How do you become a full-time musician playing at the White House? What does it take and how do you get there? In this graphic for Fikapodcast 011episode we’re having fika with Amy McCabe, a full-time professional trumpet player in a premier military band.

Topics

  1. Amy’s White House responsibilities vs. Childhood dream [00:01:30]
  2. Getting a full-time job in music [00:05:42]
  3. The drive, the auditions and shifting your mindset for success [00:10:44]
  4. Music is cathartic [00:17:29]
  5. Spreading joy while touring [00:21:31]
  6. It’s totally different every day [00:24:52]
  7. Inspiration for budding musicians [00:29:43]
  8. Go see live music! [00:32:44]

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FIKA PODCAST EPISODE 011: The Life of a Premier Female Trumpet Player

Erica Eriksdotter: Hi lovelies!  It’s time for FIKA! The Swedish word that means bonding and connecting with friends over coffee or tea. This is the place to be for real talks and discussions about everything from healing, fine arts, motherhood and entrepreneurship to health and fitness. The focus is connecting the dots through consciousness and elevating how consciousness is directed through each guest’s career and life path. My name is Erica Eriksdotter, born and raised in Sweden and I now live outside of Washington, D.C. I’m a fine arts painter and owner of Studio Eriksdotter, certified Intra-Dimensional Healer and PR and Social Media Strategist. I’m a modern woman, connected to Self who brings meaning to life through an earth centered truth.

Erica Eriksdotter: Amy McCabe is joining me for fika today. It’s actually a late fika for both of us because we’re recording this in the evening after work. Amy is a very talented musician and is a professional trumpet player in a premier military band at the White House. She grew up in Illinois and moved to D.C. in 2006. I have known her since 2010 when we met at an energy workshop. Hi Amy!

Amy McCabe: Hello!

Erica Eriksdotter: Thanks for joining me tonight.

Amy McCabe: Thanks for having some fika with me.

Erica Eriksdotter: So, I’m having blueberry tea which is sent by my friend Maja from Sweden. What are you drinking?

Amy McCabe: I have blackberry sage.

Erica Eriksdotter: Ooohhhh

Amy McCabe: Kind of similar there.

Erica Eriksdotter: Cool

Amy McCabe: Yeah.

  1. [00:01:30] Amy’s White House responsibilities vs. Childhood dream

Erica Eriksdotter: So, we’re actually talking about your music background today, that you’re doing this for a living, very successfully so. What would you say that you are doing for a living right now?

Amy McCabe: My full time job is just what you said. I play in a premier military band in Washington, D.C. and our duties are to perform for the President of the United States and the Commandant. So, those duties can include anything from playing for State Dinners, playing honors, like Hail to the Chief, in certain situations or we’ll provide background music when they give out medals at the White House for certain things. But, we also do full honors funerals at Arlington Cemetery anywhere from a World War II Veteran to someone who was Killed in Action. We also have an extensive concert series that’s around D.C. and we do a National Tour once a year and we also get to do a lot of chamber music which is like, smaller groups of music, if you’re not familiar with that. We just kind of do it all. Whatever they need over there, we send over there from concert bands and orchestras to mariachi bands, Top 40, whatever. So, yeah, that’s my full time 9 – 5er gig, except it’s never 9 – 5.

Erica Eriksdotter: [laughing]

Amy McCabe: I do a lot of fun stuff on the outside too.

Erica Eriksdotter: So, when you were 5 years old, if we go back to little Amy and I would have asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up. What would you have answered?

Amy McCabe: [laughing] A veterinarian.

Erica Eriksdotter: [laughing]

Amy McCabe: [laughing] It’s true. I loved animals and I just had a really strong connection with animals and that was like the game plan from Day 1. Then, I started high school chemistry. [laughing]

Erica Eriksdotter: [laughing] Ah OHHHH! Wait, you have to have chemistry to become a veterinarian?

Amy McCabe: I think it was just science classes in general.

Erica Eriksdotter: [laughing]

Amy McCabe: That just wasn’t my jam. I was more into literature and English and all the arts classes and things like that. Yeah, that dream quickly fizzled away and I’ll pursue that in another lifetime, maybe. [laughing] Yeah, then I went to school for elementary education and was certified K-6 to teach just the general subjects.

Erica Eriksdotter:  Ohhhhh.

Amy McCabe: Yeah, that was my undergraduate degree. So, still, even though I was kind of started playing the trumpet in 5th grade, and I played in all the ensembles in the marching band and stuff. I didn’t really seriously study the instrument until the very end of my undergraduate career.

Erica Eriksdotter:  Being passionate about the trumpet through your childhood and teenage years, etcetera. You never thought that you could make a living?

Amy McCabe: No. When I finally heard that you could actually be a professional musician was when I was in college and they had a poster up in the lounge area of the music building. They were auditioning for something called The Disney World Collegiate All Star Jazz Band. I was like, that sounds fun. That was like a summer job. So, I went and I auditioned and I got in and I got paid to play at Disney World. I got paid to play my trumpet at Disney World.

Erica Eriksdotter:  Ohhhhh.

Amy McCabe: [laughing] That was when the light bulb went on, I was like, wait, hang on here. I can actually do this thing that I just have fun doing. I have fun playing with my friends and fun playing all this great music and I can get money for it! That was definitely my A-HA! moment and that’s when the tides turned and I had to get a lot more serious about it then and do some more serious study of music and the trumpet.

Erica Eriksdotter:  What does that mean when you say serious? Because, I did the cello for like 6 months…so..

  1. [00:05:42] Getting a full-time job in music

Amy McCabe: Awesome!

Erica Eriksdotter:  I actually quit because I wasn’t committing to the practicing part. So, how serious do you have to get for those of us who don’t understand? What that means.

Amy McCabe: Well, to get a full time job in music and that can look lots of different ways. You can be a freelancer and supplement with a lot of teaching or pick up orchestra gigs here, doing tours every month or so or whatever. That can also be full time, but when a salaried pension job is very difficult because there just aren’t that many. I really needed to learn how to play the trumpet in such a way that I could get a job like because that’s what I wanted. I wanted to have a full time secure job doing that. That’s what led me to go to grad school.

Erica Eriksdotter:  And, what did you study in grad school?

Amy McCabe: That’s when I studied music performance.

Erica Eriksdotter:  Oh, okay.

Amy McCabe: And orchestral and classical music mostly. Yeah, so that’s and that was kind of got more difficult there because it’s not the big question mark was over my head wondering if I could make it. I don’t know if you guys have ever watched The Voice, the tv show or seen the musical, A Chorus Line, but the audition process to get one of these jobs is pretty rigorous and it can be disheartening when you take…I think in Broadway, something like, you have to take a least 120 auditions before you start even getting called back for things. It’s not as drastic for our world because there’s less jobs and then less people actually in the pool of people that want to be professional trumpet players. But, it’s a kind of hard to do.

Erica Eriksdotter:  So, after you graduated grad school, what was your next step?

Amy McCabe: You start taking auditions. I took some while I was in school.

Erica Eriksdotter:  How do you find the auditions, like where do you go and how do you find them?

Amy McCabe: You know, mostly they would be published in the Musician’s Union magazine. So, like, for the San Diego Symphony or the New York Philharmonic or whatever military band auditions there are, they advertise in this paper.

Erica Eriksdotter :Ohh.

Amy McCabe: So, you contact them. Sometimes there’s like a resume round where they don’t even want to deal with students. They just want people who are already experienced and professional. Most of the time, you will be able to get in and go. Then, it’s behind a screen. I think that’s the cool part, is that it’s totally blind. They don’t see you, they don’t know if you’re a man or a woman. They put a carpet all the way up to the music stand where you play so they can’t tell if you’re wearing heels or clippy shoes, you know? [laughing]

Erica Eriksdotter: WOW!!!

Amy McCabe: And you’re assigned a number and if your number gets passed on, you can through another round and then another round and then another round and sometimes even another round. [laughing] It’s kind of a cool little process that’s completely anonymous and all based on how you play.

Erica Eriksdotter: How grueling can it be? Do you get to hear the verdict after the big turndown? Like you get to actually hear it?

Amy McCabe: [laughing] Oh yeah!! They usually do it in like a group of 10 people and they’ll say like, We’d like to thank everyone for coming.

Erica Eriksdotter: And your like…

Amy McCabe: We decided not to pass on anyone from this round.

Erica Eriksdotter: It really is like, The Voice, So, you think you can dance or any of that, The X Factor stuff.

Amy McCabe: [laughing] YEP!!!

Erica Eriksdotter: Oh.. But, the turndowns are usually the same for all of them. It’s not like one is more heartbreaking, except, of course the more you want the job, the more heartbreaking it is.

Amy McCabe: Yeah. I think that’s that. It’s pretty personal. The cool thing about it is what I finally learned through this whole process of taking all these auditions is that you can’t take it personal. It’s kind of like dating, you know? Sometimes you’re with somebody and it’s not working out but it’s really not about you. It’s just not a good fit. What they’re hearing you play isn’t how they play and so it’s just not a good match.

Erica Eriksdotter: Yeah.

Amy McCabe: But, as musicians and as artists I think we all take our craft very personally and very seriously, but sometimes you have to sort of step away from that and say like, you know what, that wasn’t about me and I’m just keep trying my best whatever that is. Someone will hopefully match you at some point.

  1. [00:10:44] The drive, the auditions and shifting your mindset for success

Erica Eriksdotter: I know that being part of this premier military band is like insane. It just shows how talented you are and you had a pretty insane drive to get there. Can you talk a little about that journey?

Amy McCabe: [laughing] In the past, I was driven by a need for self-worth, I think if I can be so bold to say that. I derived a lot self-worth out of how I played or getting compliments on my playing. I think that was a drive to just be really good. My focus has changed since then and I want to be more of a channel for the music and for healing and things like that. But, at one point, that was my drive. [laughing]

Erica Eriksdotter: That is so funny, because I’m listening to you now and I’m like, what? That doesn’t sound like the Amy I’ve known…

Amy McCabe: Yeah, I think it’s kind of the plight of a lot of musicians. It’s like, you kind of had a little aptitude as a kid and that got you noticed and it got you pats on the back. You kind of, sort of, just unconsciously keep going for that at some point. So, that was my drive for a little bit. Also, I love the community of musicians that are out there. If you’ve ever sung in a choir or had a chance to play with other people, play music, it truly is like a universal language and it’s really fun to get in and play some cool rep with people that are like minded.

Erica Eriksdotter: Your looking in the magazine and there’s an audition.

Amy McCabe: Yeah.

Erica Eriksdotter: And, you go. Did they accepted you or how did that go?

Amy McCabe: Umm, for this job, currently?

Erica Eriksdotter: Mmm, hmm. Yep.

Amy McCabe: It kind of gets to be a little whirlwind when you’re in school and you’re like racking up your student loan debts and you’re like the chance of winning a job playing music is like the same percentage of getting to play in the NBA. So you’re going to take every audition out there that will hopefully pay you something. This job audition was just one of many that I was taking. You just kind of get into the routine of preparing the excerpts and going round through round. Yeah, I guess this one didn’t stand out to me so much. What changed was I felt like I had confidence because I’d had some success in some other auditions. I felt like I could go all the way to the end and navigate my way through this tricky process.

Erica Eriksdotter: Alright, so this audition was that while you were still in grad school or many years after grad school?

Amy McCabe: It was right actually at the tail end. I had just graduated and this audition was in June right after graduation. I guess for the first time, I kind of had my eyes open. I went through some health issues that previous fall. I had to have a pretty major surgery and had a weird form of cancer that affected where I actually had to quit school for about 4 months in order to take care of all that round 1. But, you know, I guess we kind of touched on it a little earlier when I was talking about the reasons for why I was playing music. I think contributed to a lot of stress levels and not really doing things for the right reason. Not performing and playing and pursuing music as a career for the right reasons and I think that kind of manifested into what I created there at that time. So, I could take a little pause and recheck in to see why I was doing what I was trying to do.

Erica Eriksdotter: That is, you are, for the purpose of the podcast, simplifying it a lot. Would you mind if we do another podcast where you come back and you talk a little more in depth about the illness itself and your path to self-healing and discovery of energy healing and how you eventually managed to heal yourself from this actual pretty intense and 100% serious illness?

Amy McCabe: Yeah, sure, that would be great! Sign me up!

Erica Eriksdotter: Cool. Okay, so you had a break. We’re going to brush over this a little bit, but it plays a role, of course, through the rest of your…up to today in your life.

Amy McCabe: Yeah.

Erica Eriksdotter: But, you managed to get well enough to finish grad school.

Amy McCabe: Yep.

Erica Eriksdotter: And, then you auditioned at many places. One of those auditions is for this job that you actually have today, this full time at the premier military band.

Amy McCabe: Yeah. What was kind of interesting, again this is kind of going back to that issue, but my first year of grad school I took a ton of auditions for summer festivals and things and didn’t get into a single one. [laughing] Which, as a student, like your kind of expected to at least get into one festival at some point in your college career life.

Erica Eriksdotter: Oh no!

Amy McCabe: Yeah. So, I was like, ‘Oh, man’. That was also like, you know, in the, ‘Oh Snap’ [laughing]

Erica Eriksdotter: [laughing]

Amy McCabe: But, went off and keep this PG. Yeah.

Erica Eriksdotter: [laughing] We should say that we’re actually very vulgar when we get together.

Amy McCabe: [laughing]

Erica Eriksdotter: [laughing] Thank you for doing that, Amy. Keeping it clean.

Amy McCabe: Yeah, no problem. I think anybody’s who’s gone through a trial or an illness or something can attest to the transformative effects it can have on your life, if you can weasel your way through it. After everything, that’s when the light bulb went on and all of a sudden I was winning auditions and doing better. I knew that was something. Something huge clicked for me at that point.

  1. [00:17:29] Music is cathartic

Erica Eriksdotter: In the beginning of the podcast, Amy, you’re talking about how you get to play at various events at the White House, for example. Military funerals at the Arlington Cemetery, the National Cemetery. How does it feel to play music and have your notes and your language weave in the air and touch the people who make such difficult decisions every day? Or, have, like at a funeral, suffered so immensely with loss?

Amy McCabe: Those are great questions. I think music is for anybody. Music is so cathartic. I mean, it’s no wonder that David Bowie has been trending on Twitter and Facebook everywhere this week, even though I never really listened to his music. He touched so many people with all of his music. Even if you never met the musician, his music affects you. When we’re playing at Arlington, specifically for me, is one of the most important parts of my job that I get to do. I feel super honored that we get to provide the music for a function like this. Sometimes it’s really sad and sometimes it’s just a moment filled with honor. Sometimes we play for funerals and there’s no family there because they’ve found remains from someone from the Korean War and they don’t have any contact with any family. No matter what, when you play and there’s people there, you actually can a difference when the music starts. There’s sort of a formality to the funeral at the very beginning. But, specifically, when the trumpet plays Taps, which is one of the last musical moments of the funeral, that’s when you normally see people finally start to have an emotional response. Our job as musicians is to hold space for them and do that. If that makes someone feel an emotion that’s good, but it’s I’m not hooked on results. I think it’s super important to provide that service for them.

Erica Eriksdotter: We’re going to include in the show notes, because you have actually a recording of when you play Taps. I listened to it at work a couple of years ago. [laughing]

Amy McCabe: [laughing]

Erica Eriksdotter: I think and I was just bawling. I had a meeting and I was like ahh forgive me.

Amy McCabe: [laughing]

Erica Eriksdotter: It’s just hits you to the core when you listen to you playing that. I was actually, I’ve been to a military funeral here in the D.C. area. When that trumpet player stands a little bit further back, he stood a little bit further back behind a tree, and that song just comes on. It’s not a song, it’s, what would you call it?

Amy McCabe: It’s a melody, a tune I guess.

Erica Eriksdotter: A melody, a tune. For me, growing up in Europe, it was such a surreal moment, because it was something I’d only heard in the movies before. But, then your struck by the notes and the vibration just goes, literally goes through you. I don’t know if this is how everyone feels at a military funeral but that’s how I felt. It was very extremely moving to hear and I’ll never forget that song, that melody at that funeral.

Amy McCabe: Yeah.

  1. [00:21:31] Spreading joy while touring

Erica Eriksdotter: Just ingrained. So, you mentioned that you do tour. So, what are the places that you’ve gone? So, do you go all over? I mean, I know I text you and you’re like, ‘Hey, I’m over here in this state right now.’

Amy McCabe: [laughing]

Erica Eriksdotter: But, you go pretty all over the U.S. but you also go internationally.

Amy McCabe: Yeah and most of our touring with the concert band is all national within the contiguous U.S. Fifty States. What’s kind of cool about that tour, is that it’s like a grassroots tour meaning that we go to smaller towns. Small towns, which is cool because generally they will never get to hear our group anywhere else unless they were to come to Washington, D.C. So, for us to come to them is kind of neat. One of my favorites parts of the tour concert is we always play the Armed Forces Medley at the end which is all of the service songs that are played, so Army, Navy, Marine Corps, I think Coast Guard’s still in there and Air Force. As each service song is played then if you were a veteran of that specific service then you can stand up and be honored and everybody claps for you.

Erica Eriksdotter: Awwww.

Amy McCabe: It’s just, it’s so cool to see all these older vets stand up and you can see the pride beaming off of their faces. That’s kind of a cool moment for us.

Erica Eriksdotter: When you’re in a military band, you don’t have a military background.

Amy McCabe: No. Yeah, I mean, no one in my family was really in the military. Our band is special. We don’t actually go to boot camp per se which is very unique because basically it’s nothing in our job description warrants us attending boot camp.

Erica Eriksdotter: Or to ever fight.

Amy McCabe: Right. We’re only musicians and we’ll never get deployed or anything like that. That’s kind of unique.

Erica Eriksdotter: Where have you been outside of the U.S. and played?

Amy McCabe: Last summer I was in England. I was a featured soloist with the Great Britain Youth Brass Band.

Erica Eriksdotter: [laughing]

Amy McCabe: It’s this whole long title, I can never remember the name. It’s basically like the premier [National] Youth Brass Brand of Great Britain.

Erica Eriksdotter: Ohh!

Amy McCabe: I got to play a solo with them and work with the kids. That was awesome. They’ve got a really strong tradition of brass playing over in England. Let’s see here, where else? I toured with a Broadway show, this was prior to school, and that went everywhere. Every major market in the U.S., Canada, Japan. Yeah, anywhere. I mean musicians, we roam by nature, I think. [laughing] It’s kind of cool about is that you get to travel a lot for you job.

  1. [00:24:52] It’s totally different every day

Erica Eriksdotter: So, you do roam and you do get to travel but, if you could, and no day is alike, if we could just get some insight into what your typical day looks like.

Amy McCabe: [laughing]

Erica Eriksdotter: Like, what would an average day look like?

Amy McCabe: You know, again, it’s different every day. I do a lot of outside things too. I’ve got little projects brewing here and there. So, I’ve got a lot of that kind of stuff going on. It just depends on what commitments I have for the military band, which is pretty busy. It could range from having a rehearsal for a weekend concert. We do things called Patriotic Openers that are like small bands that go and play a bunch of Sousa marches for a specific group of people. That can happen at any point during the day. Sometimes there’s the funerals like we talked about and then we also do just Taps jobs at the World War II Memorial quite frequently.

Erica Eriksdotter: Oh. I didn’t know that they did that or you did that.

Amy McCabe: Yeah, it’s this cool program they have where they fly veterans in from all over the U.S.  World War II veterans specifically and they go to the World War II Memorial and we just do a little ceremony for them. Our vocalist sings the anthem and then a trumpeter will play Taps.

Erica Eriksdotter: That’s beautiful.

Amy McCabe: It’s great. It’s really great, yeah. It’s totally different every day.

Erica Eriksdotter: You don’t wake up at certain hour, you don’t go to bed at certain hour.

Amy McCabe: No. [laughing]

Erica Eriksdotter: You don’t eat the same food every single morning. You have whatever you want.

Amy McCabe: Noooo. It’s kind of weird. I have to practice a lot too, which is all personally directed depending on what I’ve got coming up. So, there’s a lot of self-motivation going on.

Erica Eriksdotter: Yeah and you seem to have to have the discipline and the drive of course to be able to do that.

Amy McCabe: Yeah. For sure. [laughing]

Erica Eriksdotter: Now…

Amy McCabe: I will tell you, as you probably understand this, when you go after your passion, which is something that was like super fun and very engaging, but when it becomes work…

Erica Eriksdotter: It’s work baby!

Amy McCabe: Yeah, it can change. It totally can become work at a certain point. So, there’s a little bit of a double edged sword there.

Erica Eriksdotter: So, does your fiancé, since he’s also so disciplined and also a trumpet play and an amazing musician, does he crack the whip sometimes? Where you’re like, hey honey you have to practice?

Amy McCabe: [laughing] I think it’s more like…

Erica Eriksdotter: The other ones

Amy McCabe: One hears the other practicing.

Erica Eriksdotter: [laughing]

Amy McCabe: Or, if I hear him practicing, I’m like, ohhh, I should probably do that now you know and get that out of the way.

Erica Eriksdotter: You also do trumpet lessons. You are a teacher and you teach trumpet to students. Can you talk a little bit about that?

Amy McCabe: Yeah. You know, I think it’s so natural for musicians and artists or anyone like if you have a special skill, people end up seeking you out to learn how to do that. Yeah, I have a handful of students right now, which is a lot of fun. I feel like I learn more from them, hopefully not more, the same amount that they’re learning from me. It’s a really cool way to look at the art craft again from a beginner’s eyes.

Erica Eriksdotter: If you, I tend to ask this of my creative people who are joining me for fika, if you couldn’t be creative, if you couldn’t play trumpet, what would you do? I’m thinking more about how much does it add to your life? If you envision yourself not being able to do it, how would that make you feel?

Amy McCabe: That is like a really good question because playing a brass instrument is very physical. Sometimes injuries can happen and I do know a handful of people that have had to either relearn to play or pursue something else completely different. I am just going to say that is a great question and I don’t know how I would handle my creative outlets. [laughing] I would come to you for painting classes.

Erica Eriksdotter: Yeah, you would come to me for more painting classes. That’s right.

Amy McCabe: [laughing]

Erica Eriksdotter: I got you covered, girl!

Amy McCabe: [laughing] Okay!

  1. [00:29:43] Inspiration for budding musicians

Erica Eriksdotter: [laughing] What would you tell…I asked you know, what if I had asked the 5-year-old girl, the Amy, what she wanted to be, you said veterinarian. But, what would you tell the kids that you teach trumpet with or to and what would you tell other people who may not focusing in on an instrument or being a trumpet player but anything that’s creative or different. What would you tell them? What would you tell yourself from when you were 10?

Amy McCabe: I mean, if you’re passionate about it, you’re going to be passionate about it. You’re going to want to know everything about it. You’re going to Google it, you’re going to go trumpet fests and you’re going to play in all these extra ensembles and just like really dig in. So, I guess I would just encourage the young student to just submerge themselves in all types of playing. Don’t think that you, like, like you mean anyone here, you know, I don’t know if anyone knew exactly what they wanted to when they were 5. If you love something just like really submerge yourself into it and learn all you can about it and dig in that way. I think, maybe, the one thing again just along the same lines is following your passion is to like listen to that little light inside of you. If something turns you on, literally, then learn about it. You never know what that could manifest, what that could turn into.

Erica Eriksdotter: Yeah, and it might be a stepping stone. Like you said, it might lead to something else or lead to something deeper.

Amy McCabe: Yeah, yeah, totally!  I mean, I never would have put myself in the military per se when I decided music was it but I just started throwing my hat in a lot of rings.

Erica Eriksdotter: Yeah and for me, you mentioned that you never, until you were in college, you didn’t realize that you could be pretty much a professional trumpet player. For me, I actually reached the same conclusion around the same time. In college, I was like, wait you can make a living out of painting?

Amy McCabe: [laughing] Oh yea.

Erica Eriksdotter: I thought you had to die before you sold your pieces. You just never know and as long as you paint or do what you love doing. If that’s your calling, you know, keep digging deeper and spending as much time with it. Sit with it. Then it will grow. It’s like planting a seed, right?

Amy McCabe: Totally and it doesn’t have to turn into a career. It could just turn into like something, like an amazing hobby or pastime that you really love doing.

Erica Eriksdotter: Yeah. Right. You still would be playing music even if you couldn’t do it professionally. I, clearly, would still be painting if I couldn’t sell a single piece.

Amy McCabe: Sure.

  1. [00:32:44] Go see live music!

Erica Eriksdotter: It’s what we love doing. Alright, before we wrap up, Amy, do you have any upcoming concerts that if people are in the D.C. area that they could come and watch you. What do you suggest if people want to enjoy brass music?

Amy McCabe: Yeah, oh my gosh. D.C. has so much good live music around. I don’t know if everybody takes advantage of all the opportunities that there are. Of all the military bands in town, there are so many free concerts, so many free chamber concerts. I would just encourage people to use Google for that. Often times our band will play a lot of solely brass concerts. Which, if you haven’t ever stood in front of a 10 or 20-piece bass group, it will knock your socks off. It’s pretty cool. You should check out some live concerts and even if like, classical and orchestral music isn’t your thing, go check out live music whether it’s at the 9:30 Club or the Kennedy Center, whatever. Support your artists and your musicians.  [laughing]

Erica Eriksdotter: [laughing] Yeah, that’s sounds good.

Amy McCabe: Cool.

Erica Eriksdotter: And, you’ve promised me an opera date.

Amy McCabe: Yeah.

Erica Eriksdotter: I have not experienced opera yet, so you and I are going to the Kennedy Center for some opera.

Amy McCabe: Yeah! You know they’re doing the Ring Cycle?

Erica Eriksdotter: What’s the Ring Cycle?

Amy McCabe: Well, the Ring Cycle is like eight or how many are there? I think they’re like 8 operas, they’re like really long. They’re each like 4 or 5 hours long. But, I think to experience at least one of them is pretty amazing.

Erica Eriksdotter: You actually sit there for 4 or 5 hours?

Amy McCabe: Yeah, it’s like an experience and then you go see all of them within, I think they do them all within a week or something.

Erica Eriksdotter: Oh my goodness.

Amy McCabe: Yeah, but I would just go see one with you.

Erica Eriksdotter: Well, if I survive the first one, let’s do all of them.

Amy McCabe: [laughing] Okay!

Erica Eriksdotter: It’s all or nothing baby. Okay, so that’s it for this episode. Thank you for joining me, Amy. I really appreciate you taking the time out of your busy schedule. The next episode will feature another guest. But, Amy will be back and talking about her health journey and how that changed and shifted her life so stay tuned for that. If you have any questions for Amy or myself, you can use the hashtag #fikapodcast on social media or use the link in the show notes. You can find me, Erica at studioeriksdotter.com and please join my email list if you want to stay up to date. You can access it at the bottom of my website. While you’re at it, please leave the fika podcast an iTunes review and don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t miss an episode. Thanks again, Amy!

Amy McCabe: YEAH!!

Erica Eriksdotter: And, thanks everyone for listening!