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William Denton: “It’s Not the Best Player Who Wins a Job, It’s the Best Prepared Player”


This interview with accomplished trumpeter William Denton provides a comprehensive exploration of his musical journey, education, and professional experiences. Denton recounts his early exposure to brass instruments and the pivotal moment when he decided to pursue trumpet playing professionally. He details his academic pursuits, studying under notable instructors such as Walt Myers, David Hickman, James Thompson, and Dr. Keith Amstutz, reflecting on the impact each had on expanding his musical horizons. Denton shares insights into his daily practice routine, emphasizing the importance of mindfulness and intuitive practice.

As a seasoned performer and teacher, he discusses strategies for staying in shape on the road and offers valuable advice for both aspiring students and educators. The interview delves into Denton’s approach to selecting and teaching repertoire, addressing the significance of a diverse musical palette that includes jazz and natural trumpet.

Denton shares his perspective on equipment choices, acknowledging his reliance on colleagues’ expertise for instrument and mouthpiece decisions. In discussing performance anxiety, he highlights the role of preparation, cardiovascular health, and mindfulness meditation.

The interview concludes with Denton’s thoughts on audition preparation, stressing the importance of being the best-prepared candidate and offering practical tips for success. Denton’s eclectic taste in music, identification with freedom of expression in performance, and admiration for trumpeters such as Miles Davis and Wynton Marsalis provide additional layers to his musical identity. The abstract concludes with Denton generously sharing an exercise, a variation on the first Clarke Technical Study, emphasizing embouchure balance, air support, and tone quality in trumpet playing.

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ISSN: 2792-8349

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International Journal of Music