Leor Arbel (BM ’26) studies classical trombone at MSM and talks with us about his semester so far, his transition to NYC from his Texas hometown, and what he’s looking forward to in the upcoming school year.
Leor Arbel is currently a freshman at MSM, where he studies Classical Trombone with Per Brevig.
He is a graduate of Cinco Ranch High School in Katy, TX, and he served as principal trombonist in the Houston Youth Symphony.
How has your semester been so far? How are you enjoying the school year?
The first semester has honestly been really great. I had high expectations coming in because it’s a music conservatory. MSM has been on my radar for quite some time, and I knew that the musical quality would be high. What has made it particularly special, though, is that the entire community here is amazing. Everyone is just so awesome to be around!
It’s also great to be in New York City since MSM is located near so many great places. However, our neighborhood of Morningside Heights is pretty calm, so even though we’re in NYC, the campus life itself isn’t overwhelming.
Why did you decide to attend MSM, and what do you like best about studying here so far?
For me, deciding to come to MSM was mainly about the community. I chose to come here because everyone I met throughout the process was super welcoming. Luckily, the community has continued to show that kindness now that I’m a student here.
Now, I also love working with my trombone teacher, Per Brevig. With him, I feel like I’m getting the best possible education at MSM. As an accomplished trombonist and the Music Director/Conductor of the East Texas Symphony Orchestra, he has had a lot of real-world experience. I think he’s one of the most experienced trombone players on the planet right now.
How was it moving from Texas to New York?
In Texas, there are not so many big cities like NYC. There are a lot of people there, but not nearly as many as there are here. So, it has been interesting to move here. I know it’s always going to be tough to move to a new place. But while it’s definitely been an adjustment, I really love being in the heart of all the action. There’s not a single time where there’s nothing for me to do. I’m always able to keep busy and keep from getting bored. In fact, if I catch myself in my room doing nothing, I’ll remind myself of how much there is to do besides just sitting there!
What is your favorite thing to do in New York City?
Oh, wow. That’s a tough question! One of the things I am most excited about is seeing concerts at nearby places like Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Metropolitan Opera, and so many more. That’s going to be really cool for me. As a musician, I love concerts, and there’s so much great live music here in New York!
While [moving has] definitely been an adjustment, I really love being in the heart of all the action. There’s not a single time where there’s nothing for me to do.
What are you most looking forward to this school year?
I’m really looking forward to making music with all the incredible friends I’ve made. I’ve already become a part of this huge community of well-rounded musicians and fantastic people. I’m just so excited to be able to perform with them this year.
My most recent performance was with the MSM Philharmonia under conductor Earl Lee on a piece by Benjamin Britten, and the concert was super fun. I am hopeful for what’s to come in the rest of the year at MSM.
What are your dreams for the future?
My end goal is to play in an orchestra, and I’m hopeful that MSM can get me there. I’m a freshman now, but I would definitely consider coming back and doing another two years here for my Master’s!