Articles, Interviews & Commentary
This page presents links to articles I have written. Other articles in my web site may be found in the Resources section. Links to articles that I have written which are found in other web sites can be found in my Publications and Discography and section of my web site. Articles are added to this section regularly.
One of the most frequently asked questions I get asked in master classes
is: "How did you get where you are today?" In this article, I have detailed
the various steps I went through before arriving at my position
with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and then go on to answer the larger
question that people ask which is how can we put together the "puzzle
of our lives." I hope that this message of challenge, hope and comfort
will bean encouragement to all who seek fulfillment and balance in life
whether in music or other disciplines. This article is also available
with text in JAPANESE
WHAT'S NEW AT YEODOUG.COM
This section of my website takes the form of a blog where I highlight new additions to my website and also comment on recent events in my life and in culture at large. Many esternal links
to articles and interviews that do not appear on my website are also found here.
DOUGLAS YEO BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA RETIREMENT ANNOUNCEMENT
In 2011, I announced my intention to retire from the Boston Symphony Orchestra in August, 2012, after over 27 years of service to the Orchestra. This article is my official announcement
of my decision and also includes many photos of my career with the BSO.
DOUGLAS YEO ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY APPOINTMENT ANNOUNCEMENT
Upon my retirement from the Boston Symphony Orchestra in August 2012, I began my position as Professor of Trombone at Arizona State University. This article is my announcement of my appointment
to the ASU faculty.
INTERVIEW WITH DOUGLAS YEO - 2012
On January 7, 2012, WGBH radio in Boston ran an interview of me as an intermission feature of that day's Boston Symphony Orchestra broadcast. Interviewer Brian Bell asked me to reflect
on my career with the BSO; composer John Williams is also heard speaking on the interview. Total running time = 19:00.
ANOTHER INTERVIEW WITH DOUGLAS YEO - 2012
In September, 2012,
in Fredricksburg and Lynchburg, Virginia, broadcast an interview of me with host Peter Stover. In it, I speak about my career in the Boston Symphony,
my new life as Professor of Trombone at Arizona State University, and how I integrate my Christian faith with my life in music. Total running time = 23:43.
For many years, I have played the serpent, the bass wind instrument invented in 1590 to accompany singing of chant in the Church in France and which later became an important
part of wind ensembles, military bands and the symphony orchestra. This page is a gateway to all of the articles and resources on my website that relate to this most unusual
and fascinating of instruments.
WHAT HAPPENED TO THE INTERNET?
The Internet is a powerful tool and one that has changed our world. But has it changed it for the good? Since 1996 when my website
first went online, I have been observing many aspects of the Internet and how it impacts our lives. This article details some of those
observations, gives some suggestions for change and speaks about how consideration of all of this has changed my own live. The subtitle
of this article is, "A Consequential Reflection."
DOUGLAS YEO 2009 SABBATICAL DIARY
From December 2008 - January 2009 I am on sabbatical from the Boston Symphony Orchestra. This is a rare opportunity for me to explore some different activities.
Read my diary of my sabbatical journey with commentary and photos from my adventures around the world.
AN INTERVIEW WITH DOUGLAS YEO
In 2006, Matthew Guilford, bass trombonist of the National Symphony Orchestra (Washington DC) interviewed me in what was the most far-reaching interview I have ever given.
The interview appears on Matt's website and also appears here for the convenience of readers. It covers a wide range of topics including my approach to teaching, performing, my
life in the Boston Symphony and some of the many activities that make up my pluralistic life.
TO GOD BE THE GLORY: BILL PEARCE AND MUSICAL EXCELLENCE
On May 22, 2010, I took part in the memorial service for Bill Pearce, the noted trombonist and host of the radio program, Nightsounds. The service was held at Moody Bible Institute
in Chicago, Illinois, where Bill Pearce got his start in radio. I was privileged to play several of Bill Pearce's arrangements for trombone and piano, and deliver the Homily at the service.
This article is the text of my Homily, To God Be The Glory: Bill Pearce and Musical Excellence and also includes several photos of Bill Pearce and photos from the
REMEMBERING AND GIVING THANKS
On May 2, 2010, I was inducted into the Hewlett-Woodmere Alumni Association Hall of Fame (Hewlett, New York). I spent 11 years in the Hewlett-Woodmere public school system (1960-1971)
and this event gave me an opprotunity to reflect on that influential time in my life. This article includes the text of my comments I gave at the induction ceremony and several
photos from my years in the Hewlett-Woodmere public schools.
ME, MYSELF AND I: Are Orchestral Brass Players Losing the Concept of Being Team Players?
When brass players get together, the conversation inevitably turns to equipment and
"How loudly can you play?" This article, originally posted on the trombone-l email
discussion list and later published in the International Trombone Association Journal,
thoughts on the "louder is better" school of brass playing and is an appeal for brass players
to once again return to the fold and work as part of a unified team within the orchestra
who's goal is a balanced, beautiful musical product.
THE VIEW FROM THE BACK ROW
There is no doubt in my mind that I have the best seat in the concert hall for every
concert. In this essay, I discuss
my philosophy of music and music performance from my vantage point in the
back row of a professional symphony orchestra. Beginning with the premise
that music is an intense spiritual experience that brings man closer to
God, I speak of the great privilege, responsibility and joy that comes
from making music as an offering to the Creator of all things.
THE BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA TROMBONE QUARTET: THE 1906 VICTOR RECORDINGS
In 1906, the Boston Symphony Orchestra Trombone Quartet traveled to the studios of the Victor Talking Machine Company
and recorded several tracks, two of which, "The Kerry Dance" and "Nearer, My God, to Thee," were released on 10 inch
78rpm discs. These recordings are the earliest known recordings by members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and have great
historical significance. My article about these recordings includes many photos, archival documents from the Boston
Symphony and BMG (Victor) archives, commentary and mp3 files of the recordings.
THE NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS AND THE BOSTON POPS: A SUPER BOWL DIARY
The New England Patriots are the National Football League's 2001-2002 World Champions, after winning
Super Bowl XXXVI on February 3, 2002. AND... the Boston Pops were there playing the
pre-game show including the National Anthem. Read my day to day diary of preparations beginning in the week
leading to the
Super Bowl as the Boston Pops headed to New Orleans to cheer on our home town team to victory!
HOLD ON TO HOPE
This article is the text of a graduation address I gave at the Caritas Academy of Arts and Sciences, Hudson, Massachusetts,
on June 10, 2006. It explores the theme of hope as we confront the challenges the world throws at us.
THE NEW ENGLAND BRASS BAND: GRATITUDE 2008
This article consists of comments I made to members of the New England Brass Band on the occasion of my final concert with the band on June 1, 2008. I served as Music Director of the
NEBB for 10 years, from 1998-2008, and my time with this fine group of people was one of the most rewarding periods of my life. My comments attempted to summarize my view on that very special
10 year period. I was honored to be named "Music Director Emeritus" and given the status of "Honorary Member" of the NEBB on the occasion of my retirement from the band.
BRASS BAND AID AND 'THE BIG BLOW 2007'
This article features photos and commentary surrounding my trip to England in January 2007 where I participated in
several activities to support the charity Brass Band Aid. I played in a Brass Band Aid "Celebrity" Band made up of
some of the finest brass band players in England and also took part in "The Big Blow 2007," a Guinness Book of World Records recognized
attempt to organize the world's largest brass band. All of these activities went to support Brass Band Aid's funding of
a school in Adet, Ethiopia.
THE NEW ENGLAND BRASS BAND: GRATITUDE 2008
In 2008, I stepped down as Music Director of the New England Brass Band, after leading the Band for 10years from 1998-2008. This article is the text of my comments to the band before our final
concert together; it also includes photos of the NEBB and me during our years working together.
LOOK FOR THE ANCIENT PATHS
Look For the Ancient Paths is a challenge to look at one's life and sense of calling through new eyes. It was
originally given as a chapel message at Northwestern College in Saint Paul, MInnesota in February, 2009.
WIR BIN ICH: MEANING AND SELF FOR THE ARTISTIC CHRISTIAN
Wer bin Ich: Meaning and Self for the Artistic Christian speaks to the question, "Who am I?" and
the implications of living in a world that struggles to accept the concept of "Truth." It was
originally given as a lecture at the Lee University School of Music Performance Seminar at Lee University, Cleveland, Tennessee in April, 2009.
WHATEVER. . .
Using the great Gothic cathedral in Amiens (France) as a jumping off point, this article
speaks to the subject of excellence in all that we do through the lens of my Christian worldview.
It first appeared in the inaugural (2001) issue of the journal "Transpositions," published by the Christian Performing Artists
I AM MUSIC
Using the "Prologue" of Monteverdi's opera, "L'Orfeo" as a place to begin, this article speaks about creativity
and creation and the power music has over us. It originally appeared as part of the "Conversations Project" CD.
Ready or not, here it comes, as it does every year! Christmas is coming. Beyond the
packages, bows and frazzled preparations, there is something more important to that annual celebration. This article,
the text of a message I preached at Hope Church in Lenox, Massachusetts on Christmas Eve 2001, puts the story of
Christmas in a much needed context.
THE MODERN SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA: Turmoil, Liberation and Redemption
This article originally appeared in a Festschrift published by
my undergraduate alma mater, Wheaton College (IL) in honor of the retirement of my
mentor, Dr. Harold Best, who had been Dean of the Wheaton Conservatory of Music
for many years. It outlines my thoughts and observations on the modern
symphony orchestra, some of the great things that are troubling it and some solutions
on how to fix it.
THE PARADOX AND MYSTERY OF THE CROSS
This article is the text of a meditation
I gave during a Good Friday service at the Boston Central Corps of the
Salvation Army, March 29, 2002.
ON A MISSION FROM GOD
"What is God's plan for my life?" is on the minds of many people. This article, giving my thoughts on this important
subject, was originally a chapel message I gave
at Greenville College (Illinois) and Lexington Christian Academy (Massachusetts).
HOW TO PURSUE A CAREER AS AN ORCHESTRAL MUSICIAN
I am often asked about the process that is required to become an orchestral
musician. While my resource Symphony
Auditions: Preparation and Execution gives an intimate
look into the audition process itself, this article speaks about ways
in which aspiring musicians can get on the track toward achieving the
goal of a chair in a symphony orchestra. I wrote this article for a
new web site currently under construction called Career Map,
which, when online early next year, will provide valuable information
regarding pursuing a career in numberous disciplines.
PROS AND CONS TO A CAREER AS AN ORCHESTRAL MUSICIAN
I love my job as bass trombonist of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. But I am often
asked what the pros and cons are to having such a job. In this article I have
tried to present both sides of the coin as well as my view of the balance one needs
to strike in order to enjoy such a demanding job. I wrote this article for a new web site
currently under construction called Career Map, which, when online
early next year, will provide valuable information regarding pursuing a career in
WINNING ISN'T THE ONLY THING
For many years, I have been involved in community activities and the crafting of public
policy, particularly as it relates to public school education in my community of
Lexington, Massachusetts. In this article, I relate my experience in organizing
a public referendum ballot question and how the music of Alban Berg and J.S. Bach
was instrumental in providing me with insight and a proper perspective.
This page is the gateway to all of my website articles and resources devoted to that most unusual of wind instruments, the serpent.
This article, reprinted
from the Boston Symphony Orchestra program book, gives a brief history of the
serpent and contains fascinating source material from Berlioz and others on the
development of early brass instruments.
Keith Rogers, serpent maker for Christopher Monk Instruments in England, died in January, 2008 at the age of 64. Keith was my friend; he
was a fine craftsman, loving father and husband, and devoted servant of Jesus Christ. This article is a tribute I wrote (accompanied by
several photos) which appeared in the April 2008 issue of The Serpent Newsletter.
SERPENT NIGHT AT THE BOSTON MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS
On April 30, 1998, I participated in a lecture/demonstration at the Boston
Museum of Fine Arts at which their excellent collection of serpents and
related instruments was displayed. This article includes mostly photos of
the event, including my playing various instruments including a c. 1810 Baudouin
serpent, the world's smalles serpent, the "worm" and "George," the mighty
"Anaconda" contrabass serpent
P. D. Q. BACH AND THE AMERICAN SERPENT PLAYERS
In December 2005, I had the great pleasure of playing with the American Serpent Players in three concerts in New York City featuring the music
of P.D.Q. Bach. Peter Schickele is the mastermind behind the music of this, the last and least prolific child of the great J.S. Bach. This article takes the form of
photo essay about the concert including photos taken backstage with various performers and excerpts from a New York Times review of the concerts.
A VISIT TO THE RICHARD WAGNER HOUSE AND MUSEUM AT TRIBSCHEN, LUCERNE, SWITZERLAND
On September 4, 2001, I visited the Richard Wagner house and museum at Tribschen, Lucerne,
Switzerland, where Wagner composed, among other things, his "Siegfried Idyll." The house
also contains a interesting collection of musical instruments including historic low
brass instruments such as serpent, ophicleide and English bass horn. This photo essay
has several photos of the Wagner house and photos of selected musical instruments in the collection
of the museum.
A MUSICAL SERPENT JOINS THE BSO
This article, by Andrew Pincus of the Berkshire Eagle
details some of my serpent exploits and includes some interesting photos including
a shot of me holding four differently sized serpents.
SERPENT PHOTO GALLERY
This photo gallery includes many photos of the serpent, played both by me and by many other serpentists from around the world.
TROMBONE (and related instruments) PHOTO GALLERY
This photo gallery includes photos of many of my own trombones and related instruments which I use in performance in the Boston Symphony and other ensembles.
MOZART'S REQUIEM: An Internet Discussion on 16th April 1996 between Douglas Yeo and Howard Weiner, Edited by Derrick Parker
Trombonist Derrick Parker edited a discussion that trombonist/musicologist
Howard Weiner and I had on the trombone-l email discussion group regarding
Mozart's trombone writing in his Requiem. This article originally
appeared in The Trombonist, the Journal of the British Trombone
Society and contains a great deal of information regarding Mozart's writing,
contemporary and period performance practice, and practical issues confronted by
trombonists as they approach this important music.
WHEN PARENTS WON'T PARENT, TROUBLE IS AHEAD
I am a periodic columnist for my local town newspaper, The Lexington Minuteman and I often speak about relevant social issues facing our community. In this column, I look at the recent increase in drug use by high school students in our town and offer some comments about how parents and our community are addressing the issue.
THE SAFETY, THE SECURITY AND THE SANCTUARY
In this article, which originally appeared in a greatly abridged format in The Lexington Minuteman, I speak about my experience in taking a case to the United States Supreme Court, and the importance of standing firm for the principles in which you believe.
DAVID TAYLOR:BASS TROMBONE; AN APPRECIATION & INTERVIEW
In 1990-91, bass trombonist David Taylor and I sat down and talked about music making
in what became the longest article ever published by the International Trombone
Association Journal. This provocative interview, which remains as fresh today
as the day when it first appeared, covers a huge amount of ground and
will cause all musicians - not just trombonists - to examine the way they look at
music and the forces that influence us.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PLAYING AND PRACTICING
I wrote this short article for Windplayer Magazine in order to help players make
the distinction between "playing" and "practicing" and offer insights on how
to make the most of one's practice time.
My website, www.yeodoug.com, was launched in February 1996, making it the first site on the Internet devoted to the trombone. This article was writtein in 2006 on the 10th anniversary of
the launch of my website, and tells the story of how yeodoug.com came to be.