Military Branch: United States Air Force
Military Band: United States Air Force Heartland of America Band
“I feel that being connected to NEC, a place with such an amazing history, has helped drive me to continue to learn new things, perform, and contribute any other way I can to the world of music.”
Why did you choose NEC?
I was stationed at Hanscom Air Force Base outside of Boston and studied privately with Ken Radnofsky. I wanted to continue working with Ken and study with some of the other legendary teachers and artists on the faculty, such as Jerry Bergonzi, John Heiss, Ben Zander, and Allan Chase.
What are some of your favorite memories from your time at NEC?
The opportunities to work with Ken Radnofsky, Jerry Bergonzi, John Heiss, Ben Zander, and Allan Chase are some of my favorite memories. I was also part of a saxophone quartet where we performed Antonín Dvorak’s String Quartet No. 12 titled “American,” and works by David Maslanka and William Albright.
Share a story about one of your favorite faculty or studio instructor.
It's tough to pick just one, but I will never forget when John Heiss spoke about the time when Igor Stravinsky came to Princeton while Mr. Heiss was there studying with Milton Babbitt. Mr. Heiss understood Stravinsky's musical voice well enough to know that some of the orchestra parts were mistransposed and fixed them. Stravinsky began referring to him as "the pitch doctor" and asked if he would accompany him to all future engagements! It still makes me laugh!
What have you been up to since graduating from NEC? What projects have you been working on?
I've been stationed near St. Louis, Hawaii, and now outside of Omaha. I felt the greatest impact of military music in Hawaii because while there, I traveled to Guam, Alaska (twice), China, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand, Qatar, Iraq (twice), Jordan, UAE, Kuwait, and Bahrain.
My job consists of entertaining other service members, inspiring patriotism and support of the US Armed Forces (both in the US and abroad), and improving relationships with our partner nations, treaty allies, and even countries we consider adversaries. Outside of my career in military music, I've performed with the Royal Hawaiian Band; co-commissioned some cool new works by Marc Mellits, Joan Tower, and David Amram; and done a few arrangements of everything from Star Wars to Radiohead. I have also been doing more virtual projects since COVID-19 and have spent a lot of time recording myself and co-workers, and editing and mixing those recordings to support social media posts.
How have your NEC experiences shaped your artistic approach?
The music theory classes I took at NEC were incredibly helpful. I use what I learned about chords, scales, form, and ear training when I'm learning a new piece of music, improvising, working on an arrangement, or recording or editing music on a computer.
Do you have any advice for young musicians/current NEC students?
It is important to be versatile. Thirty years ago it was enough just to be great at your instrument. But today, you must be able to produce professional sounding recordings to help enhance your brand, including your presence on social media.
Share any other stories about what has inspired you at NEC and beyond.
I feel that being connected to NEC, a place with such an amazing history, has helped drive me to continue to learn new things, perform, and contribute any other way I can to the world of music.
Learn more about Anthony:
Current Job Title & Employer: Regional Band enlisted member, USAF Heartland of America Band
Graduation Year: 2011
Degree: Master’s of Music
Major: Saxophone Performance