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Jeremy Wilson: “Hug the Cactus. You Know It Will Be Difficult, but You Also Know It Will Be Good for You”


This interview with musician Jeremy Wilson provides a comprehensive exploration of his musical journey, from early influences rooted in familial musical traditions to his distinguished career as a trombonist, educator, and member of the Vienna Philharmonic. Wilson reflects on the emotional depth instilled in him through exposure to southern gospel and country music, shaping his approach to music as a means of conveying profound sentiments.

The narrative unfolds as Wilson traces his evolution from a small-town trombonist to an international orchestral performer, sharing the unexpected turn of events that led him to audition for and ultimately join the prestigious Vienna Philharmonic. His experiences in Europe, playing with world-class musicians and engaging in extensive travel, illuminate the transformative impact on both his professional and personal life.

Transitioning to his role at Vanderbilt University, Wilson candidly discusses the personal considerations that prompted his return to the United States, emphasizing the importance of family and the desire for a balance between performing and teaching. His teaching philosophy, encapsulated in the “Body Mind Spirit” method, underscores the holistic approach to music-making, advocating for a harmonious integration of technical proficiency, emotional expression, and mental focus.

Wilson delves into his competition experiences, offering valuable insights into his preparation methods, artistic mindset, and advice for aspiring musicians. The interview concludes with a glimpse into his current and future projects, including recent album releases, ongoing initiatives to promote underrepresented composers, and the success of the Body Mind Spirit Workshops that aim to cultivate a supportive community and enhance musicians’ overall well-being.

Overall, this interview provides a multifaceted perspective on Jeremy Wilson’s musical odyssey, blending personal anecdotes, professional insights, and pedagogical principles to offer a rich tapestry of his life in music.

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ISSN: 2792-8349

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International Journal of Music