Skip to main content
National Symphony Orchestra
NSO Website

National Symphony Orchestra > Posts > Meet Our Musicians: Barry Hearn
Meet Our Musicians: Barry Hearn
Posted by Karyn Garvin

Welcome to the first of what will be many introductions of members of the National Symphony Orchestra. We would like to first give you a glimpse of our musicians who recently began playing with us during the 2009-2010 season, and we start with Barry Hearn. Barry won the position of Assistant Principal Trombone last winter and officially started with the NSO this fall. Here's a bit more about him!




Assistant Principal Trombone/Acting Principal


Type of trombone:




BME, University of Texas at Arlington

MM, University of Illinois


Tell us about your audition experience:

I took eleven auditions prior to winning the Assistant Principal spot with the NSO. Looking back, each audition in its own way taught me a little more about the necessary preparations to win an audition. I am truly a lucky and blessed man!


What was the first thing that went through your mind when you found out you had been hired?

"Wow! I really can't believe this! I can't wait to tell my family!"


Favorite piece to play:

Mahler 2


Favorite piece to listen to:

Bartók Concerto for Orchestra


What concert are you most looking forward to this season?

Dvořák 8. This has always been a favorite of mine.


Name your top five favorite tunes on your mp3 player:

Anything by Nickel Creek. Nickel Creek has probably three of my top five tunes. I'm a sucker for bluegrass. My kid even likes bluegrass! I know it sounds strange, but I absolutely love Christmas tunes. I listen to them all year round. My two remaining tunes are from the Christmas albums of Mindy Smith and Mercy Me.


What was the last concert you attended that you weren't playing?

Billy Joel. Although I wish I was playing!


What did you want to be growing up?

A doctor. In fourth grade our local paper was presenting a story about the future in our community. I was asked what I wanted to be when I grew older. I said "a doctor, because I want to cure diseases that haven't yet been cured." I definitely have the penmanship.


What profession other than yours would you like to attempt now?

Professional athlete. There are no World Series Championships in trombone.


What profession would you not like to do?

Telemarketing. I hate receiving the calls, so why would I want to be one?


What is your favorite thing about living in the DC area?

Everyone seems so educated and arts conscious. It's a little piece of heaven. Plus, the museums are free!


Do you have any pets?

Two cats: Gershwin and Satchmo. Both a little too interested in being around us. Satchmo, our youngest, looks like a bobcat. He is huge. His voice is so high pitched I thought about naming him Aaron Neville.


When not working, you can find me:

Working on my house or at the park with my 2 year-old son, Spencer.


Favorite movie:

The Mission


Last movie you saw:

The Informant


Favorite book:

The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand


Favorite sports team:

I like watching most sports on TV, but my absolute favorite is college football. Texas A&M is a perennial favorite.


Barry on the job. Photo courtesy of Daryl Donley.


Favorite word:

"You're hired!" Sorry, I needed two words.


Least favorite word:

Any word with a nagging or whining tone behind it.


What do you whistle when no one is listening?

I really don't whistle. I'm more of a half singer/half mumbler and I sing/mumble whatever tune is on the TV or radio.


Where do you go to think/not to think?

The car is a perfect place to do both.


What turns you on?

The smell of my grandfather's old Ford pickup's interior.


What turns you off?

Traffic congestion when I need to get somewhere fast.


What sound do you love?

My kid laughing.


What sound do you hate?

Any alarm clock!


There are no comments for this post.

Add Comment

Please log in to comment.

 NSO Links of Interest

 National Symphony Orchestra
 The Kennedy Center
 NSO on Facebook - become a fan!
 NSO Musician Roster
 Arkansas Residency