Meet Jef Derderian

Reno Phil Trumpeter
Jef Derderian_sized

What year did you join the orchestra?
I played my first concert with the Philharmonic in 2014.

How long have you been playing music?
I’ve been playing music for about 21 years. Started piano around age 7 and picked up the trumpet around age 10.

How did you pick your instrument?
My older brother, who was playing the saxophone in band, told me the trumpet got all the solos and so I knew that instrument was for me.

Besides playing the trumpet professionally in the area, I also teach private music lessons.

When you’re not playing with the Reno Phil, what would we most likely see you doing in your free time?
You’d probably find me doing something active like swimming in Lake Tahoe, hiking in the mountains or lifting heavy things at the gym.

What genre of music are you most excited to play?
That’s a tough question because I studied jazz in school and I love expressing myself through improvisation but there’s also something very special to me about playing in an orchestra. So I’d have to say jazz and classical.

What is your favorite piece of all time to play, and why?
Anything by Mahler or Sibelius. I love the way they write for brass, it’s often very challenging and rewarding to play.

If you could meet one composer/musician, who would it be and why?
I would love to meet Pat Metheny. His compositions and improvisational voice has always really resonated with me. I’m very curious to know what life experiences have shaped his sense of melody and harmony.

What is your favorite vacation spot?
Anywhere near the ocean.

What do you think the audience would find surprising about you?
I know how to tap dance.

What about performing live music brings you joy?
I’ve always loved performing in front of people, it brings me a joy and thrill that’s hard for me to find elsewhere in life.