MDC Kendall Campus Trombone Alum Clay Lucovich traveled North to Orlando after graduation to further his education at UCF and break into the central Florida scene. Clay is a a specialist in both classical music and jazz, and most enjoys brass quintet and jazz engagements. After a year in the Glen Miller Orchestra as section and solo trombone, Clay returned to Florida and accepted a position as second trombonist in the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra. In a recent telephone conversation, Clay shared that he had been subbing for the regular first chair player, Frank Wosar-(another Kendall Campus trombone alum), and playing the Tommy Dorsey Chair. Clay was kind enough to take time from his busy schedule to share some of his experiences with davidbrubeck.com Enjoy!
1. How did it feel to be asked to play first for the Tommy Dorsey Band?
It was an absolute honor to be asked to play the “Tommy” chair. My initial excitement and sense of achievement quickly gave way to apprehension as it dawned on me how much responsibility it entailed; however, it motivated me to focus on practicing more efficiently and productively, and ultimately growing as a musician.
What have you learned from studying his style?
I learned the importance of compression to maintain the bright, singing quality of the Dorsey sound as well as a consistent, quick, and smooth slide vibrato.
2. What experiences do you most remember from your time with the Glen Miller Orchestra?
I was on tour with the GMO for one year.The band is on the road at least 300 days a year and I’ll never forget the overall wear and tear that goes along with such a demanding tour schedule. The experience of touring Japan for a month was especially memorable because of their appreciation and love of big band and jazz music. The reception and welcome we had while we were there is unforgettable. Lastly, the camaraderie with other band members and the resulting life-long friendships was a once-in-a-lifetime experience and opportunity.
3. How did your adjustment from Miami to Orlando take place?
When I moved to Orlando I was at the right place at the right time. Within the first few months of being there, I heard about a Disney audition and decided to try out. I was offered the job which ended up opening a lot of doors for me and propelled my career as a freelance musician.
4. What do you most enjoy about being a crossover artist, who can play both classical and jazz styles at a high level?
I enjoy the challenge of one day playing lead trombone in a big band and playing in a brass quintet the next. Being a versatile player opens many more doors as well and keeps you sharp as a musician.
5. Any advice to young trombonists?
Do not neglect the fundamentals. Approach every practice session with a critical mindset and take advantage of every playing opportunity regardless of style/genre. Also, take lessons with Dr. Brubeck, of course.
c. 2015 David William Brubeck All Rights Reserved. davidbrubeck.com
Photos courtesy of Clay Lucovich