Kate – I am so excited to present Nicole Abissi – our next featured guest Brass Chick blogger, who also performed at IWBC. We have played together in NYC and I was really interested to hear her responses to our interview questions. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with the Brass Chicks community!
Nicole Abissi is a member of the renowned Stiletto Brass Quintet since 2013. She frequently plays with many of the country’s fine orchestras, as well as on Broadway. Nicole received her Bachelor of Music degree from The Juilliard School and Master of Music degree from Stony Brook University.
In 2007, Nicole began a fellowship with The New World Symphony in Miami, Florida. There, she had the opportunity to work with the premier conductors of our time, as well as receive lessons and coaching from many of the finest brass players in the world today. Nicole won her first professional position as the Second Trombonist of the Alabama Symphony in 2009. In September of 2012 she joined the Colorado Symphony as acting Principal trombonist for the 2012-2013 season. In addition to her performance experience, Nicole is a passionate teacher. She has given clinics at many universities as well as music festivals, such as, Georgia State University, University of Alabama, Interlochen Arts Camp, and Youngstown State University. Her students have gone on to study trombone performance at such schools as The Juilliard School, Northwestern University, New England Conservatory and Lynn University.
Listen to Nicole here:
Want to find out more?
1. Tell us a little about yourself and what you do!
I am a trombonist with a varied career. I was primarily an orchestral player until joining the Stiletto Brass Quintet in 2013. Now I play chamber music, Broadway, orchestra, brass ensemble, new music, and commercial music. I love to teach almost as much as perform and my blog has given me an outlet to share my ideas with a wider audience.
2. Is there anything you wished you had known as a student or young professional that you know now? Any advice that you’d like to share with younger musicians?
I wish I had let go of perfectionism in the practice room at a much younger age. Striving for perfection isn’t helpful because it does not exist. We need to not be complacent or accept mediocrity, but we also need to practice self-love and acceptance. Where I am right now as a musician isn’t where I always want to be. But in order to get where I want to be, I need to put in a lot of honest practice time and self-loathing is not going to help me achieve my goals.
3. Any resources you recommend? Books, podcasts, recordings that changed your life etc.
I think every musician should follow the Bulletproof Musician blog. It has so many helpful posts about performing and practicing. I also always recommend Golf is Not a Game of Perfect to people. It focuses a lot on the mental aspect of performing and essentially the phenomenon of mind over matter.
4. Lasting thoughts / tips / ideas / comments?
There is a lot more to what we do than just practicing the notes on the page. Explore what you can do to improve your mental game and never underestimate the importance of being kind and respectful to your colleagues. I still work with people I met when I was 14 as an Intermediate camper at Interlochen Arts camp. One of those people is currently a member of the New York Philharmonic and came to my son’s first birthday party. Another is a member of the Philadelphia Orchestra and more play in the National Symphony and other orchestras around the world. Every person you meet should be treated with respect and consideration, because you will probably work with them for the rest of your career.