Artist Interview: Carol Jantsch
(Yamaha Tuba & Euphonium Artist)
Carol Jantsch has been principal tuba of The Philadelphia Orchestra since 2006 making her the first female tuba player in a major symphony orchestra. She attended the prestigious arts boarding high school Interlochen Arts Academy, graduating as salutatorian of her class. She continued her studies at the University of Michigan under Fritz Kaenzig. Jantsch has given masterclasses in Europe, Asia and North America. She is on the faculty at the Curtis Institute of Music, Temple University’s Boyer College of Music, and the Yale University School of Music.
What inspired you to play music and stick with it?
I’d say my first real experience with loving music came from watching cartoons like Looney Tunes and Tom & Jerry – the music is just awesome! My mom made me take private piano lessons at six-years-old which wasn’t a choice at first, ha! When I was 9-years-old I started on the euphonium. I went to Interlochen Arts Academy summer camps and eventually enrolled in the school my sophomore year; it was there I knew I wanted to keep playing.
As the first female tuba player in a major symphony orchestra, what would you say to aspiring musicians who believe some instruments are only meant to be played based on your gender?
Who cares about what other people think of the instrument you choose to play – if you’re good at it, they’ll respect you for that.
When do you think is the right time for a student to consider upgrading their instrument?
It’s a personal decision about knowing when to upgrade your instrument. If you’ve felt held back as a musician, there is a great feeling that comes with getting a new instrument because it lets you enjoy the experience rather than feeling stunted. When I didn’t have an instrument that could handle all the things I’d be doing as I played more, that’s when I knew I needed to look into something better.
What do you look for in an upgraded instrument model?
I actually don’t know enough about the specifics to make a decision. For me, it all comes down to the sound. You have to be in love with the sound you produce on an instrument because you can’t change it that much. There’s an element of “gut reaction” when you first play a new instrument.
What are some tips you can offer to help a musician pick their next instrument?
Definitely bring another person whose ears you trust! You’ll have your own reaction to the sound, but it could come out completely different on the other end of the instrument. You can also bring a recorder and listen to yourself play.
Is there anything else you’d recommend to a musician investing in a new instrument?
Definitely invest in maintaining your instrument, too. Issues such as gummy valves for example can hold you back and keep you from experiencing the full potential of your instrument and your musicianship.
- TIP: Take your valves out (keep track of which one is which!) and rinse them with a little soap and lukewarm water. It’s like brushing your teeth – you’ve got to keep the gunk off!
- SPECIAL OFFER: Buy a one-year instrument maintenance agreement with us and get an additional month for free. Buy a two-year instrument maintenance agreement and get two months for free. See local store associate for more details.
“If a new instrument can change your musical experience, it’s obviously worth investing in. You’re going to get better because you like playing more.”