Massimo La Rosa
(Principal Trombone, The Cleveland Orchestra)
Born in Palermo, Italy, Massimo La Rosa studied with Filippo Bonanno. He released two solo albums and is currently the principal trombone of The Cleveland Orchestra and the head of the trombone department at the Cleveland Institute of Music. The Bach artist shares his thoughts on instrument upgrades.
What inspired you to play music?
Passion for music was part of my family when I was growing up. Many of my relatives were playing in the local wind band in my hometown. I didn’t choose to play; my father wanted me to play. I learned to like it, and now I cannot imagine my life without music.
When do you think is the right time for a student to consider upgrading their instrument?
Every student knows when something clicks in their brain – when they discover a new love for what they’re doing. Buying a new instrument for a student is not like buying soccer shoes or a fishing pole. In those cases, if the passion vanishes in a couple of months, no one has lost a great deal of money. In the case of a new musical instrument, people want to be sure that the moment is right for making that big investment. I think that sometimes it’s good to take that risk. I still remember when my parents bought me a new trombone – a Bach 42. It cost my father three times his salary. I was twelve years old, and knowing the significance of my father’s investment made me very responsible and respectful of his sacrifice and the care he had for my future.
Often, we see students buy an upgraded instrument, without a better mouthpiece. What do you recommend?
My recommendation is that if you change from a small bore trombone to a large bore trombone, you must get a Bach 5G mouthpiece with a large shank. You can play your entire career on this mouthpiece.
Many students do not pursue music in college or as a professional. How can an upgraded instrument benefit a middle or high school student now?
I would like to say that to have an instrument with dents is not good, especially if dents are in the slide or in the curves. To have an instrument with bad lacquer can create allergies for the player. An instrument that is not clean inside is not good. Bach has a wonderful line of instruments for the young player. These instruments are affordable. Having an instrument of good quality, such as the Bach 42BO, will benefit the student’s development and enjoyment of playing.
Ready to Upgrade Your Sound?
This largest band event is coming to a city near you! The Horns-of-Plenty, sponsored by Music & Arts, has the widest assortment of intermediate and professional instruments in one place, and only comes by once a year. Learn more about Upgrade Your Sound now!