Seen and Heard
Trumpet players are usually positioned near the back of an orchestra, heard but not seen. But Joseph Foley (CFA’87,’89), an adjunct assistant professor of music in the College of Fine Arts school of music, will be front and center at the Cambridge Symphony Orchestra concert on Sunday, November 18.
Foley will be performing a noted trumpet piece: Joseph Haydn’s Concerto in E-flat major for Trumpet, written in 1796. The orchestra, a community group of adult amateur musicians performing concerts in and around Cambridge, also will play Dvořák’s Carnival Overture, op.92, and Elgar’s Enigma Variations.
The Concerto in E-flat major for Trumpet “is one of the real standards of the trumpet repertoire,” says Foley, who is principal trumpet with the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra and has performed with the Boston Symphony and Boston Pops, the New York Philharmonic, the Royal Ballet of London, and the Concert Opera Boston. “It’s the first piece written for trumpet with valves, so it’s kind of special.”
Foley is preparing for Sunday’s concert by practicing the piece and running through difficult passages, but the real challenge, he says, is performing with a group of musicians after only a few practice sessions. In the classroom, he tells his students that the best way to handle an on-the-spot performance is to be predictable and avoid flashy rhythms or showy passages. “With every orchestra, it’s different, based on how loud or soft they play or how they play with the beat,” he says. “You have to get used to each other.”
But sometimes there isn’t time to get comfortable, Foley says. One of his first experiences playing with an orchestra was as a student. “I won a concerto competition and got to play with the Boston Pops,” he says. “The first time I played with the orchestra was when I walked on stage for the performance.”
The Cambridge Symphony Orchestra concert is Sunday, November 18, at 4 p.m. at the Greater Boston Vineyard Church, 170 Rindge Ave., Cambridge. Tickets in advance are $10, $5 for seniors; $12, $5 for seniors at the door; children under 12 admitted free. For more information or to order tickets, call 617-576-1819 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kim Cornuelle can be reached at email@example.com.