Get to Know the DSSO: Earl Salemink, Principal Trumpet

Name: Earl Salemink

Member of DSSO since: 1989

DSSO Position: Principal Trumpet

Bachelor of Music Performance – University of Iowa
Master of Music Performance – Northwestern University

What made you decide to pursue a career in music? 
I had an artistic side when I was young – I enjoyed drawing. I started music when I was in 5th grade, enjoyed it and just kept going.

What has been the highlight of your career thus far? 
The handful of unforgettably magical moments that you wake up from when they are done and ask, “Did we just do THAT?” I’m proud to have shared that with these musicians here.

 What made you choose to play trumpet? 
I wanted to play sax but the band director said there were too many students choosing it so he handed me a cornet. I couldn’t get a sound out of it when I got it home!

What’s the most challenging thing about playing the trumpet?
Taking little dots on a piece of paper and the physical properties necessary for playing the instrument and turning them into something that leads the listener to feel and believe anything – without uttering a single word.

Do you have a favorite piece of orchestral repertoire to play and/or listen to? 
Pretty much whatever I’m playing at the time but I do have a special place for early 20th century music, early rock, big band and Gabrieli.

When you’re not performing, what do you do for fun? 
I’m a hard core DIYer. I enjoy designing and making all kinds of things from simple (like a cleaning rag for my instrument) to a house (still in progress).

What’s one thing you hope people take away from a DSSO concert? 
The AMAZING talent and ability of this special group of musicians.

Do you have any advice for those looking to pursue a career in music? 
DO IT!!! Most people say there is no money in music (and they may be right in many circumstances) but the rewards and the enriched quality of life from playing music (at any level) is beyond what can be put into words.