Studio Trumpet Player Pete De Siena of Los Angeles, California grew up in Edison, New Jersey. Pete De Siena began playing the trumpet in the 4th grade. Most of Pete's friends were drawn to playing the drums so Pete opted for the trumpet instead. Pete relates, "I didn't really "get" the trumpet until high school. My band director handed me a cassette tape, yes I said cassette tape, of Maynard tunes. This was the first time I actually heard what a trumpet could do. From there I started taking private lessons and got serious about playing the trumpet. So I would give credit to my high school band director Andy DeNicola for showing me the road and getting me on it."
From high school, Trumpet Player Pete De Siena went to the University of North Texas. Pete states, "Talk about shock. There were so many trumpet players at that school, and a lot of them were really good. I was the little fish in the ocean down there. The first semester, I auditioned for the lab bands and played lead in the 9:00 o'clock band. It was funny, because most of the people I was getting to know were congratulating me. I was thinking that I sucked big time. Here I was making a spot in the last possible lab band they had to offer. There was no reason to be congratulated on that was my thought. The first rehearsal, the director is handing out all of these heavy charts: Thad's "Kids are Pretty People," Maynards "Shaft", Thad's "Backbone," "Ahunk-Ahunk." I thought I would be playing these cheesy high school level charts in the 9:00 o'clock band. Now I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to play the charts. It was a very humbling experience for me, and a good challenge. " Pete eventually made it into the 1:00 o'clock band for a couple years. Pete also worked for Norwegian Cruise Lines while in college and did the Disney Collegiate Band in Orlando.
Pete's first teacher was a local guy, James Sakofsky. He was a great classical trumpet player. He is the teacher who helped Pete establish his foundation. Jay Saunders of the University of North Texas would be the other great teacher that I had. He was the reason Pete attended the University of North Texas.
While Trumpet Player Pete De Siena was at the University of North Texas, he mainly worked the "wedding band scene." That was a big thing to do amongst the students at the University of North Texas.
Trumpet Player Pete De Siena relates the following road story ... "The first time I played Paul Anka's gig was with Roger Ingram. There is this song that Anka does called "Jubilation" and at the end is a double A with a big old fermatta. So Roger leans over to me and points to that note and says, " I'll play this note first and when I give you the sign you sneak in on it and we'll keep going back and forth like that because Paul likes to hold that note forever." I started laughing; sneak in on a double high A, you've got to be kidding me. If you can call slamming in on a double A off the microphone and then moving on to the microphone a "sneak in," then yes I was able to "sneak in."
Pete credits James Sakofsky with helping him build his range. Says Pete, "He had this warm up that was long and boring, but it helped build range. Basically you start on low F# and go up chromatically slowly and softly eight counts on and eight counts off in between notes." Pete also studied with Trumpet Player Joe Mosello. Joe helped Pete's confidence in playing hard and not being afraid to play. Next, was Jay Saunders while at the University of North Texas. Jay has this minimal pressure style of practice that Pete used a ton while at the University of North Texas. Pete relates, "You let the trumpet rest in between your thumb and index finger with your left hand, and with the right hand make sure to keep your pinky finger out of the ring. The thing behind this style of practice is to allow your corners and your tongue to do all the work for you. Jay's thought was that come gig time you hold the trumpet like you normally do and you do what you have to do to make the gig happen, but when you are practicing you get things going with minimal pressure so that it carries over onto the gigs." Pete still likes the Arban's Complete Conservatory Trumpet Method; Top Tones by Walter Smith and has been checking out Tony Plog's books.
Trumpet Player Pete De Siena uses a Bach LT180-72 (lightweight) Professional Model Bb trumpet. Pete plays on a Bob Reeves #42 trumpet mouthpiece rim and depending on what he is playing, he uses a Bach 3C bottom or a Bob Reeves 42s cup with a #69 back bore. Pete does have a Bob Reeves 42es with a 692s back bore that has been altered a little for more extreme lead playing situations. Pete also plays the Bobby Shew Yamaha Flugelhorn; a Kanstul piccolo trumpet and a Bach 229 C trumpet.