters.

Musician:  Edward VanZandt
Residence:  Castile, New York
Occupation:  Retired Instrumental Music Teacher – Letchworth Central School District (35 years)
Years with the GSO:  25 years

  1. Which instrument/s do you play?              A.  Trumpet
  2. What was your first instrument? When and why did you start playing?                  A.  Trumpet was my first instrument.  I attended a try-out with the band director when I was in 3rd grade.  He said I was a natural trumpet player.  The day before, I had attended the string meeting and the orchestra director told me I was a natural cellist!  Ultimately, my dad made the decision, citing the fact that I might not break the trumpet as quickly!
  3. What are your fondest musical memories?                                                       A.  There are so many!  High school wind ensemble – Our band was one of the really good H.S. bands in NY State at the time.  I was the first student to be featured with the Albany Symphony, and was very fortunate to play in the first Albany Symphony Youth Orchestra.  Receiving private lessons from Seymour Rosenfeld of the Philadelphia Orchestra is a memory I will always cherish.
  4. What advice would you give to beginning instrumental students?                  A. As a beginner, the best piece of advice I would give would be:  “Listen.  Be a very good listener.  Listen to your teacher, listen to concerts, recordings, and TV shows.  Especially listen to the music being played by your instrument, and imitate what you hear.”
  5. People would be surprised to know that I….                                                      A.  Have been making wine for the past 10 years, and that I run the Castile Emergency Food Pantry.
  6. List 3 adjectives that best describe you.                                                            A.  Humorous, Organized, and Motivated
  7. What would you like to be doing in 5 years?                                                       A.  I pray I can stay healthy enough to continue playing with the symphony; enjoy traveling with my wife, Marcy; and visit my grandchildren to take in their many concerts and sporting events.
  8. What famous musician/composer would you most like to meet?                  A.  Musician – Innovative Jazz leader and trumpet player Louis Armstrong.  Composer – Aaron Copeland.
  9. If you could play another instrument what would it be?                                  A.  Acoustic guitar.  I enjoy singing and know if I could just learn a few chords, I’d be the life of a party!
  10. What do you enjoy most about being a musician?                                           A.  Music challenges me both mentally and physically.  It gets into my soul….and the best thing about being a musician is I know it affects everyone around me the very same way!