Jim Chesebrough Trombone Site
School is back in session at KSC and I am enjoying being back with the students. The KSC Concert Band, Conducting I Class and Brass Methods are off to a great start and I have been incorporating some of the material from this project into the latter. I have met with two of my five applied students and we are also incorporating materials and ideas in the lessons.I performed the Fantasia for solo trombone by Frigyes Hidas on the opening Keene State College Music Workshop, sharing the stage with colleagues guitarist Jose Lezcano and vocalists Matthew Leese and Daniel Carberg.
I have posted my lesson with Ron Barron, retired principal trombone with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. It was my second trip to his lovely home in Richmond, MA, the first being in March when I attended his wonderful recital. I am proud that my review of that recital has just been published in the most recent Journal of the International Trombone Association. Still managing to find some time for practicing, but of course the sessions are much more limited. I hope to continue working on this project, even though the official sabbatical is over. Coming in the future will be videos of my lessons from the ITF with Sarah Paradis, now at Boise State University, and Alexandre Zacharella from University of Arkansas Fort Smith, which we recorded at the SLIDERASIA Festival in Hong Kong.
Looking ahead, the International Trombone Festival will be in Valencia Spain. The dates for the ITF are July 8-11, 2015. Thanks to all who made these posts possible and to anyone who might have visited the site.
Finally, I am sure that most of you have seen these videos on Youtube, as have I. But they were sent to me recently so I pass them on.
I have posted the video of my lesson with John Drew at Florida State University. One of the best, especially discussing embouchure basics.
I need to get to the final two videos with Sarah Paradis and Andrea Zacharella. Also getting ready to go back to work. Looking forward to both activities.
I have posted my lesson with Brad Palmer from Columbus State University. He is a great player and marvelous teacher, so check it out. I also have two other lessons waiting for approval of the teachers, and two more lessons waiting to be edited. That will make 15 lessons this semester.
In less than two weeks I return to my full time position at Keene State College which will mean many more duties and a reduction in "trombone time." I have however decided to continue this site and maybe sneak a few lessons in in my spare time. It has been wonderful to focus on the trombone. I wish I had been able to do this years ago. I am working on a new embouchure and have seen how other schools and teachers run successful instrumental programs. There is an amazing amount of material to take back to my office. And, for inspiration, I need only re-watch some of these videos from these great teachers. Thanks to them all.
This is only the end of the sabbatical. I've made great friends, seen great places, learned so much, and had some fun. I think these things are what a sabbatical should be. But I plan on continuing this project. But for now, "So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish."
Another skill I am practicing!
Back in the states for about a week. Recovering from jet lag was a bit of an ordeal, but things are fine now. Because China controls their web activity so closely, Google is not an option in Shanghai. I was therefor unable to post while in Shanghai. The activity there was purely sight seeing, so there was little to do wit trombone playing. As a matter of fact, I only got to practice one day while there. Shanghai, like most of this part of the world can be described in one word...HOT!
Our Singapore concert went well with the “Slide That!” Trombone Ensemble at the Singapore School for the Arts . Advertised as “One Does Not Simply Play the Trombone”, we think that was a play on a line from The Lord of the Rings. “
“Slide That!” opened the first half of the concert with a multimedia presentation of Hans Christian Anderson’s The Little Mermaid. I was surprised at how young the players were, but they played very well. Wish I could say I was of their caliber. The ensemble represents the finest of Singapore’s next generation of trombonists. According to the program, the name, “SLIDE THAT!” embodies the dynamism and youthful exuberance of the group. It was fun to chat with the group before the concert and after at an Indian Restaurant in Singapore.
Some of the players are students and others are meeting their mandatory armed service requirements before going on to study music. Many of them would like to come to the USA to study at some of the fine music schools in this country.
Singapore is a very interesting place. The city was planned almost fifty years ago with lots of parks and green spaces. Since this is a trombone site, I won't go into details of our travels around the city, but we saw some beautiful and interesting places in both Singapore and Shanghai.
So, I need to get busy editing the videos of three lessons that have taken in the past two months. I am also waiting on permission to post from two other teachers. In the meantime, I have reorganized and posted some pictures on the “Photos” page of this site. It also has occurred to me that many will not know much about the American Trombone Choir. With that in mind, I am providing an edited version of the information about the ensemble from the SliderAsia website.
Soon I’ll be back at Keene State, but there is still a lot to do!
THE AMERICAN TROMBONE CHOIR
The American Trombone Choir is a group of American Trombonists who come together to rehearse, perform and participate in International Trombone Festivals around the world. The members in the group are Professors of Trombone at various Universities and Colleges in the United States, Orchestral Players in American Orchestras, students, or active players in their communities. Each has paid their own expenses to participate and travel with this group and are happy to do so.
The American Trombone Choir has appeared at almost all of the International Trombone Festivals sponsored by the International Trombone Association. They have presented concerts in such as Austria, Germany, Denmark, England, the Czech Republic, and France. The most recent major event in which they performed was the Festival sponsored by the International Trombone Association held at the Paris Conservatory of Music in 2012.
The group primarily specializes in original music especially written for ensembles of trombones and is organized by Dr Irvin Wagner of the University of Oklahoma. The American Trombone Choir 2014 delegation includes:
Conductor Professor at the University of Oklahoma
Taylor Hughey Graduate Student at the University of Southern California
A very quick post from Singapore. The last day in Hong Kong at the SiderAsia Festival included a wonderful luncheon for the guest performers. Learned much more about the founder Stanley Chen. While he was awarded a scholarship to study music, he instead trained in the business world. He is now a very successful entrepreneur and founded the festival to give something to the Hong Kong community. The festival is four years old and continues to grow. Also had a chance for a picture with D. Paul Pollard, currently bass trombonist with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra.
Some of us joined the Participants's Choirs for their final concert on Sunday and the mass choir playing Elsa's Procession to the Cathedral Connie stopped counting at 86 players) was the finale.
Yesterday was a travel day that began at 4:00 AM. We flew to Singapore without incident and then had time for some sight seeing. Another gourmet meal of Octopus, Jellyfish salad, Sea Bass, Duck, and other exotic foods ended the day. We will tour the Indian section of Singapore today before heading over to the concert site. We will only have an hour to combine with the Singapore "Slide That" Trombone Ensemble. There will be an Indian meal with our Singapore trombonist friends. The next day we fly through Hong Kong on our way to Shanghai. The music portion of the trip (except for long discussions about the trombone over meals or drinks) will be behind us.
SLIDERASIA Friday-Saturday July 11-12, 2014
We seem to have developed a routine. Rehearse at 9:00 AM, workshops in the afternoon, concert at night. Yesterday, Dr. Irv Wagner gave a master class for the participants. he emphasized the basics of tone, articulation, intonation, and trombone in general. He had a number of young trombonists from around the world demonstrate the Remington exercises that he taught the group. I learned that up until Mr. Emory Remington, trombonists did not use their tongues to articulate. Irv then listened to some very fine players performing various solos.
I then took a trombone lesson with Dr. Alex Zacharella, Associate Professor at University of Arkansas-Fort Smith. I am very grateful to Alex for taking the time to share her ideas and teaching techniques. It was probably the most unique (in a good way) lesson of the project. We discussed the importance of hearing the pitch, buzzing in tune, and so many other things. I am looking forward to editing and posting the video and "finding my am!"
Friday evening's concert was the Geneva Brass Quintet. Established in 2001, the Geneva Brass Quintet is a chamber music group of Swiss musicians. After studying at the Geneva University of Music, they all graduated with a Master of Music. Eager to create a close-know musical unit and being particularly attracted to chamber music, they formed the “Geneva Brass Quintet (GBQ)” with the aim of sharing their passion with the public.
The concert was two hours of high intensity playing and good natured rapport between the players and the enthusiastic audience. The members of the quintet ate trumpeters Samuel Gaille and Lionel Walker, trombonist David Rey, Christophe Sturzenegger on horn, and tubist Eric Rey.
Tonight is our concert. The American Trombone Choir will share the stage with the Columbus State Trombone Choir. Should be a great experience. Tomorrow is the final day and we have a great luncheon with all the participants.
Today began with an hour rehearsal, but the rest of the day was a great day for touring etc.
Connie and I visited a Hong Kong Tailor for performance outfits. We go back tomorrow for adjustments. 3 days and the suit is done.
Then a group journeyed to the world's largest, bronze, outdoor, sitting Buddha. Quite touristy, but the Buddhist monastery still had a bit of impressive charm. Took the tram to the top of the Buddha site.
The concert tonight featured the faculty of the conference in recital. Brad Palmer and Irv Wagner did fine jobs. Tomorrow is another 9:00 AM rehearsal and then Irv Wagner is giving a masterclass in the afternoon. Geneva Brass Play tomorrow night and then on Saturday it is our turn.
July 8-9, 2014
We arrived on Tuesday July 8, had lunch, and then went to the Arts Center for a group photo and a rehearsal. Both went very well.
The American Trombone Choir 2014 delegation includes:
Dr Irvin WAGNER, Conductor
Dr Alexandra ZACHARELLA
Dr Neale BARTEE
Dr James CHESEBROUGH
Dr Arthur JENNINGS
Dr James ROBERTS
This morning, Wed. July 9, we began with a city tour of Hong Kong. We went to Victoria Peak, Stanley Market, and a Budhist temple. Had a bit of down time and then rehearsal from 4-6 PM.
This evening, we were treated to a Solo Recital, featuring Dr Denson Paul POLLARD, Artistic Director of SliderAsia and bass trombonist with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. The program was outstanding and Dr. Pollard was joined by the highly talented Yvonne Yim-fong LAI, Collaborative Pianist
The program included:
“Qeusto o quella” from Rigoletto Giuseppe Verdi
Suite for Cello and Piano Antonio Vivaldi
Sonata (Vox Gabrieli) for Trombone and Piano Stjepan Sulek
Ballade for Bass Trombone and Piano Eric Ewazen
Suite for Trombone and Piano Atso Almila,
III. Scherzo Vivo
Romeo and Juliet Suite for Bass Trombone and Piano Sergei Prokofiev Arr. Saras
I. Act One Introduction
II. The Young Girl Juliet
IV. Montagues and Capilets
V. Romeo and Juliet at Parting
VI. Juliet’s Death and Funeral
Giuseppe VERGI Antonion VIVALDI Arr. POLLARD Stjepan SULEK Eric EWAZEN Atso ALMILA
Sergei PROKOFIEV Arr. SARAS
Tomorrow is a 900 AM rehearsal and then we have been invited to join some the participant choirs to help fill out the sections.
Day 1 Such a deal. Two days in one!
Left Logan Airport on Sunday in Boston at 7:45 AM for the "short leg" of the flight to LAX Los Angeles. Good flight and we spent a few hours at LAX meeting our old friends and preparing to boardAA Flight 183 to PUDONG Airport in Shanghai.
Long, long, (can you say really long) trip to China. 2 meals and a snack in the 12:40 hrs of the trip. Somewhere along the way we lost a day as when we landed it was Monday night July 7. This means I am half a day older than I really am. Hope it doesn't slow me down too much.
Tomorrow we start early (5:30 AM on Tuesday July 8) so right to bed to catch up on some sleep. Everything is 12 hours ahead so we will actually be leaving at 5:30 PM on MondayJuly 7. At least I think so. Off to Hong Kong tomorrow.
I am wondering if China blocks certain websites. I can get my email, go to the KSC website, but can't get on Google or safari?
JULY 8, 2014
Day 3 Left Shanghai on an 8:40 AM flight after a bit of rest. We are 12 hours off from home so we are trying to get our body clocks reversed. The relatively short 2 hour and 40 minute flight to Hong Kong gave me time to worry about my trombone which was checked under the plane. Came through fine.
After checking in at the Marriott Hotel Renaissance, we found that our room has spectacular views of Hong Kong Harbor.
OK! So it’s been a while since I posted. It seems time just gets away. We returned from Rochester and the ITF June 8 and the last twenty days have been filled with non-sabbatical events making their way onto the scene. Great memories of the festival still linger, including the chance to hear, see and speak with Abbie Conant the last day of ITF. She is a remarkable person and a great player. I also would like to have someone buy me an Alpen Horn.
The week after the Rochester trip, I toured with the Newmont Military Band to Gettysburg, PA for the Gettysburg Festival. The band did 4 concerts in three days, received many compliments, and sounded great on those 19th-century horns. Also not part of the sabbatical was two trips to KSC to audition and interview trumpet professor candidates.
Now I find myself a week away from the American Trombone Choir trip to SLIDERASIA in Hong Kong. <http://www.sliderasia.org/cms/about/the-people/the-american-trombone-choir>. Much to do I preparation and I still have video from lessons with Brad Palmer, Ron Barron and Sarah Paradis to edit. Best get busy. I’ll post more when we start our Asia tour.