Faculty Q&A – Tim Albright

Photo Provided by Tim Albright

What is your favorite Broadway memory? (Lauren Kelly ‘22)

Oh, I have so many fun Broadway memories; it’s hard to pick a favorite. Here’s a story of one memorable performance.

I was walking around Times Square when my buddy, trombonist Alan Ferber called. He was stuck on a train and couldn’t make it to his show on time, and he asked if I could sub for him at the last minute. I quickly ran over to the theater for Catch Me If You Can, threw on Alan’s tuxedo (which was 5 sizes too big for me) and sight-read the entire 3 hour show. It was nerve wracking to say the least, but exhilarating too. The band played on a super rickety bandstand on stage, and I had to climb a ladder to get to my chair. I felt like I was 30 feet in the air! The bandstand rocked and shimmied with every footfall of the dancers below which made it even harder to read my score. The music was all swinging big band charts which were a blast to play, and when I wasn’t worried about falling off the bandstand, I could watch the amazing singers and dancers below!

Why do you value creating a family atmosphere in the studio? (Molly Ruffing, ‘22)

I went to college 2,700 miles from my home town, so when I was in school, the trombone studio became my second family. Being in such a supportive environment was a major part of my musical growth; knowing that my classmates had my back no matter what got me through some tough times. Some of my fondest memories are of late-night jam sessions with friends and epic road trips with the Eastman trombone studio. At Lawrence, my goal is to create that same atmosphere for my students; to create a space where everyone feels welcome, supported and cared for. We all deserve that kind of loving kindness.

What is the hardest part about being musicians? (anonymous)

That’s a hard question! There are so many great parts about being a musician that I want to tell you those first (but I’ll be good and save that for another time). One of the hardest parts of being a musician is learning to manage self-doubt. As young musicians, we are often taught to avoid mistakes. “Don’t play that F# too short!” As we grow up, we become more and more self-aware and self-critical, and sometimes turn that statement into “I’m a bad person because I played that F# too short!” I am a big proponent of making mistakes. To become great musicians, we have to learn to get really good at making mistakes! Of course, it’s what we do after we make a mistake that is most important. I like to think about when I first started to learn to ride a bike. I didn’t start by jumping on the bike and pedaling into the sunset. I jumped on my bike, pedaled like mad and immediately fell on my butt. After some words of encouragement from my parents, what I did next was most important; I got back on and tried again.

What has helped you get through tough times? (anonymous)

Journaling.  When I’m going through tough times, I find that writing my thoughts down on good-old-fashioned pen and paper helps me tackle obstacles in a way that thinking or talking just won’t do.  

My family, especially the remarkable Corrina Albright has also helped me through many tough times.  Knowing that she is my corner feels a bit like having a super power! 

What inspired you to go into the music industry? (anonymous)

My brother and sister.  I am the youngest of three siblings by seven years.  When I was 5 years old, I learned the piano because I loved the way my older siblings sounded when they practiced.  I wanted to do everything they did, and there were REALLY good at music.  

When I was in elementary school, I got to hear them play in their high school jazz ensemble.  I can still remember the giddy almost laughing, almost crying, overwhelmingly intoxicating feeling I got from listening to them play.  I have been chasing that feeling ever since!