Friday, March 31, 2006

Liszt, Strauss and Tchaikovsky

This weekend with the Elgin Symphony Orchestra:

We will be performing Richard Strauss' Horn Concerto No. 1...featuring our fantastic principal horn, Greg Flint!

Also on the program: Les Preludes by Franz Liszt and Tchaikovsky's Fourth Symphony.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

The Importance of Sight Reading

I have been thinking all week about some of the things that I discussed at my master class on Monday. It’s interesting how you can be thinking about an idea and then it will present itself so clearly out in the “real world.” Working on Schumann’s First Symphony this week has given me a multitude of examples to draw on.

For many of my colleagues, our first major professional opportunity came at a moment’s notice. Someone has an emergency situation come up and a last minute substitute is needed to fill in for them. What if I got sick and someone had to come in and play the bass trombone part for the Schumann? Now, a lot of people would know the Third or Fourth Symphonies. But, this piece is not performed that much. Certainly, no one learns it for auditions. Well, the bass trombone part to the First Symphony is very active and exposed. It could be a little unsettling for someone to come in and have to read it on a concert without any rehearsals.

The most basic thing that I will tell a student when we work on sight reading is to believe what you see on the page. (Kalmus editions, not withstanding…ha, ha) You have to learn to trust yourself to be a good reader. This is such a little thing, but there are many times in the first movement when the bass trombone will have an eighth note pickup before the alto and tenor trombones enter. This can cause you to be hesitant and to think things like...did I come in too that a misprint, etc.? One little moment of hesitation can be very noticeable to your colleagues. I can’t stress enough that the most important job of a substitute is to not make the people you are working with worry. If you are hesitating or playing in holes, you will make people worry.

Another important thing is to acclimate yourself to the style of the piece. A bass trombonist should approach a Schumann symphony like Schubert or Mendelssohn. Most of the time, you are playing in unison and octaves with the bassoons, cellos, and basses. The bass trombone is the leading voice at these times, but you can’t play with the same kind of sound that you would use for Mahler or Wagner. This might seem obvious…but a lot of bass trombonists will come in and be too aggressive. This is a sure-fire way of not being called back. Now, I am not telling you that you can never play loud. You just need to be aware of how the rest of the section is playing and try and match them. Getting the right color for the piece is of prime importance.

Specific examples:

In the first movement there is a nice little “solo” starting at measure 271. This is an excellent opportunity to show that you listened to the woodwinds preceding you. Match how they played it!

The second movement has a very beautiful trombone chorale near the end. Listen to the principal and don’t play too soft. You want your principal to be able to hear you and be comfortable on top.

Alto and tenor trombones are tacet in the third movement. It’s just you! You need to match the trumpet and horns, as well as the bass instruments.

There are a lot of nice parts in the last movement, but it ends with a “Brahm’s One” type arpeggio melody. Just like in Brahms, you can play this very strong…but with your most beautiful sound.

The most important thing to do is to remember to have fun. This might be kind of hard while you are freaking out over not playing in the holes, not playing too loud, etc. But if you are a good reader, any unfamiliar piece of a similar difficulty level should not be out of your grasp.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Spring Symphony

I am back home after a brief, but very fun trip to Ann Arbor. Many thanks to Kathryn Goodson and Jenny Walvoord. Thanks also, to David Jackson for setting everything up and making me welcome.

Back to work. This week I will be performing with the Lake Forest Symphony. Our program will feature Lalo's Symphonie Espagnole with David Taylor. No...not the great bass trombonist.

This David Taylor:

Also on the program will be Robert Schumann's First Symphony. A nice piece with an odd little bass trombone part...more on that later.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Recital and Masterclass Announcement

Mark Fry, Bass Trombone


Kathryn Goodson, Piano

In Recital

March 20, 2006

4:40 pm

University of Michigan, School of Music

Cady Room, Stearns Building

Also featuring Jennifer Walvoord, violin


Jan Koetsier - Allegro Maestoso

Georg Phillip Telemann - Fantasie in c minor

Charles Ives - Two Songs

Duke Ellington - Come Sunday

Daniel Schnyder - Concerto for Bass Trombone

Mr. Fry will be giving a masterclass immediately following the recital.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Another Busy Week!

In addition to some last minute recital preparation...this is what I am up to this week. Monday night we had our second performance of Dvorak's 6th Symphony with the Ars Viva Symphony Orchestra.

Friday, I will be performing the annual Saint Patrick's Day concert in Orchestra Hall... Siamsa na nGael.

Saturday, I will be performing with the Heartland Voices at Elgin Community College.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

This Week's Events

This is a busy weekend. Thursday I am doing Sibelius and Waxman with the Northwest Indiana Symphony.

Saturday night I will be going out to St. Charles to perform Morten Lauridsen's Lux Aeterna with the Heartland Voices.

And finally, Sunday and Monday I will performing one of my favorites, Dvorak's Sixth Symphony, with the Ars Viva Symphony Orchestra.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Bass Trombone Materials
Etude and Method Books:
Aharoni - New Method for Bass Trombone
-The Non-Classic Bass Trombone
Arban’s – Complete Method for Trombone
Bitsch – 14 Etudes de Rhythm
Blazevich – Clef Studies
-70 Studies for Tuba
Blume – 36 Studies for Trombone w/F attachment
Bordogni/Rochut-Melodious Etudes
Boutry- 12 Etudes de Perfection
Clarke, H.L. - Technical Studies
Concone/Korak – The Complete Solfeggi
Faulise – F&D Double Valve Bass Trombone
Fink – Introducing the Alto Clef
-Introducing the Tenor Clef
Gillis – 20 Etudes
-70 Progressive Studies
Gregoriev – 24 Studies
-78 Studies for Tuba
Johnson, J.J. – Solos (transcribed by Leisenring & Butler)
Knaub – Technical Studies
Kopprasch – 60 Selected Studies (both Trbn. & Tuba versions)
LaFosse – School of Sight Reading
Mantia – Trombone Virtuoso
Charlie Parker Omnibook
Pederson - Advanced Etudes
The “Real” Book (or any good fake book)
Remington – Warm Ups
Slama – 66 Studies in All Keys
Schlossberg – Daily Drills
Teele – Advanced Embrouchre Studies for Bass Trombone
Toulon – Basique IV – Style et nuances
Tyrell – 40 Advanced Studies for B-Flat Bass
Uber – Concert Etudes
-Studies (30)
Vernon – A Singing Approach to the Trombone (and other Brass)
Wilson/Viola – Chord Studies for Trombone
Adler – Canto II
Bach – Six Suites for Cello Solo
Casterede – Fantasie Concertante
Bolter – Of Mountains
Bozza – New Orleans
Brahms – Cello Sonatas
Broughton – Sonata for Tuba
Brubeck, C. – Concerto
Damase - Prelude, Elegie & Finale
David - Concertino (transposed to B-flat for Bass Trombone)
Dedrick – Inspiration
Dossett – Trilogy
Ewazen – Ballade
-Concertino ( w/ Trombone Choir)
-Dagon II
Fetter – Bass Lines
-Variations on Palestrina's Dona Nobis Pacem
Frank – Variations on Barnacle Bill the Sailor
Frescobaldi – Canzoni per Basso Solo
Friedman – OS
Galliard – Sonatas
George – Concerto
Gillingham - Sonata
Gordon - Concerto for Bass Trombone and Orchestra
Grantham - Sonata in One Movement
Hovahaness – Sym. #34 (Bass Trombone Concerto)
Jacob – Cameos
Kotsier – Allegro Maestoso
-Falstaffiade (w/ trbn. trio)
Lebedev – Concerto #1 & 2
Liptak – Flaming Angel (w/Harpsichord)
Lieb – Concertino Basso
Liszt – Hosanna (w/Organ)
McCarty – Sonata
Mueller – Praeludium, Chorale, & Variations
Nelhybel – Concerto
Pilss – Concerto
Premru – Concerto for Tuba
Sachse – Concertino in F
Schnyder – subZERO – Concerto for Bass Trombone
Semler-Collery – Barcarolle et Chanson Bachique
Siekmann – Concerto
Spillman – Concerto
-Two Songs
Strauss – Horn Concerto #1 (trans. for Tuba)
Sulek – Sonata (Tenor Solo…works well for Bass)
Telemann – 12 Fantasies
Tomasi – Etre Ou Ne Pas Etre (w/Trbn. Trio)
Vaughn-Williams – Tuba Concerto
White – Tetra Ergon
Wilder – Sonata
Williams, J. – Concerto for Tuba
Woud - Serenade (w/trbn. quartet)
Zwillich – Concerto
Chamber Music
Albam – Escapade (w/WW 5-tet)
Dedrick – Inspiration (w/trpts, hns, cl, and cello)
Ellington (arr. Abene) – Come Sunday (w/violin & piano)
Everett – Duos (w/clarinet)
Glass – Diversions (w/ 2 flutes)
Hartley – Sonata da camera (w/ oboe, 2 cls, & bsn)
Hibbard – Bass Trombone, Bass Clarinet, Harp
Liebman – Remembrance (w/WW 4-tet)
Liptak – Chamber Concerto #2 (w/fl, vln, cello, vibes, & piano)
Lund – Plane Dancing (w/fl, trpt, bass cl, & perc)
McCarty – Sonata (w/ String 4-tet)
Poulenc – Sonata (w/trpt & horn)
Premru – Concertino (w/ WW 4-tet)
Rzewski – Moonrise with Memories (w/ 6 soprano range instruments)
Schmidt – Concertino (w/ WW 5-tet)
Stravinsky – Concertino
-In Memorium Dylan Thomas (Tenor, String 4-tet, Trbn. 4-tet)
-Octet for Winds
-L’histoire du Soldat
Szollosy – 100 bars for Tom Everett (w/ Bongos)
Tucker – Four Cantigas (w/ Fl/piccolo & 2 Percussionists)
Villa-Lobos – Choros #4 (w/ 3 horns)
Wourinen – Archangel (w/ String 4-tet)
Archaeopteryx (w/ chamber orchestra)
Trio for Bass Instruments (w/ Tuba & String Bass)

This is a list of important works for my bass trombone students to have studied, or at least be familiar with.

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