Thursday, October 29, 2009

Grand Rapids Symphony to Premier Triple Concerto for Brass This Evening!

La Grande Vitesse was written by composer and trumpeter, James Stephenson. The soloists will be the three associate principal players from the Grand Rapids Symphony brass section: Charley Lea - Trumpet, Erich Peterson - Horn and Dan Mattson - Trombone. (pictured above)

This is sure to be a great concert. I am truly disappointed that I won't be able to hike up to Grand Rapids to hear it!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Recommended Recording of the Week

This week's recording ties in with last week in that it is also by a film composer and has bass trombonist, Scott Thornton performing. Marco Beltrami is one the more interesting Hollywood composers for me. His scores are always fun to listen to, yet he is very imaginative in his use of colors.

The number one reason that I usually recommend this to my bass trombone students is Scott Thornton. Scott and I went to school together and he had a profound effect on the development my sound concept. I will get into more detail about this in a future post. Suffice to say, Scott Thornton has one of the most beautiful bass trombone sounds out there. This is should be in every bass trombone student's collection. Just listen to about halfway into the Main Title and you will hear what I mean!

Other Recommended Marco Beltrami Scores

Recommended Recordings Featuring Scott Thornton

Please check back next Wednesday for another recommended recording!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Fun Trombone Video of the Week!

This video features Gunhild Carling
performing on way more than just the
trombone. But the trombone was her first
instrument. This is one talented lady!

Thanks to my good friend and trumpet player
extraordinaire, Amy McCabe for originally posting
this on Facebook.

I am planning on this being a regular post every
Monday. Please check back next week
for another Fun Trombone Video!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Ars Viva Symphony Orchestra Performs all Mendelssohn Concert Today

Unfortunately, my duties with Joffrey Ballet Chicago prevent me from performing this wonderful concert. The always incredible Chris Davis will be acting as Ars Viva Symphony Orchestra Bass Trombonist for me. I wish I could be there! We have one last performance of Othello with Joffrey this afternoon.

Elizabeth Joy Roe
Elizabeth Joy Roe


Piano Concerto No. 1 in g minor
- Elizabeth Joy Roe, piano
Symphony No. 2 in B-flat
St. Paul
Symphony No. 5 in d minor ("Reformation")

Bask in great masterworks of Mendelssohn as we join in observing the bicentennial of his birth.

READ the full biograply of Elizabeth Joy Roe, who is appearing on the ten year anniversary of her first performance with Ars Viva as the student winner of the Steinway Concerto Competition.

OCTOBER 25th 4:30 p.m.
North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie
9501 Skokie Blvd. 60077

Order online: CLICK HERE or call the box office: 847 673-6300

This concert is supported in part by a grant from the Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation.

A personal interview with soloist Elizabeth Joy Roe

Elizabeth Joy Roe, pianist
Elizabeth Joy Roe, pianist

Elizabeth, when did you start piano lessons and when did you realize that music would be your career? I started lessons when I was six years old, and I fell in love with the piano immediately. I knew by age ten that I wanted to pursue a life in music.

What do you remember most about performing with Ars Viva 10 years ago? Performing with Ars Viva was a definitive experience in my career because it potently contributed to my passion for concerto playing. Plus, the concert took place at a pivotal juncture in my life: right before my high school graduation (in fact, I think it was prom weekend!) and just a few months before I left Chicago to start college at The Juilliard School. It was a beautiful spring evening, and I remember feeling truly inspired and exhilarated onstage, thanks to the orchestra's spectacular musicianship, Maestro Heatherington's marvelous direction at the podium, and Chopin's exquisite music (the Concerto in F minor). I was also very happy to be performing for the hometown crowd! Looking back, this concert was the perfect capstone of my high school years as well as a promising harbinger of things to come.

What is it about the Mendelssohn Concerto that you particularly like? I love the immediacy and variety of moods in this piece. Within only 20 minutes, the music covers a vast territory of emotional states: it alternates between the impetuous and passionate, the poetic and intimate, the playful and joyous. I think these shifts are emblematic of human nature in all its inconstancy! Plus, Mendelssohn possessed such a natural, effortless gift for music, and the concerto's virtuosic piano writing and brilliant interplay between piano and orchestra attest to his compositional verve.

Who is your favorite concert artist? What a difficult question! So many artists from the past and present have influenced me. If I had to choose the performers of today whom I find particularly inspirational, I would say Martha Argerich, Renee Fleming, Valery Gergiev, Gustavo Dudamel, and Yo-Yo Ma. But again, I am merely scraping the surface!

What music do you like to listen to? Classical, of course, but I like to listen to all sorts of music. I am a lifelong fan of The Beatles, and I have an affinity for British bands and artists in general (like Radiohead and Coldplay). In terms of genres, I lean mostly toward alternative/indie rock, but I also listen to pop, jazz, folk, soundtracks, etc. Basically, I love to explore music in all its diversity -- I believe that good music transcends labels!

What do you like to do in your spare time? One of my favorite things to do is to sit in a cafe with a pot of tea and a really good book! In addition to reading, I enjoy traveling, watching movies, exploring museums, savoring nature, writing, drawing, learning languages, going on the occasional karaoke outing, and spending quality time with family and friends. I wish there were more time in the day to pursue all my interests, but to be truthful, eating well and catching up on sleep are the most essential activities!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Tom Stark Recital Tomorrow Night

My good friend and colleague, Tom Stark will be performing a recital tomorrow night at Illinois State University in Bloomington - Normal, Illinois. Tom is one of the fellows pictured in some of my recent posts from the ESO's Pine of Rome performances. Tom Stark is currently a Lecturer of Trombone at ISU.

The program is to include works by Albrechtsberger, DuFaye, Lynn, Lindstrom and Saint-Saens. It's sure to be a great recital. Check it out if you are in the area!

Friday, October 23, 2009

ESO on WFMT Tonight at 8:00PM

This concert was from our May 2008 Classic Series and featured pianist Pascal Roge on concertos by Gershwin and Ravel.

Gershwin Piano Concerto in F
Ravel Piano Concerto in G
An American in Paris

The Elgin Symphony Orchestra's Classic Series concerts are re-broadcasted on 98.7FM WFMT the fourth Friday of each Month. This is part of WFMT's Music in Chicago broadcast series.

I will be back for a couple more updates this weekend. Enjoy the broadcast!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Recommended Recording of the Week

I picked up this cd earlier in the summer when I got booked to play Othello with Joffrey Ballet. After giving the disc another spin tonight, I am still just as impressed with Elliot Goldenthal's brilliant score. The San Francisco Ballet Orchestra does an incredible job and proves what a fine orchestra they are. This is a very good disc for any trombonist to have in their collection, as the SF Ballet Orchestra Trombones are world class. In interest of full disclosure, SF Ballet Orchestra Bass Trombonist, Scott Thornton is a good friend of mine. That doesn't make what I said any less true, that is a great bone section to listen to. I have spent the last week or so playing this ballet and the trombone parts are pretty monstrous!

Other recommended works by Elliot Goldenthal

For more on Elliot Goldenthal

I plan on making this a weekly column. So please check back next week for another recommended recording!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Funky Trombones

Audio and Video by the immensely multi-talented Steve Ingle! This was inspired by the video for Peter Gabriel's Sledgehammer. I posted one of these pictures recently. This was the section and banda trombones for our Pines of Rome performances a couple of weeks ago. Pictured are Adam Moen, Reed Capshaw, Mark Fry, Tom Stark and Fabio Sampo.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Elgin Symphony Orchestra performs the music of Henry Mancini this weekend!

Last night, I had the great pleasure of sitting in the audience for the dress rehearsal of this program. Since my duties with Joffrey Ballet conflict with this concert, Chris Davis is filling in for me as bass trombonist of the ESO. The whole orchestra sounds fantastic and I am a little bummed to not be able to play with them this week. (Playing a ridiculously challenging and fun ballet by Elliot Goldenthal kind of makes up for it!)

Guest conductor, Michael Berkowitz has the orchestra using the actual music from the Mancini library. Really great stuff...go check it out if you can.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

James Markey - "On Base" CD Preview

I just ran across this great preview video for James Markey's upcoming bass trombone recording. This is sure to be a "must - own" disc in every trombonists library.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Othello at Joffrey Ballet

Tomorrow is opening night of Joffrey Ballet's production of Othello. I have long been a fan of Elliot Goldenthal's film scores. But until I got booked to play this show, the only one of his concert works I was familiar with was his Brass Quintet No. 2. I strongly encourage everyone to see this performance. This is a true masterpiece in the ballet repertoire. That's right, I said masterpiece. Those who know me well, know that I don't throw the word "masterpiece" around very often. The last time I had this much fun was performing John Adams' Nixon in China with Chicago Opera Theater. From Joffrey's website...

Oct 14 – 25, 2009

Choreography by Lar Lubovitch
Music by Elliot Goldenthal

The Joffrey premiere of Lar Lubovitch’s full-length, three-act ballet! Chicago-born Lubovitch brings his rhapsodic interpretation of Shakespeare’s classic tale of passion, jealousy, ambition and betrayal. Lubovitch’s compelling synthesis of classical and modern movement is heightened by a powerful score by Academy Award winner Elliot Goldenthal

Performance Dates and Times

Wednesday, October 14 7:30 PM
Friday, October 16 7:30 PM
Saturday, October 17 2:00 PM & 7:30 PM
Sunday, October 18 2:00 PM
Friday, October 23 7:30 PM
Saturday, October 24 2:00 PM & 7:30 PM
Sunday, October 25 2:00 PM

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

New York Philharmonic Performs Mahler's Third Symphony

The New York Philharmonic performed Gustav Mahler's Third Symphony for their first subscriptions series of the 2009 - 2010 season. Trombonist's everywhere rejoiced as Alan Gilbert chose this monumental work to start his tenure as the Phil's new Music Director.

If you have not had a chance yet, I strongly encourage you to visit the New York Philharmonic website. A free audio stream of this concert is available until Friday, October 16, 2009.

Most trombonists need no introduction to this work. This is wonderful opportunity to listen to New York Philharmonic Principal Trombonist, Joseph Alessi, masterfully perform the solo passages in the first movement.

Enjoy the performance!

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Elgin Symphony Orchestra Opens 60th Season with Respighi's Pines of Rome

I Just had a very fun week playing William Tell Overture and Pines of Rome with a great brass section. Pictured above are...

Orchestra Brass:

Trumpet - Ross Beacraft, Bill Efflandt, David Gauger

French Horn - Sharon Jones, Steve Replogle, Erin Lano, Mary Buscanics-Jones, Karen Suarez-Flint

Trombone - Adam Moen, Reed Capshaw

Bass Trombone - Mark Fry

Tuba - Charlie Schuchat


Trumpet - David Inman, Greg Fudala, Steve Squires, Mike Myers

Trombone - Tom Stark, Fabio Sampo

Here is a picture of the five trombonists on this concert.

Adam Moen (principal), Reed Capshaw, Mark Fry (bass), Tom Stark(banda), Fabio Sampo (banda)

This concert will be broadcast sometime in the near future on WFMT, 98.7.

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