Meet the Musicians: Miles McAllister
From sailing the high seas to marching across the Happiest Place on Earth
One of the younger musicians in the California Philharmonic Orchestra, Miles McAllister has risen quickly through the ranks, now sitting co-principal trumpet of the orchestra at the impressive age of 29.
Already his career as a trumpeter has taken him around the world, to discover true love and eventually land a full time position at the Happiest Place on Earth.
Born in Arizona, Miles grew up in Murrieta, California, picking up the trumpet in the 5th grade, at age 10. He chose the instrument out of family tradition, as both his father and grandfather had played trumpet recreationally, though Miles was the first in the lineage to continue on as a professional musician. He enjoyed the social aspect of playing in the band during middle school but then "got serious in high school", due in part to his inspirational band director Donald Wade, who encouraged him to "go further". And go further Miles McAllister did. He attended the University of Redlands, which he felt was a good choice for him, due to a full-tuition scholarship, as well as having the opportunity to be "a big fish in a small pond".
After graduating from the University of Redlands in 2011 with a Bachelor of Music in Trumpet Performance Miles hit the high seas, sailing the Caribbean on the Carnival Cruise Lines. He played lead trumpet in numerous show bands for the cruise's high-end, full-scale productions and dance sets. And, like a scene out of the "Love Boat", he met Tina, a beautiful dancer also performing on board. He extended his contract with Carnival Cruises so he could be with her and begged the contractors to be transferred onto the ships she was hired on. After several years of the adventurous nautical life, the couple permanently docked on dry land and tied the knot.
Miles proceeded to get his Master's Degree from the California State University Fullerton, which also offered qualified students a chance to audition for the Redlands Symphony for the possibility of playing with the orchestra in substitute positions. So while completing his Master's degree, Miles often subbed for the Redlands Orchestra as well as securing the third trumpet seat of the Santa Barbara Symphony.
After graduate school Miles started freelancing in Southern California, while his wife, Tina started teaching dance and musical theater.
Mr. McAllister is a full time member of the Disneyland Band, performing 7 sets a day marching throughout the Disneyland Resort. Miles is also a member of the prestigious Presidio Brass quintet, an ensemble known for both performing and promoting music education, touring throughout the year, offering free educational outreach clinics in schools all over the country. It is a good thing he's married to a professional dancer, because Presidio Brass also utilizes choreography and movement. As if this isn't enough to keep him on his toes, Miles is often hired for studio work and can be heard on the soundtracks of "Star Wars: Rogue One" and "With Great Power: The Stan Lee Story".
He has also performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Pacific Symphony, the Long Beach Symphony, the San Diego Symphony, and of course the California Philharmonic.
Originally he was asked to sub for the Cal Phil by a fellow Presidio Brass member. As the number of concerts he performed in increased, he quickly made his way up to principal trumpet.
"My favorite thing about the Cal Phil is that it is half masterworks and half pops so it can appeal to lighter audiences," he says, continuing, "Victor Vener is very charismatic and draws the audience in. He's the face of the orchestra, which is a great asset."
Miles especially loves playing with the brass section because of the good time they all have together. One moment Mr. McAllister is playing at the Happiest Place on Earth at the Disneyland Resort and the next, playing with the Cal Phil, the Happiest Orchestra on Earth at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, epitomizing the vivid and vibrant musical lives of California Philharmonic Orchestra musicians.