Katie Coan Farmer - Euphonium
How did you hear about/find us?
My husband and I came to see Lyndsy Alesce (clarinet) play in a CCB concert at Cahaba Brewing Company in early May 2017. I saw what the band was about, how much fun everyone had, and how much the crowd was engaged. I had not picked up my euphonium in 15 years. I had always played in more formal settings, so this atmosphere was new for me. I was excited for my first rehearsal on Memorial Day, but I was scared to death. I quickly learned it was okay to miss notes every once in a while, and to just have fun.
What is your musical background/history?
I wanted to follow in my big sister’s footsteps, so I joined band in the 6th grade. There were plenty of trumpets and woodwinds, but no low brass. It was suggested to me to start with trombone. After playing trombone for only 1 year, I skipped middle school band and went straight to high school marching band in the 7th grade. Talk about intimidating! I practiced the entire summer to get ready for band camp with the “big kids”. I spent 6 years with the high school band, switched to baritone and euphonium, participated in honor bands and All-State and had dreams of going into the Navy to be a professional musician. I wanted to be one of only 2 euphonium players in the President’s Own Marine Band.
In my junior year of high school, I started taking private lessons with Dr. Rick Good at Auburn University. He had just started with Auburn as the low brass professor. He really challenged me every week and got me ready for college music performance. He even arranged the purchase of my Hirsbrunner euphonium, that I still own and play today. I spent 3 of my 6 years at Auburn in marching band, symphonic band, and low brass studio. I also played in church orchestras and summer bands. Then, pharmacy school took over and I barely had time to play at all.
My final year of pharmacy school, I moved to Mobile, Alabama to complete clinical rotations at the University of South Alabama Hospital. I found a church orchestra that I thoroughly enjoyed, and I joined the Mobile Pops. I spent a total of 5 hours every week in rehearsals; that was my stress relief. I hated to leave Mobile, but I moved on to residency in Savannah, Georgia and then to Birmingham. After I left Mobile is where my 15-year break in performance started.
What is your favorite “Band Song” to play?
Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face”. The pause before the chorus starts is everything!
What do you do when you are not playing music? (work/hobbies/for fun???)
I’m a pharmacist specializing in Emergency Medicine so that’s life right now. I’ve also been a baton twirler since age 4. I still get outside and “perform” in my driveway (much to my husband’s embarrassment). Fire batons are my jam! Once the neighbor kids asked me if I was in the circus… I also love flowers, flower arranging, and party planning.
What type of animal/breed of dog/cat/bird/fish/other etc…. best reflects your personality and why?
The Greyhound is my spirit animal. They get this huge burst of energy to run for about 3 minutes and nap the rest of the day. Never waste an opportunity to take a nap.
What is your superpower?
I’m a PANK (Professional Aunt No Kids). It’s the ability to give my nieces and nephews everything they could ever want, then send them home to their parents to deal with the aftermath.
Tell us something fun! You know, like “That one time at band camp…” Or elsewhere. (funny anecdote/story/amazing coincidence/hidden talent/celebrity encounter, etc…)
This encounter really happened my senior year of high school:
Dr. Good: You’re coming to Auburn, right?
Me: Yes sir.
Dr. Good: You’re going to be in the band, right?
Me: Yes sir.
Dr. Good: You’re going to major in music, right?
Me: Well, I’m kinda thinking about doing this pharmacy thing.
Dr. Good: You’re seriously going to count pills for the rest of your life?!
Me: Yes sir. My Mom told me I needed to major in pharmacy.
(12 years later at an Auburn football game) Dr. Good: You’re still counting pills?
Me: Yes sir. :)