Low Brass Specialist Posts

Improving at Improvising

As jazz band auditions and rehearsals are starting for middle schools and high school students across the state I get a lot of questions about how to improvise on trombone. Becoming a successful improviser takes time, practice, and creativity. Here are some tips that will get you in the right direction to improve at improvising.

James A. Beckel Concerto for Trombone

Former principal trombonist of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra (ISO), James Beckel, is not only a world class trombonist. His admirable skillset includes excellence as an educator, and he is successful composer. Since his retirement from the ISO Beckel has been in demand as a composer. Below you can read more about his Concerto for Trombone, and you can hear Indiana University’s Carl Lenthe perform James A. Beckel’s Concerto for Trombone. If you are interested in purchasing a copy of the piece, click here.

The Legacy of Carl Fontana

July 18, 2019 would have marked Carl Fontana’s 91stbirthday. Fontana remains one the most influential, prolific, and recorded trombonists of all time. His legacy lives through his countless recordings with greats such as Woody Herman, Stan Kenton, Lionel Hampton, Benny Goodman, Paul Anka, Tony Bennett, and Sammy Davis Jr. Please listen to a few selections below and read more a more detailed biography below.

2019 International Trombone Festival Review

Each year the International Trombone Association(ITA) hosts the International Trombone Festival (ITF). Held in the summer, this week long festival offers youth workshops, professional development, concerts, masterclasses, and show space for dozens of the world’s top manufacturers of instruments and accessories. This year’s ITF was held on the campus of Ball State Universityin Muncie, IN. One of the ITF’s main objectives is to unite musicians from all parts of the world, but another goal is to showcase the amazing musicians on a more local scale.

Have You Heard with Jim Pugh

In the summer of 2012 I attended the Skidmore Jazz Institute in New York where I had the privilege of working with some of my biggest musical heroes. In addition to coaching and classes with greats like Pat LaBarbera and Todd Coolman I was also able to study privately with Curtis Fuller and Jim Pugh.

The Legendary Bill Watrous

This Saturday would have been the 80thbirthday of legendary trombonist Bill Watrous. As we approach our first June without him let’s celebrate his fantastic career by revisiting some of his most prolific recordings. For younger players who might not yet be acquainted with Bill Watrous read Scott Yanow’s biography on Watrous below.

Ball State University Trombone Day II

On April 6th, 2018 Ball State University hosted Trombone Day II. This event was a full day of rehearsals, masterclasses, lectures, and performances that showcased all of the fine resources the school has to offer. Chris Van Hof, Assistant Professor of Music Performance (Trombone), led the event, and trombone legend, Jim Pugh, was the featured artist of the day.

5 Ways To Keep Up With Your Instrument Over Summer Break

Don’t fall behind on maintenance.

Summer vacation is a fantastic way to recharge and prepare yourself for the following year. While you’re spending time outside and taking a break be sure to keep up with your instrument to set yourself up for a strong start to the next year. Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind this summer that will keep your instrument, abilities, and interests in top shape.