Mark Gerard – Principal Trombone

Background

Picture of Mark Gerard

I play 1st Trombone with the MFSO.  I’ve been in the orchestra approximately ten years.  I started out subbing on bass trombone, and then officially joined, primarily playing 2nd trombone.  Eventually, I started playing 1st.  My only other orchestral experience was in college (Lawrence University) and a couple of times subbing in the Alverno College orchestra.

I received a Bachelor of Music degree from Lawrence U. and taught instrumental music (band) in Cedarburg for nine years.  After getting married, I decided it was time to switch careers.  Eventually I went into industry and became a manufacturing engineer.  About five years ago I retired.

Besides the MFSO I also play in two other musical groups: The Knightwind Ensemble, which I’ve been in since 1964, and the Waukesha Area Symphonic Band. Occasionally I sub in a WWII-era big band.

Other interests

Other types of music that I enjoy are:  Pop, Rock, Jazz, some Country, serious music – Orchestral and Wind Ensemble.  I love Mahler and other romantic composers.  I like music that has discernable melodies or themes.

The MFSO provides me a place to actually play some of the pieces I’ve heard when I go to Milwaukee Symphony concerts.  On both the Christmas and Valentine’s Day concerts we also get to play some very nice arrangements done especially for our orchestra with soloists.

I wish that our governments would do more to encourage the arts in general, and music in particular.  Money would be nice but that doesn’t happen often.  The one thing government can easily provide is rehearsal space.  It does not really cost a school any more for cleaning to have one more group using a music room.

My main hobby (other than music) is working on, collecting, restoring, and driving antique cars.  I have Hudsons: a 1934 Hudson Straight 8, and two 1951 Hudsons (like Doc Hudson).

I am married to Maureen who plays percussion in the MFSO and in the Knightwind Ensemble, where we met.