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Trombonist David Phy recalls turning sheet music for the church organist–his dad

Dr. David Phy plays trombone

Dr. David Phy plays trombone

In this episode of Confetti Park, New Orleans-based trombonist Dr. David Phy shares early music memories of learning how to read sheet music with his dad.

David is a professional musician who has performed with national acts and jazz artists such as The 4 Tops, The Temptations, Bonerama, Delfeyo Marsalis, The Yin Yang Twins, Chip McNeil, Louis Belson, Lena Prima, Louis Prima Jr., Charo, and the Dukes of Dixieland. He has taught at Tulane University, University of New Orleans and Delgado Community College in New Orleans.

David grew up in a musical household. His father was a professional pianist, organist, and teacher. His role as church organist led to David’ earliest interactions with written music.

Says David: “Growing up, my father was the church organist. At the end of church, there is always the postlude, where there’s a nice big organ fanfare piece, as people are supposed to go out into the world and carry on the philosophy of the sermon.

I remember I used to run up the stairs to the church loft where he would be playing organ, and he would need me to turn pages for him.

As he said ‘Turn the page,’ I knew that he would be starting at the top…so though I couldn’t read music…I kind of started following along.

I would play a game with myself, to think, ‘I bet, as I’m following along with my eyes, I can guess roughly when he needs me to turn the page….’ That was one of my earliest moments with music.”

David explains how these early experiences led him to playing in high school, college, cruise ships, Vegas, and now, New Orleans!

Isn’t it wonderful how these childhood musical interactions with his father led to a full, lifelong career in music? Thanks for sharing your memory, Dr. Dave!

Learn more about David Phy

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