We had a really busy but nonetheless really fun week from 25th through the 28th of February. Jim Nova, my friend, former student, Associate Principal Trombone of the Utah Symphony and Principal Trombone of the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra, came to perform as guest soloist with the NEC Trombone Choir and the Frequency Band in concert February 27th. Since Jim has participated a great deal in the Frequency Band over the years, he also joined the ensemble in the world premiere of a new piece, "Annapurna Trail."
"Annapurna Trail," for trombone choir, was inspired by an incredible picture, which I saw in an old "National Geographic" magazine, of the Annapurna Mountain range located in Nepal. Despite accompaniment by a jazz ensemble practicing upstairs, the Frequency Band stayed focused and intent and the piece went extremely well. It also was very well received by the audience.
Jim also played fantastic on his solo pieces. The students jaws dropped, and mine did too, when they heard the ease with which he covered the whole trombone range, and then some!! In addition to playing Gabaye's "Special," Jim played the solo on "Fanfare to the Rising Phoenix" as well as the solo role in the "Samkin Aylward" movement from "The White Company Quartet," accompanied by the Frequency Band.*
The audience loved the entire concert. And the students rose beautifully to the challenges this concert put in front of them. A big BRAVO to all!
The next day, Jim gave a terrific masterclass. His class was on taking auditions and he held a mock audition filled with loads of advice based on his own life experiences auditioning. The class was very well received, with the students warming to Jim's open and friendly as well as honest and creative approach.
Here is a sound clip of "Annapurna Trail" from about a minute into the piece, taken on a digital camera. For your interest, enjoyment and curiosity.
*Although Jim has recorded "Samkin Aylward" with us, it hasn't been released yet. ("The White Company Quartet" will be among the first recorded pieces we release this year.) However, Jim and I have recorded a duet also inspired by "Samkin," called "The Archer." Here's a sound clip from "The Archer" on the "Occurrences" CD for your enjoyment.