1.  What’s your first musical memory?

It was week 28 in the womb. My mother’s heart was thumping like Gene Krupa on “Sing, Sing, Sing.” It had a good beat and was easy to dance to. I gave it a 92.

2.  What’s the next song queued on your music player?

I was just listening to Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga singing “Lady Is A Tramp.” Tony Bennett is one of my all-time favorite singers -the master of phrasing and really sounds like he’s having a good time whenever he’s singing. Lady Gaga is an amazingly talented young lady. I just wish she would stop wearing dresses made of meat.

3.  Does your instrument have a name and what is it?

It’s really never crossed my mind to name my trumpet.

4.  Who’s your biggest inspiration?

My first trumpet teacher, Jimmie Cannon. Besides being a trumpeter with the Count Basie Orchestra, the man was big. He was a Golden Glove boxer and played college football in Arkansas. I remember being seven years old at my first lesson with him at the local music store. I thought he was a giant. He filled up most of the room. He taught me so much more than music. He took me to concerts, introduced me to dozens of his professional friends, and made me feel like part of his family. He taught me that nothing was impossible. “The word impossible is merely a degree of difficulty,” was one thing that he would say. The other lasting quote about playing music was, “Tommy, if you’re not telling me a story, you’re wasting my time.”

5.  What is your most frequently asked question?

“Did you know that one of your eyes is higher than the other?” Okay, maybe not the most frequently asked question, but probably one of my most embarrassing moments in high school.

6.  Who’s your favorite composer or musician?

Leonard Bernstein. The man was a genius. I am always amazed with the music of “West Side Story.” Every song was a hit.

7.  What would your super power be? 

I’m not sure that it would be considered a super power but I have the ability, at any time, to locate the nearest bathroom. Maybe more of a gift.

8.  Who would play you in the film of your life? 

While I would like to think that it would be George Clooney, my biggest fear is that it would be Adam Sandler.

9.  What is your least appealing habit?

Well, there’s always that thing with the headless mannequin and the skateboard.

Cookies10.  What is your favorite food?

Is there anything more perfect than an Oreo? I think not.

11.  What is your favorite smell?

Alfalfa. I grew up in the farmland of California’s Imperial Valley. Whenever we would be driving back from San Diego and would be coming out of the mountains into the crops, my dad would roll down the car windows and ask my brother and I “Do you know what that smell is? It’s the smell of money.” It was the smell of alfalfa, but in the Imperial Valley, it was the smell of money

12.  What is your favorite word? 

Dad

13.  What is your favorite book? 

“The Catcher in the Rye” but not for any real literary reason. At one point in the book, Holden Caulfield talks about a guy he knew that was a really great whistler. His name was Harris Macklin. It was the first time I had ever seen my family name in print.

In another bit of trivia: In the TV series “Get Smart,” Maxwell Smart’s apartment landlady’s name was Mrs. Macklin. I know, pretty crazy stuff!

14.  What is your guiltiest pleasure? 

A whole bag of Oreos and glass of cold milk.

15.  Who would you invite to your dream dinner party? 

Tom Hanks, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Chaplin, and Chris Confessore (It never hurts to kiss-up to the conductor)


A native of Southern California, Tom Macklin began his trumpet education at the age of seven under the instruction of Jimmy Cannon – a former member of the Count Basie Orchestra. In the fall of 2007 Tom added the position of Principal Trumpet in the Brevard Symphony Orchestra in Melbourne, Florida to his busy schedule.  Continue Reading…