Thursday, August 26, 2010

Q&A with Terry Halvorson

Terry Halvorson

Role in Beauty and the Beast:
Musician; Reed 2 (Oboe/English Horn)

What city are you currently in?
Fayetteville, AR

What are you most looking forward to in this city?
The Walton Art Center is a great venue, plus the city has some great bike trails, coffee shops and restaurants.

What tour stop has been your favorite so far and why?
I actually enjoyed our weekend in Grand Rapids, MI because I got to hang out with some good friends of mine and because it's a really nice area.

Which upcoming tour city are you most looking forward to visiting and why?
Well, duh! Honolulu! :) I have never been to Hawaii and it will be my 50th state to perform in!

What music are you currently listening to?
I’m currently listening to the soundtrack to Crazy For You because I will be playing it for five weeks this summer--and because it's Gershwin!

Name one item you can’t live without while on the road:
My iPhone (again, duh!) :)

What do you like to do when you’re traveling between tour stops?
If it's a bus trip, I generally sleep the morning away and watch the bus movie after lunch. If it's a plane day, I like to read a book and watch TV shows that I download on my ever-present iPhone.

What is your favorite song/scene in Beauty and the Beast?
My favorite is probably Beauty and the Beast for three reasons:
1) I have a nice oboe solo leading into it :)
2) It features Mrs. Potts--and I am a sucker for a beautiful contralto voice!
3) It's just a beautiful scene.

Any memorable tour moments (on or offstage) you can share?
One of my favorite moments actually happened at the very first orchestra rehearsal in Providence. As we started playing through the book, I realized that THIS orchestra is a truly incredible group of musicians and that it is going to be an *AMAZING* 17 months making music with them! When we had the cast join us--the magic really happened! :)

Name one reason why people should see Beauty and the Beast:
Well, I don't really have only one reason, but a combination. First, it's Disney and everyone knows that Disney knows how to tell a great story! Add to that the incredibly talented cast, orchestra and crew who give 200% every show, and there you have it! :)

What is your musical experience?
I have been a touring musician for 4 1/2 years; Will Rogers' Follies, 2 tours of The Producers, The Wizard of Oz, Annie, and Disney's Beauty and the Beast. For all of my tours previous to this, I played combinations of clarinet, flute, saxes, oboe and English horn--usually 5-6 instruments. Playing only oboe and English horn for this show is a nice thing, but also presents its own challenges.

What kind of training have you had?
I studied the various woodwind instruments (oboe, clarinets, flutes, saxes and recorders) in school as well as privately and I have been to master classes for most of these instruments (as well as others).

What can you offer, share and discuss with students across the nation who are considering music as a career choice?
Wow, this one is tough... Music can be a difficult career choice as it requires 4-5 years of college along with hours and hours of daily practice. Teaching jobs are getting harder and harder to find (but not impossible). Getting a job as a performer is even more difficult, as there are steadily less and less jobs--yet there are still a lot of talented musicians getting college degrees. To get a performing job, it is good to network with as many other musicians as possible, starting in high school and college and continuing through every gig you play. No matter how small the gigs may be, getting more work is as much who you know as how well you play.

What teacher had the most impact on your career choices and success?
My first high school orchestra director, Mrs. Rita Wilcox, had a huge influence on me. I was playing cello at the time and the high school nearest me did not have an orchestra. Mrs. Wilcox petitioned the school board and got me an inter-district transfer to the high school she taught at across town and drove me to school for my first three years of high school! I still visit Mrs. Wilcox every year when I visit my family around Christmas.

I am also tremendously grateful to my high school band director, Mr. Bud Behrens who pushed me on every instrument I played in his band. I made county honor band two years on oboe and one year on bassoon as well as state honor band my senior year on clarinet. He also encouraged us to form small ensembles for local competitions.

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