TBJ91: Jarrett McCourt

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TBJ91: Tubist Jarrett McCourt on mental health, coping strategies and life in and out of New World Symphony

Canadian Tubist Jarrett McCourt is the Acting Principal Tuba of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and the Tubist of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago.

Canadian Tubist Jarrett McCourt is the Acting Principal Tuba of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and the Tubist of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. Prior to this, Jarrett was the Tuba Fellow of the New World Symphony in Miami Beach, Florida. Jarrett’s playing has been called “magnificent” by the Palm Beach Daily News and “warm, romantic and seamless” by the South Florida Classical Review. Jarrett has performed with a number of different high-level ensembles, including the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the Flint Symphony Orchestra, the Windsor Symphony Orchestra, and has also performed as Acting Principal Tuba with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and the National Arts Centre Orchestra. Additionally, Jarrett has performed under classical conductors such as Michael Tilson Thomas, Robert Spano, James Gaffigan, Susanna Mälkki and Leonard Slatkin, as well as alongside jazz heavyweights such as Esperanza Spalding, Wayne Bergeron, and Nicholas Payton.

In this fun and lively (and sometimes powerful and moving) conversation, we cover:

  • "Warm, romantic and seamless"

  • Chicago, playing with the Civic Orchestra

  • Moving from Miami and driving from Florida to Illinois

  • Playing with New World Symphony

  • Playing with Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra

  • Exit interview with NWS CEO, Howard Herring

  • The new concert hall for NWS, live projection of performances on the side of the building

  • The differences in culture between New World and Civic and Winnipeg

  • MTTs advice as a newbie in NWS

  • His suggestions to NWS addressing mental health initiatives

  • Mental health person on staff at U of Michigan School of Music

  • Pressures on professional musicians

  • Working for a suicide hotline for two years as an undergrad

  • Basic self-care tactics (food, sleep, hydration, etc.)

  • Connecting with audiences in more personal and genuine ways

  • Developing coping skills

  • Active listening, acknowledge realistically and offer concrete advice

  • If you suspect something, express something

  • His suggestions for systemic changes in educational and professional environments

  • Help others feel comfortable

  • Noa Kageyama

  • Meditation

  • Personal highlight reel

  • Achievement/Gratitude journaling

  • Baby steps

  • Taking every day as it comes


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Expertly produced by Will Houchin with love, care, and enthusiasm.