This year we have more low brass students than ever at Ole Miss, and with a correspondingly large number of things going on both for me and for the students this fall, at least toward the end of the semester. The first couple of months will largely be spent preparing for all of this stuff! Here’s a short run-down of things going on around here later this fall.
October 15, December 3, and December 10: Performing with the North Mississippi Symphony Orchestra
This will be my fourth season with the North Mississippi Symphony Orchestra as first trombonist, and the schedule for this fall includes a classical concert, a performance of The Nutcracker with the Tupelo Ballet, and a Christmas program for chorus and orchestra. While my role in the orchestra is usually as a tenor trombonist, at various times I have found myself playing alto trombone, bass trombone, or euphonium in the group.
November 7: Faculty Recital Series: “The Big Horns”
For my faculty recital on campus this year I will be following last year’s program for tenor trombone and euphonium with a program for bass trombone and tuba. The bass trombone portion will reprise the half recital I played on the first night of TROMBONANZA back in August, with works by Jacques Castérède, David William Brubeck, and Frank Gulino, while the tuba portion will include works by Anthony Plog, Gordon Jacob, and Øystein Baadsvik. After having put off taking up tuba in earnest for many years, I have been pleased with my progress on the instrument in the past year-and-a-half or so and am looking forward to presenting these works.
November 10: Investiture of University of Mississippi Chancellor Jeffrey S. Vitter
Although he has been at Ole Miss since January, the formal investiture of the university’s seventeenth chancellor will be held on November 10. I am pleased to announce that the University of Mississippi Trombone Ensemble has been asked to play for the processional and recessional during the event, in which the university faculty will enter and exit in full academic regalia.
November 14: Carmina Burana
The choirs at Ole Miss will be performing Carmina Burana by Carl Orff this November, and an ensemble of faculty, Memphis area musicians, and a few students has been engaged for the performance. An audience favorite, Orff’s work is frequently performed in various venues, and I have performed it a number of times in the past.
November 16: Guest Artist: Jonathan Warburton
On November 16 British bass trombone soloist Jonathan Warburton will be presenting a recital and master class on campus. A champion of new music, Mr. Warburton has commissioned a number of works for bass trombone, and we hope to hear one or more new pieces during his visit to our campus.
November 29: University of Mississippi Low Brass Ensembles
Our low brass ensembles concert this semester is occurring later in the semester than usual, and given the proximity to the winter holiday we’ll be including a number of tunes appropriate for the season in addition to the types of works more typical of our programs. One highlight will be a performance of Eric Crees’s sixteen-trombone arrangement of Eric Clapton’s hit Layla, which first appeared twenty years ago now on the hugely successful (well, for trombone music anyway) album The London Trombone Sound.
Besides these events, there will be a number of student solo and ensemble performances, including three senior recitals that are still awaiting scheduling, activities with the Mississippi Brass Quintet and Great River Trombone Quartet, and the usual mix of “church gigs” and other smaller engagements for me. And, of course, lots and lots of teaching—between my work at the university and private teaching opportunities I am working with students over 30 hours per week at the moment. Mine is a busy but enjoyable life at the moment.