A Message from Ron...

Hello from Hartt !  I want to apologize for the extended hiatus from updating our site.  It all began with a server break-down and then change, during which dispirited time many things were lost and I just never got back in the groove.  Especially slighted during this period was last year’s extremely talented entering class.  That group included a contingent from New York:  two from Long Island - Christine Gee (music education)  from Northport and David Julian (performance and music education) from Wading River – and Matthew Russo (performance and music education) from New Hartford.  David has since changed majors twice, first to just music education and, most recently, to BSE in acoustics (a great program).  Also a double major, in performance and music management, Angela Guido is from Cape May Court House, New Jersey and, last, but definitely not least, Travis Blischke (music education) is a bass trombonist from Carver, Massachusetts.

The studio had an exciting year, which got off to a bang in September with Hartt Trombone Day.  We had two guests, Getzen Clinicians Doug Farwell and Steve Wilson.  Doug, a former student of mine, is Prof. of Trombone and Assistant Dean at Valdosta State University in Georgia and bass trombonist Steve is the Band Director and trombone teacher at the University of Texas at El Paso.  Also in the Fall, we hosted Will Kimball, trombone professor at Brigham Young University, who presented a session based on his research, “10 Documented Ways to Improve Your Breathing: Research from the Medical Field”.  The Fall culminated with Tim Fisher’s exquisite recital which included the McCarty Sonata with string quartet, Diemente Things Heard with pre-recorded electronic accompaniment, Hindemith Sonata for Bass Tuba (which actually works better on bass trombone), Tomasi Etre ou ne pas etre (trombone quartet) and Hidas Rhapsody.  This was an extremely varied and enjoyable performance!

Spring Semester had several highlights.  The Hartt Trombone Ensemble and Hartt Bass Ensemble presented a joint concert in February that featured both groups independently as well as two premieres of pieces written by Hartt composition students and my arrangement of Elephant from Carnival of the Animals and an arrangement of Mars from the Planets, all for combined forces. WHAT A SOUND!  In March, internationally renowned trombone performance artist Abbie Conant came from Germany for a mini-residency.  This was fantastic.  Later in the semester Joe Alessi performed a solo with the Wind Ensemble.  And, again, Tim Fisher ended the semester with a marvelous recital, playing Bozza New Orleans, Villa-Lobos Choros No. 4, Capuzzi Concerto for Double Bass, Isaac A la battaglia (sackbut quartet), Hindemith Trauermusik, and Wuorinen Trio for Bass Instruments (a fiendishly difficult trio for bass trombone, tuba and double bass).  This was another masterful performance by Tim.  We wish him Good Luck and will miss him.

Other happenings during the year: the trombone quartet (Jakob, Kevin. Ron and Tim) spent a lot of time mastering the sackbut (Kevin, the ornery, recalcitrant alto) and learned some of the idiomatic repertoire.  Ron also got his feet wet (I hope that’s all) on the alto trombone and bass trumpet.  The orchestra performed Verdi La Forza del Destino, Rimsky-Korsakov Capriccio Espagnol, Mozart Overture to the Magic Flute, Stravinsky Rite of Spring, and Mahler Symphony Nr. 1.  A production of Sweeney Todd was presented and Joseph Schwantner conducted both the orchestra and bands in some of his own compositions.  The Wind Ensemble also performed at the Eastern College Band Directors National Association Conference.

These were some of the highlights.  All in all, a pretty good year.



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