BPO musician beat out more than 100 others for his job

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) –  “I have been playing this instrument a long time. It’s kind of an extension of me,” Trombonist Tim Smith told News 4 during a break from a recent Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra rehearsal at Kleinhans Music Hall. He has loved the instrument ever since he started playing it in elementary school. Not just the sound it makes, but the way he identifies with others who play with it.

“Sometimes I think instruments find people with the right personalities. Trombonists are very fraternal. We’re usually pranksters. Jokesters, we like to laugh a lot.”

Smith followed his passion to earn degrees Ithaca College and Northwestern University, and now sits second chair in the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra’s trombone section. He may laugh a lot with his section mates, but he takes his job seriously. Smith had to beat out musicians from all over the world to earn it.

“There were 117 people who showed up to audition for this chair that I hold now,” he explained. “So it’s super competitive, and if I don’t go all in, I will never know later on if I could have made it or not.”

Tim is now in his seventh season with the orchestra, and he has found that once you do make it in, it’s all about understanding the role you are there to play.

“My job especially as the second player is to support what’s going on around me,” he said. “Support what the first player is doing, sometimes accompany the trumpets, or blend with the horns, cellos. So it’s very much a constantly changing teamwork environment.”

The BPO rehearses twice a day at Kleinhans, once in the morning once at night. Tim usually practices up to six hours a day at home.

“We’re all expected to show up knowing the music because rehearsals are really used to synchronize everybody and get the large product really polished.”

A product that the entire orchestra, and the region, can be proud of.

“We offer something for everyone,” Smith said of the group. “We’re really involved in the community. It’s really rewarding. Makes me feel like I am doing something that matters.”

WIVB.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s