Chris Coletti on Differing Standards Between Performers and those for Whom They Perform

unspecifiedSince joining Canadian Brass in 2009, trumpeter/arranger Christopher Coletti has performed hundreds of concerts, TV and radio appearances around the world with the group, recorded 8 billboard chart-topping/award-winning CDs, filmed multiple music videos, and arranged a plethora of music that The Brass has recorded and regularly performs. Canadian Brass’ dedication to music education is a perfect fit for Coletti who enjoys sharing his unique perspective as a full-time performer and active educator with students and fellow teachers.  Chris is adjunct professor of trumpet at the Brooklyn College Conservatory of Music and also has a private teaching studio in Brooklyn, NY and on Skype.


  • You experience enough “worsts” when you’re young so that when you screw up when you’re older, it won’t ruin your career.
  • Playing in Canadian Brass gives newer members kind of an unfair advantage because they have a following that goes back decades.
  • It took Chris around 3 years to feel comfortable performing with the Canadian Brass.
  • Musicians need coaches all their lives, just like athletes.


Was auditioning for an orchestra in Switzerland. Played the Haydn trumpet concerto on a piston-valve Eb trumpet, while everyone else played it on a Bb rotary trumpet. Plus the pianist played it way too fast. I was asked to stop just a few seconds in. Rather than focusing on playing beautiful music, I was focused on falling short and it affected me as a performer for a long time after that.



Q: It’s 5 minutes before you go on stage for an important performance… What are you doing?

A: I’m singing the pieces that are more difficult and envisioning them going really well. If it’s a show I’m comfortable with, just some simple meditation and maybe joking around with the guys in the group.

Q: What’s the best performance-related advice you’ve ever received?

A: Get used to breaking the silence. Don’t be afraid of your sound.

Q: Can you share one tip for our listeners to help deal with stage fright? (Physical, mental, etc.)

A: You’re nervous because you’re holding yourself to a higher standard on stage than you do in the practice. In order to raise your standard in the practice room, then tell yourself the things that you should do are the things you must do.


Q: Imagine you’re on stage. It’s the end of the performance and the audience is on its feet, applauding. They don’t want any more and they don’t want any less. Everything is perfect. What have you just done?

A: Outdoor concert for the entire planet, broadcast on the moon. I realize some people will be asleep, but this concert will be worth waking up for.

About the author, James Newcomb

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