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Archives  | Classifieds  | JFB  |  Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Doug Yeo Clinic at North Central College

Gordon Bowie  - gbowie@smart.net
Freelance Trombonist and Composer
 

Tom's well organized schedule kept all participants busy with a routine of Large Trombone Choir rehearsals, small group and quartet rehearsals, lecture-demonstration-clinic sessions by Doug, and then did it all again. Doug covered his approach to learning and practicing, an audition excerpt master class, a solo performance master class, being a team player in the orchestral setting, problems and solutions in the modern symphony orchestra, and playing unaccompanied repertoire in one hour sessions on each topic spaced throughout the three days. Every lecture was generously illustrated with Doug's magnificent playing, so participants got to hear a lot of great examples.

Doug's Tuesday evening recital was given to a packed house in hot, humid Heininger Auditorium after he had been clinician-ing all day. It was excellent nevertheless: after going non-stop all day and even missing supper he seemed fresh as a daisy with limitless energy and exhuberance,and that magnificent playing! He played the Hindemith Drei leichteStucke, the Levedev Concerto in One Movement, and Norman Bolter's The Song of King David. Then he turned to his serpent for a rendition of Bevan's The Pesky Sarpent followed by David Fetter's Insomnia at Pops both reprises from the famed snowstorm recital of last spring. (During the April Fool's blizzard that stopped Boston in its tracks.)

Next on the program was a rendition of my duet for two bass trombones, Second Base Blues, performed by Doug and his daughter Linda Yeo, a bass trombone major at Wheaton College. Needless to say I was extremely pleased as the composer by their highly artistic rendition.

Tom Izzo's TOMBONES took the stage for a pleasant rendering of Adrian Drover's arrangement of Bach's Air on a G-String and then Doug returned to the stage to perform Tommy Pederson's Blue Topaz with the TOMBONES playing the accompaniment and me conducting. Finally the recital ended all too soon with Doug's traditional closing number The Call by Vaughan Williams.

One memorable session that was a special feature of this workshop was Tom Izzo's presentation of his collection of unique and interesting trombones and low brass. He had assembled on the stage twelve trombones ranging from a Bb DEG Soprano to a BBb/FF Mirafone Contrabass and including every size between. Some of the most unique were a C Tenor rotary valved Meinelschmit, a Boosey silver plated G Bass with the long slide and handle, and Tom's own favorite highly customized Bach 50 Bb F/C/ Thayer/Osmun/Shires Bass trombone. In addition to trombones, Tom presented some of his other musical curios including a bass trumpet, tubas, and even a tiny piccolo bugle.

The large trombone choir of about twenty players, some doubling on Euphonium when required, was a central point of connection for the workshop. The group rehearsed on, and on Wednesday's final recital performed the world premiere of my Festival Prelude which was commissioned for the workshop, Norman Bolter's On with the Battle of Life Gary Bricault's Bb minor arrangement of JS Bach's Prelude and Fugue in D minor, and Tommy Pederson's Josephine. Paul Kemp and I gave a rendition of my The Bones in the Basement, a blues duet for tenor and bass trombones. The Quartets performed several of my arrangements and several by Eli Aharoni and some pieces from the classical literature as well.

And then the workshop was over, and we were all wiser and richer for having been the recipients of Doug's philosophy and his tutelage and encouragement for the three days. Festival organizer Tom Izzo deserves a ton of credit for putting the myriad details of this event together so capably and I, for one, hope he does it again!