When Josh Frank received a Westport Arts “Horizons” Award in 2009 — as a “rising young artist” — he was surprised and honored.
He also felt guilty. “I thought, ‘they recognized me, but what have I done for Westport?'” the trumpeter, composer and movie producer asked recently.
Though he lives in New York, he vowed to do more.
Josh enjoys working with kids. He’s doing that now, teaching pro bono “master classes” for trumpeters at Staples and Coleytown Middle School.
He talks with the students about trumpet fundamentals — but ties the instrument in with the real world. “Music doesn’t exist by itself, or in a box,” he says. “The lessons that come out of it — practice regimens, connecting with people — they’re so important in life.”
His students like to hear about his own post-Staples career. He’s recorded a film score for a Francis Ford Coppola movie; performed at Central Park’s SummerStage with Yo-Yo Ma and Bobby McFerrin; been featured on camera in “Royal Pains”; recorded a commercial for IBM; toured as a soloist with the New York Symphonic Ensemble; helped found a chamber orchestra that’s been featured on Channel 13; and performed with his “Batteries Duo” group at various sites in Minneapolis — including the Apple Store.
The Staples (Class of 2000), Juilliard and Manhattan School of Music grad has recorded with David Byrne, and toured Japan with Boyz II Men.
Who says you can’t make a living doing what you love?
As if that’s enough, Josh has started teaching privately in Westport. He’s got a few trumpet students already, but has room for one or two more.
He can relate to plenty of kids in town.
“When I first started playing, in 5th grade at King’s Highway, I was like every other kid in band,” he recalls. “I loved it, but I had no idea where it would lead.”
But his teachers and parents encouraged and supported him. Gregg Winters, Nick Mariconda, Adele Valovich — all those Westport instructors and more have helped make him who he is.
And now Josh Frank is paying it — and playing it — back.
(To contact Josh, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 917-742-6040. Click here for his website.)