MEET LEE BLAKEMAN
How did you get interested in playing the trombone?
I actually was going to be a percussionist. My mom and dad had already purchased a practice pad and drumsticks. I switched shortly before beginning band started in sixth grade. I was hoping to someday sit beside an older girl who also played the trombone. That never happened.
What are some of your favorite orchestral works?
I’m not picky when it comes to repertoire. I just like to play music that provides the opportunity for the trombones to sound great—whether that’s pop or classical makes no difference to me. I was fortunate enough to play Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 with a fantastic student group while I was pursuing a masters degree from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. That was a great musical experience for me. For those who may not know, Mahler’s Third Symphony has a notable trombone solo in the first movement which has a significant impact.
What are some of your highlights in playing with Orchestra Kentucky?
What’s amazing about Orchestra Kentucky is that I get to perform with a great group of musicians right here in Bowling Green, KY. Performing regularly with my colleagues Bill Huber, Bryan Heath and Joe Stites is always rewarding. These three guys have all made me a better person and musician in ways too numerous to list.
What do you enjoy doing when you are not rehearsing or performing?
I enjoy spending time with my family, both immediate and extended. My wife, Amanda, and I have two children with one on the way. We are grateful to live and work near our parents, siblings, nieces and nephews. I also like working around the house, both inside and out, along with riding a dual-sport motorcycle both on and off road. If you see someone around town riding a Suzuki with a trombone strapped to his back, that’s probably me.