GREAT FALLS — After 37 years with the Great Falls Symphony, trumpet player John Gemberling is retiring. As much as he loves playing his instrument, he says now is the time to focus on other musical endeavors.
"For anybody in the symphony world, staying with one orchestra for a long period of time, which that definitely is, is kind of out of the ordinary,” said Gemberling. "Musicians, if they're comfortable they'll stay and they'll stay but in this day and age everybody's always looking for another gig or a better gig. It's not like I'm looking for another job. I've got things that are keeping me busy, I'm just looking to ease off a little bit."
As much as Gemberling will miss playing his trumpet with the Great Falls Symphony, the people is what he'll miss the most.
"The symphony, for both my wife and I has really become a family. We've seen people come and go, but you get a chance when you're sitting elbow to elbow with them week after week and you get to know each other and appreciate each other,” Gemberling said.
Interestingly, he said he didn't choose to play the trumpet.
"My mother actually went to the music store and because her father had played the cornet in what they called a company band back in Minneapolis she just bought the cornet and brought it home and showed it to me and my brothers. (She said) 'What do you think?' I said 'Yeah, it looks nice.' She took it out of my hands and said 'Good. You start lessons next week.' So it was not of my choosing, but definitely one of the best things that ever happened,” said Gemberling.
His last performance with the symphony will be the symphony's last show of the season on May 21.
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