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Home » International Musician » Jennifer Marotta and Thomas Hooten:Trumpet Teaching Couple Offers Diverse Approaches

Jennifer Marotta and Thomas Hooten:Trumpet Teaching Couple Offers Diverse Approaches


Trumpet Teaching Couple Offers Diverse Approaches

Since Arban’s Complete Conservatory Method for Trumpet was published by Jean-Baptiste Arban in 1864, it has never been out of print. The tried and true pedagogical method and extraordinary span of exercises has proven effective over time. So much so, that professional players like husband and wife team, Tom Hooten and Jennifer Marotta, members of Local 47 (Los Angeles, CA), still use it with their students today.

“I’ve used that book in my studies a ton,” Marotta says. “I have the whole book memorized, basically.”

Therefore, it was an honor when the two were asked to edit the latest edition of the well-known and widely used book.

Both Hooten and Marotta perform and teach trumpet professionally. They met while performing with “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band. They worked together at Kennesaw State University in Georgia from 2006 to 2012.

The pair recently relocated to the Los Angeles area so Hooten could take over as principal trumpet for the Los Angeles Philharmonic. “It’s more demanding than any other job I’ve had,” Hooten says. “We don’t have cookie-cutter repertoire, so a lot of my time is dedicated to my job. That being said, I do try to travel when possible to teach and give master classes around the country and internationally.”

Hooten is also a Yamaha artist. Yamaha is connected to Carl Fischer, publisher of the Arban book, so when they were looking for editors, Hooten and Marotta’s names came up. The task took about nine months to complete.

“I went note-by-note through the entire book,” Marotta says, “twice.”

The job was daunting. The book covers everything from expanding range, to tonguing, to lower register work, to lyrical exercises. “It covers everything you need to do well in the world of playing trumpet,” Marotta says. “It helps your daily performance, every aspect of your playing.”

She analyzed the exercises meticulously, and together the pair worked on editing the instructional copy in the book. The challenge was taking spoken instructions and transferring them to written—something more difficult than it sounds. It also required updating the language of the book, without changing the meaning of what Arban intended.

“We made it more modern, but it is still true to what Arban wanted to convey,” Marotta says. “We took out the old editor’s words and put in ours. All the original context is now on CD with the book, too.” Another CD features Hooten playing some of the most difficult advanced studies.

Now that this project is done, and the pair is newly moved into their L.A. home, they plan on enjoying some time with their four-month-old son. They also look forward to settling into the L.A. teaching and performing scene.

“It would be ideal if we could teach at the same place again,” Hooten says. “I think we’re a fantastic team with our different approaches around the same concepts. I think we’re here to stay.”

Co-editor of Arban’s Complete Conservatory Method for Trumpet Thomas Hooten of Local 47 (Los Angeles, CA) is principal trumpet for the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Co-editor Jennifer Marotta of Local 47 (Los Angeles, CA) went through Arban’s Complete Conservatory Method note-by-note in her efforts to modernize the publication.