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Cameron University Concert Band and 77th Army Band present “Trombone Spotlights” featuring the Ohio Trombone Quartet

The Cameron University Concert Band and 77th Army Band will join forces to present “Trombone Spotlights,” a concert that will also feature the Ohio Trombone Quartet. The concert is slated for Thursday, March 7, at 7:30 p.m. in the University Theatre. The concert is free and open to the public. To reserve a seat in advance, call 580-581-2346.

“This concert is very special to me,” says Dr. Lucas Kaspar, assistant professor of music and director of the CU Concert Band. “Before moving to Oklahoma in 2020, I lived in Ohio, where I performed with the Ohio Trombone Quartet for several years. I grew tremendously as a musician from playing in this ensemble.”

Other members of the Ohio Trombone Quartet are Dr. Joseph Brown, assistant professor of trombone at Appalachian State University, Boone, N.C.; Dr. Lucas Borges, associate professor of trombone at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio; and Dr. Anthony Weikel, instructor of trombone at Capital University, Bexley, Ohio, and second trombone of the Springfield (Ohio) Symphony.

“The Ohio Trombone Quartet was part of a commission with composer Jeff Cortazzo, a retired bass trombonist of the U.S. Army Blues,” Kaspar explains. “He wrote ‘The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse,’ a unique work for trombone quartet and wind band to be played by Ohio Trombone Quartet and a few other quartets in the U.S. The Ohio Trombone Quartet was scheduled to perform the piece with the Muskingum Valley Symphonic Winds in 2020, but due to the Covid pandemic, we were unable to perform the work. We are excited to perform this massive piece at Cameron University and to share this concert with the 77th Army Band.”

The concert will open with Thornton Barnes Boyer’s “Joyce’s 71st NY Regiment March,” a fast and lively march that will feature the trombone section of the CU Concert Band and 77th Army Band. A classic of the American parade and concert band march repertoire, it is regularly performed by U.S. military bands.

Steven Frank’s “Variations on Barnacle Bill the Sailor,” featuring Kaspar on bass trombone, will follow. This whimsical and comical piece is in a theme-and-variations form, covering the entire range of the bass trombone and will be familiar to fans of “Popeye The Sailor Man.”

Sgt. Ian Star, trombonist for the 77th Army Band, will be featured during a performance of the third movement of Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Concerto for Trombone,” a staple in the trombone repertoire written in 1877.

Blazhevich’s “Concert Piece #5” will feature Weikel on trombone while also featuring the woodwinds of the CU Concert Band and 77th Army Band. Brown will perform Erick Cook’s “Bolivar,” a quick Latin piece in 3/4 time. He will be followed by Borges performing Guilmant’s “Morceau Symphonique.” Like Blazhevich’s “Concert Piece #5,” this piece was originally written for trombone and piano. It was composed during the height of the Romantic Era (1820-1900) and contains lush chords and flashy soloist technique.

Sgt. Jonathan Stoby from the 77th Army Band will perform Arthur Pryor’s “Blue Bells of Scotland,” one of the most virtuosic solos written for trombone. Written in a theme-and- variations form, it is one of more than 300 solos written for trombone by Arthur Pryor, a trombonist who was one of the first to compose challenging music for the instrument. He performed many of his solos with the John Philip Sousa Band during the late 1800s.

The concert will close with all the members of the Ohio Trombone Quartet performing Jeff Cortazzo’s “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.”

Cortazzo wrote the piece was with the Schumann Konzertstück for four French horns in mind. “There are solos here and there, but by and large it is an essay in section-writing which utilizes a dramatic backdrop of music that is reminiscent of anticipation and warning,” he has said. “I thought it would be interesting to ally the trombone quartet to the notion of the aforementioned horsemen envisioned in the Apostle John's vivid account in the Book of Revelation, a frightening scene of four mounted riders with each rider's horse being a distinct color. The music in the piece is richly orchestrated, quite dramatic sounding and bound together with whole-tone scalar underlayments and 12-tone passages.”

Kaspar and Warrant Officer Martin Johnston, Commander of the 77th Army Band, will share conducting duties.



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