Teaching teaches WASO principal trumpet Brent Grapes

TEACHING at WAAPA has taught trumpet player Brent Grapes a lot.

When the father of two’s dream to return home and play as principal trumpet with WASO came true in 2013, he also started as Head of Brass at the prestigious academy.

“I’ve always been very grateful for all the teachers I’ve had on the way through,” Grapes, who graduated from Perth Modern School and UWA, said.

“Every one of them is not only your teacher, they are your friend and just so selfless and give you everything they can.

“I felt like it was my duty in a way to go to WAAPA and try offer a bit of what I had learnt from all those people back to the students.

“I certainly feel a lot wiser for the experience and it’s taught me a lot about teaching and myself as well, and about my own playing.”

Grapes is no stranger to world-class institutions, having trained at Juilliard School in New York from 2007 to 2009 after a year-and-a-half stint as a musician in the Australian Army.

“I don’t think I’d have a career without Juilliard because just the name of the place carries so much weight,” he said.

“Being there, I expected that it was going to be very competitive and cutthroat, but I was amazed at how supportive the environment was.

“There were 12 trumpets in the school and every one of them had something to offer; it was just an amazing place and atmosphere.”

Grapes came back to Perth via Auckland Philharmonic Orchestra and will perform as soloist for WASO’s Master Series Mozart Meets Haydn concert at Perth Concert Hall on May 6 and 7.

He said Haydn’s popular Trumpet Concerto was a perfect concerto in form and structure.

“It’s cheerful and not challenging to listen to, although it’s challenging to perform,” he said.

“I think any work these days that is light, happy and a bit of an escape is a good thing.”

THE ESSENTIALS

What: WASO’s Mozart Meets Haydn

Where: Perth Concert Hall

When: May 6 to 7

Tickets: www.waso.com.au