Freewill Fanfare- for trombone ensemble

Hello Everyone. After months of anticipation, we finally have the video up from the 2018 Minneapolis Trombone Choir Concert!

This was my first year joining in this experience and my first post-college conducting opportunity.

The opportunity came about because Jim Ten Bensel- the director- invited me to write something at my first rehearsal, and of course, I said yes. Little did I know that I would be receiving a phone call 24 hours before the next rehearsal expecting a new piece…whoops!

In the span of a night before our next rehearsal, and many cups of coffee later I had this full-fledged piece ready to go. Did I mention that I was also asked if I  would be conducting it (to which I replied.uh.. sure! I’ll give it a try.-not having conducted in a public setting before mind you)? Mozart level 1/100 completed!

The name comes from the Rush song Freewill, in which I quoted a line from Geddy Lee’s melodic bass playing. It is hidden in plain sight. If you know the song, see if you can find it! The form of the song is a metaphor for life, the greatest test of free will. An ostinato that carries throughout the piece starts with only the first trombones. Eventually, you meet other people and influences that begin shape who you are, which is why the remaining trombones add more musical ideas as the piece continues. The middle section fluctuates between time signatures and tone colors (confusion, emotions) and the ensemble and conductor choose how the tempo ebbs and flows. It is never played the same way twice. Eventually, everything comes together at the end, which is why the ensemble ends, with the original ostinato, together.

The experience of performing with this group, conducting, and getting to play on a few new premieres as well, was a fantastic experience and I can’t wait to do it again next year (now that I have more notice of course :P)

Bits of the concert are being posted as well piece by piece (thank you Glen Newton), so I encourage you to take a listen to the rest of the concert in the next few weeks.

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