On Tuesday, VanderCook College of Music was honored to host John Hagstrom at the college where he played and spoke to the students for an hour. John is second trumpet in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and one of the nicest people and finest thinkers you will ever meet.
John played for the students a bit and it was fantastic. But the real magic for the day was when John spoke to the students about preparing and getting ready to perform. His message was simple but so re-affirming. He talked about the need to have repetitions in performance, and that every time you perform a piece of music, you find spots where you can do better the next time. He spoke of how often we all play something once and then put it away, I realized that it is as if we are checking it off our to do list….Haydn, DONE! Hindemith, DONE! Hummel, DONE! But music is not like that. The more we hang around with, practice and perform great music, the more it becomes a part of who we are. We not only know the music, we feel the music, we share those emotions and feelings through our performance.
John’s words inspired me. His passion for what he does, his commitment, his sense of humor, his ability to articulate the process of going from good to great without using the labels. It was great. Thanks John.