Producer of the Year: Grammy Nod for Hat Trick

Producer of the Year: Grammy Nod for Hat Trick

Tonight, Hat Trick‘s Garden of Joys and Sorrows received a Grammy nod at the 2018 Grammy awards. Our album appears among nine projects listed in support of producer David Frost‘s Producer of the Year, Classical Grammy win.

Producer David Frost’s nine winning projects for his 2018 Grammy.

Working with a Master Producer

So what’s it like to work with a multi-Grammy-winning producer? The first thing David Frost’s clients will mention is his incredible ears. David internalizes the scores, hears everything, catches everything. Going the extra mile, a few days before we went to the American Academy of Arts and Letters to record, David attended a concert in which we performed all of our album’s repertoire.

David knows whether he’s got everything he needs for the master, or whether he needs just one more take. On multiple occasions, he kept us from needlessly spinning our wheels by letting us know he had everything he needed.

In terms of interpretation, David allowed us free reign. Throughout, he supported our vision of our repertoire, rather than instructing us or superimposing his will. At the same time, he often posed good questions or clarifying opinions. With Sofia Gubaidulina’s Garten von Freuden und Traurigkeiten, whenever we would get too “in the weeds” or literal about certain score details, he refocused us on conveying the overall gestures. An excellent listener, David produces records with the listener in mind.

David remains remarkably calm and low-key throughout the recording process. I cannot tell you how helpful his supportive calm can be when you’re exhausted, wrestling to perfect a fiendishly difficult section, or simply recharging during a break.

With his decades of experience, David Frost deeply understands the psychology and physiology of musicians. On our first evening of recording, our goal was to finish Theodore Dubois’ Terzettino. At a certain point, David interjected through the talk mic:

“You know, I think you all sound tired. We could keep going tonight, but honestly, I think we should go home. If everyone gets a good night’s sleep, we can knock this out tomorrow morning in no time.”

He was right.

Mixing with a Master Producer

David Frost primarily mixed the album on his own, sending us reference tracks for comments. After two mixes, Hat Trick did spend one day listening to the entire album in David’s home studio. Realtime conversations can save a tremendous amount of time, and nothing substitutes for hearing a record in an acoustically neutral room with professional monitoring speakers.

Generally speaking, David does what his clients request. However, he also believes that artists can squelch the humanity from a recording if they over-edit or digitally correct everything. As a group, we always trusted and deferred to David’s editing instincts. We don’t regret it.

How Did We Engage a Producer of the Year?

You may be wondering how we came to work with such a great producer in the first place. Actually, I knew David Frost because we lived in the same building, and he had heard me perform a number of times. Having a preexisting relationship helped, but so did the stellar reputation of my colleague, flutist April Clayton.

In 2011, after receiving a substantial grant from Brigham Young University, April approached me about making a recording and potentially reforming our flute-viola-harp trio. (Back in 1999-2000, we had performed quite a bit in a trio with harpist Bridget Kibbey as the Ridgewood Trio). April has a solid discography, including her debut CD Flûte Agréable, produced by multi-Grammy-winning producer, Max Wilcox.

April contacted David, and after meeting in person, we established a tentative plan, schedule, and budget. After reading with many harpists, we formed Hat Trick with Allegra Lilly, performing for a full year. Once Allegra won the audition for Principal Harpist of the St. Louis Symphony and amicably left the group, Duo Scorpio‘s Kristi Shade masterfully took the helm. With the personnel and repertoire firmly in place, we confirmed our agreement with David Frost and scheduled our recording sessions for December 15-18, 2014.

Yes, this Grammy nod actually marks a journey that began seven years ago.  You can hear the full Garden of Joys and Sorrows on this YouTube playlist.  If you like it, please help support our future projects with your purchase or download:

If you are interested in my personal discography, click here.

Doc Wallace, January 28, 2018

Doc Wallace Joins My Talent Forge

Doc Wallace Joins My Talent Forge

David Wallace Technical Secrets at Mark Wood Rock Orchestra Camp My Talent Forge

Berklee String Chair, Dr. David Wallace sharing secrets at Mark Wood Rock Orchestra Camp

As a longtime violin and viola teacher, I am thrilled to join [my] Talent Forge! By joining this curated online learning community, my accumulated teachings are more available and affordable than ever.

The digital age has profoundly changed the way we can learn music. We now have twenty-four hour access to digital libraries of sheet music, recordings, and tutorials. As a result, we can study in the comfort of our homes without worrying about schedules or geographical access to a great teacher. What’s more, with [my] Talent Forge, you can gain access to an entire team of diverse expert string teachers.

I am particularly happy to align myself with [my] Talent Forge because this site exclusively features musicians with established reputations as outstanding teachers and performers. Without the quality control of sites like [my] Talent Forge, your job of separating the wheat from the chaff becomes prohibitive.

For example, type in “vibrato tutorial” into Google. You get over 386,000 results. Some are laudable, but far too many give horrible or even crippling advice. When I see bad lessons uploaded by amateurs who have no business teaching you anything, it breaks my heart!

In contrast, [my] Talent Forge subscribers learn vibrato from my nine-lesson series of vibrato secrets. You get the best exercises, information, and shortcuts I have gleaned and taught over the past three decades. Step by step, the videos sequentially teach you potent tips that I learned from my Juilliard professors and other legendary string pedagogues.

Given a choice, would you rather get the best vibrato lessons straight from a Juilliard professor, or do you want to try your luck with YouTube’s 103,000+ vibrato tutorials?

My Talent Forge has Zen Bowing Exercises

Some of my videos walk you directly through simple, powerful exercises. When practiced on a regular basis, these routines vastly improve your playing. For example, here’s a lesson that teaches a phenomenal tone production and relaxation exercise that I learned directly from Josef Gingold, Joshua Bell’s teacher:


My Talent Forge Brings Ergonomic Comfort

Other videos give you a few simple tips that instantly improve technique and comfort:


My Talent Forge Perfects Peak Performance

Recently, I’ve begun a whole series of videos to coach you on stage performance, performance anxiety, and peak performance.  Ever wonder how to conquer the problem of cold hands?  Here’s how!:

To date, I’ve created dozens of videos, and about forty pages of sheet music. My lesson topics include vibrato, tone production, comfort with the instrument and bow, stage presence, stage fright, left-hand short cuts, and revolutionary scale exercises. And [my] Talent Forge has literally hundreds of lessons by our other expert teachers.

Moreover, we continually develop new content according to the needs and requests of the [my] Talent Forge community. I love to respond to questions and custom requests from subscribers. So if you have topics you’d like to see, please leave a comment. I’ll gladly respond.

Ready expand your repertoire and skills? If you are, please join us! Oh, and when you do, use the coupon code DavidWallace for added savings! (Seriously, who doesn’t like a discount code?!).  Keep calm, and fiddle on!

-Doc Wallace, January 18, 2014

Look Out, World, Here Comes!!

Look Out, World, Here Comes!!

Rock violist David Wallace DocWallaceMusic

Dr. David Wallace performing at The Bell Center

DocWallaceMusic has a website? I can hardly believe it. . . After years of dreaming, procrastinating, and pouring all my energy into living the life of a musician, composer, and teaching artist based in New York City, I’m finally launching a website!

What’s that, Vi?  (Vi Wickam‘s my web guru / personal-mentor-in-all-things-internet). This post is actually the beginning of the DocWallaceMusic blog?

Oh, man, I should say something pithy, momentous, or engaging. . . but I’ve only got a few hours to pack all my clothes and electronics gear for Mark Wood Rock Orchestra Camp and Music Festival!! Come to think of it, MWROC is extraordinarily momentous; I’ll let next week’s events do the talking!

I’ll be performing on every faculty concert next week at the Bell Center in Olathe, Kansas. My own set is Wednesday, July 17th. I’ll be performing a movement from a string quartet I’m writing for the Marian Anderson String Quartet, some Lead Belly, my ever-popular Nahum: An Apocalyptic Prophesy for Electric Viola, as well as some surprises. Other highlights include performing a Mahavishnu Orchestra chart with Joe Deninzon, Tracy Silverman, Lucas Shogren, and Matt Vanacoro on Monday; shredding heavy metal medleys and a movement of Shostakovich’s String Quartet No. 3 in F Major, Op. 73 with Rachel Barton Pine on Tuesday; and joining the MWROC Beatles and Zeppelin orchestras for the final concert on Friday night.

[2017 Update: You can actually view the full MWROC 2013 set on my YouTube Channel.  Here it is, in all its quirky glory:]

Spread the word! I sincerely hope some of you can make it out to some of the concerts. Here’s a sample from last year to whet your appetite. This is a 100% improvised psychedelic jam based on Janis Joplin and Big Brother & the Holding Company’s cover of Moondog’s All is Loneliness: 

Can you see why I’m so excited?! But that’s just part of the adrenaline and endorphins:

During the day, I will be teaching and coaching inspired musicians of all levels and ages how to improvise, rock out, create their own arrangements, and thrive in an atmosphere where everyone is unconditionally loved, celebrated, and accepted.

So, I think that’s plenty of material for this first entry. is still a work-in-progress, but it gets a little better and more complete each day. I’m editing and uploading new content constantly, so bookmark the page, and check in frequently. My goal is to have all sections fully developed by the end of July. Meanwhile, please browse!

Thank you so much for sharing the journey with me!

Rock on!

Doc Wallace

13 July, 2013

Subscribe to DocWallaceMusic’s YouTube:

PS While you’re at it, check out the Doc Wallace Music YouTube channel.  I’ve been developing it for over a year now, and it’s another great place to keep up with me.  If you like what you see, please subscribe.  That way, you don’t miss any updates!  Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need a Gmail account; you just need to sign in.  Google will kindly walk you through the process.