Trumpeter · Educator · Author

My Newest Project: The Vincent Cichowicz Long Tone Studies

Last July I finally decided to take some action on a project that had gone through my head several times over the years.  I called Michael Cichowicz, son of the legendary trumpeter Vincent Cichowicz, and discussed with him the possibility of publishing his father's Long Tone Studies in a book.  Michael was very open to the idea.  We talked for a while about how this could happen, what would be in the book and who would publish it.  Finally I am happy to say we are finished with this project and we think the trumpet community world wide will be pleased with the results.  I wanted to take the time here to explain how and why we did this book and the issues we dealt with in putting it together.

For me these long tone studies have been the cornerstone of my fundamentals practice ever since I studied with John Rommel at Indiana University in the 1990's.  For years, decades actually, they have floated around in photo copy form.  But to my knowledge both sets of Mr. Cichowicz's studies (VC I and VC II) had never been published in a book where they were written out in all keys.  My intention with this idea was to preserve these studies for today's players as well as for future generations the same way that Arban, Clarke, Schlossberg and Stamp have been.

Several issues had to be dealt with when putting these studies together.  The first being that Mr. Cichowicz is no longer with us.  So in order to try to stay true to his concepts we went to the next best thing, his students.  We contacted several of his former students and they all responded with great enthusiasm about the project.  The all spoke of Mr. Cichowicz with the highest respect.  They spoke of his sharp mind, his patient approach and his insistence that the fundamentals of trumpet playing be in place in order to be come a great artist on the trumpet.  14 of his former students wrote commentaries in this book about the exercises.  As well as forewards by Barbara Butler, Charlie Geyer and John Hagstrom.  It also contains an article that Mr. Cichowicz himself wrote in the Instrumentalist in 1996.

The next issue was that I personally never studied with Mr. Cichowicz.  I met him a few times and heard a few masterclasses.  I would not change anything about with whom or where I studied the trumpet, but I always had wanted to seek Mr. Cichowicz's guidance.  Perhaps for me this was one way of getting as close to that as I could.  Because I didn't study with Mr. Cichowicz I didn't want to seem like an opportunist.  I just wanted to get it right and do a good job on the book.

The third issue was by far the easiest to deal with.  Who would we get to publish this book?   Rob Roy McGregor, formerly of the LA Philharmonic and owner of Balquhidder Music was an obvious choice.  Although this book is not a Balquhidder publication, Rob did help us put the book together.  He has given great advice and guidance throughout the entire process.  Rob also published the first book I put together Thomas Morely's Complete Canzonets for Two Trumpets (Balquhidder Music). 

This book should not be seen as a Cichowicz "Method".  He had no formal method.  But what we hope to do with this book is to preserve Mr. Cichowicz's ideas, exercises and concepts.  Although there is no way to know, we hope this is a book that Mr. Cichowicz would be pleased with.

The book will be available at the International Trumpet Guild Conference  in Minneapolis this month.