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For TFO’s Dee Moses, ‘retirement’ is full speed ahead

This weekend is the end of an era in TFO’s bass section. After 47 seasons, Principal Bass Dee Moses is “retiring.” Well, more like “refocusing” his life to make more time for what’s important to him and his family. Even after more than four decades on stage, there’s a lot we don’t know about the man behind the double bass. Think motorcycle fanatic. Lead guitar rocker.

As part of our new SoundWaves podcast episode on The Secret Lives of Musicians, Andi Tafelski sits down with Moses to talk about his TFO career and what’s next down the road. Here are excerpts. Click here to listen to the full interview.

On the need for speed

There are many things I want to do while I’m still able to do them. I am a motorcycle fanatic, and I wish to do more track days, more riding. Not only is there no time for it with a full-time orchestra job, but it’s also a little dicey. You might sprain a finger or something worse.

I’ve always been interested in it from way back in teenage years, but after I got the job here, one of the first things I did was save some money and buy a motorcycle. I started road racing and ended up having a wreck. Everything turned out fine! Years later I got back into it. I have three motorcycles in the garage that need my attention.

On his life as a rocker

What you don’t know is I was a rocker. I was in many bands, and classical music turned my head in college. I mean, I was always interested and studying, but I was really a lead guitar player. Not bass guitar, believe it or not. Heavy guitar music. I still have my guitars. My favorite is my Gibson SG. I think it’s a ’67, but it’s considered highly vintage now.

On his living room audition

My audition was really interesting. Back in the day, auditions were held by invitation. I sent a letter in, I got invited, and it was in the living room of the music director on Snell Isle. [Now TFO auditions are conducted blind at a concert hall.] I played for over an hour, everything imaginable. I brought all my complete parts — which was a mistake, by the way — so Music Director Irwin Hoffman just kept picking out excerpts. …. It turned out great! The orchestra has grown exponentially, and I’ve been able to be part of that growth for quite some time.

Click below to listen to the full interview with Dee Moses, including more on these topics, TFO memories and why he chose to retire after Mahler’s Symphony No. 4

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