If there were an Academy Awards for orchestral musicians creating engaging videos during the quarantine, Pacific Symphony’s Principal Trumpet Barry Perkins could be a contender in many categories: “Best Actor,” “Best Director,” “Best Story and Screenplay, “Best Cinematography,” “Best Production Design,” “Best Film Editing,” “Best Sound Editing” and “Best Sound Mixing,” to name just a few. To say Perkins is multi-talented is an understatement, as his two latest videos attest.
Perkins finds an outlet for his virtuosity in this parody of the “Late Night Tryouts” scene from the 2002 hit movie “Drumline” that starred Zoe Saldana and Nick Cannon as teens who find romance through their love of the arts. The original audition scene features a gifted young drummer trying out for the fictional Atlanta A&T University’s celebrated marching band. The judges recognize the young musician’s ability but don’t like his cocky attitude in showing off his musical prowess when he adds his own flourishes after playing the required piece.
For the required piece is his parody, Perkins plays an excerpt from Georges Enescu’s trumpet piece, “Legende.” It’s a technical tour de force replete with challenging triple-tonguing and fast, finger-twisting chromatic passages. But then, unable to contain his musical enthusiasm, he segues into the heroic trumpet solo from Richard Strauss’ Alpine Symphony.
“I thought that this idea of ‘The Audition’ would be relatable to both students and professional musicians,” comments Perkins. “It represents a time where most musicians are just looking for any place to play their instrument. The audition candidate plays the required piece, and then can’t help himself but to play something he used to play in the orchestra before the pandemic.”
If you’re curious to know how Perkins managed to look like he was in the actual movie, here’s his explanation: “The process was pretty tricky. I used a green screen, but lighting had to be absolutely perfect so everything fits together. I was so happy to hear that a lot of people thought I was actually on the football field and these actors were friends of mine.”
Watch “The Audition” here.
Another Day, Another Zoom Lesson
Barry Perkins, like so many other musicians, is teaching all of his students via Zoom for the time being. You’ll also enjoy his humorous take on a somewhat surreal Zoom experience. And you’ll enjoy hearing his crisp and flawless playing of an exciting piccolo trumpet passage from Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 2.
Watch “The Zoom Lesson here.