Greetings from Phobos - for Trombone Choir

• Jan 13, 2019 - 14:43

I am pleased to say that this composition won the 1999 Allen Ostrander Trombone Composition prize, though not as pleased to admit that the 20 year old scotch I sent in with the manuscript may have altered the judges' perceptions a bit. It was written in 1999 for the U of Buffalo trombone choir, which I had once been a member of. It was performed in Ithaca (NY) College, which sponsors the competition, Buffalo and Washington DC.
Allen Ostrander was the bass trombonist of Toscanini's NBC Symphony and then the New York Philharmonic during what I consider its golden years (under Mitropoulos, Walter, Bernstein). He taught, among other places, at Julliard.

A program of sorts accompanies this based on a story of an astronaut dealing with micro-gravity and his obsession with a colleague only interested in her work.

Alla marcia - menacing trombones
Andante Cantabile - trombones in love
Fugato;Sostenuto - solemn trombones
Tempo primo - happy trombones

About the fonts:

I was once told the trombone is the most difficult of the instruments to prepare a font for. Having heard this piece with real trombones it is very difficult to cope with fonts, no matter how good they are and the care taken to produce them, but I'm sure that is the case with all music, live v font. Not much of a sound engineer, I fussed with synth and mixer over and over. Dynamics are difficult to control and getting a crisp marcato trombone attack is difficult. However, after many auditions, the Symphonic Sounds font was picked.



As a tuba player, I have to say the tuba part had more influence than the scotch, though I never played a tuba with a slide before. 😜

Good work as always.

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