The Bob Cole Conservatory of Music at CSULB congratulates Esther Hood, Trumpet, as the Cole Conservatory Scholar of the Month for October 2011.
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This Week at the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music

Cole Conservatory Scholar of the Month:


Esther Hood posing with her trumpet.

Esther is a fourth-year trumpet performance major from the San Francisco Bay area where she studied with Brian Switzer and Mike Galisatus. She has performed for the West Covina Symphony and as a soloist with the El Camino Youth Symphony traveling to the Czech Republic, Hungary, Austria, Germany, Finland, Estonia, Russia, and China. At the BCCM she performs with the Conservatory Symphony Orchestra and the Conservatory Wind Symphony, and has performed with the Studio Jazz Band, Trumpet Ensemble and Brass Ensemble.

She currently studies with Rob Frear and is employed with Disneyland Resort as a musician and parade performer. She is looking forward to going to Carnegie Hall with the Wind Symphony, under the direction of John Carnahan, February 2012, and also next spring to the annual National Trumpet Competition with the CSULB Trumpet Ensemble under the direction of Rob Frear.

K. Your bio indicated that you had a special passion for orchestral music…any particular work or composer?

E. While performing Tchaikovsky's 4th, I noticed the power of the orchestral brass sound—when the trumpets answer the French horns' opening call. It was so exciting to be a single person in a section that created one beautiful wall of sound. It was moving and different than playing solo. The synergy of the whole brass section created a sound that was somehow greater than the sum of all the parts.

K. Why the trumpet? Any particular influences?

E. While in the 4th grade Mike Galisatus visited our class to talk about music and demonstrated an elephant sound effect. Even though the flute was smaller, easier to carry around, and my girlfriends were going to play it, I was sold on the sounds that could come from the trumpet. Mr. Galisatus became my first trumpet teacher.

K. What about your practicing habits and memorization techniques?

E. To memorize I start at the end of the piece, practicing a bar at a time, until I reach the beginning of the work; thus I always know how to finish.

K. Since you are in two large ensembles requiring 14 minimal hours per week how much do you practice?

E. Around 16 to 18 hours a week. I do a lot of it at home or inside the practice room, where if I can achieve a good sound, I know I have it.

K. Do you plan on pursuing a graduate degree? Where? When?

E. I plan to getting my masters somewhere after I graduate Spring 2013 and would like to take lessons from as many national and international teachers as possible to help guide me in my selection.

K. Experiences, teachers, performances that impressed you?

E. I studied with Brian Switzer for seven years (from 11yrs of age) and he walked me through everything from beginning fundamentals to prep for college auditions, including letters of recommendation. He taught me much more than music—like how to keep my head in the game and that being a trumpet player "is getting comfortable being uncomfortable."

When I applied for college, I submitted both musical and liberal arts applications. In the CSULB audition process, I met Rob Frear who persuaded me to attend CSULB and pursue music. Though other music school auditions were discouraging me by asking me questions about my braces and when they would be removed, Rob said, "I have a hunch about you. If you sound like that with braces on, when they come off, you'll have limitless potential."

Previously Honored Cole Scholars of the Month






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Bob Cole Conservatory of Music
California State University, Long Beach

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Long Beach, CA 90840-7101 | 562.985.4781 phone | 562.985.2490 fax url and CSULB Seal.