Hear Gerry talk about the 15-year evolution of the group
In this under two-minute video, Gerry shares how the group’s repertoire has evolved and pays tribute to the past and present players of the quartet as they celebrate their latest album, Confluence.
Fleur de Lis
St. Louis has a rich French heritage, evidenced in our street names such as Laclede, Des Peres, Chouteau and Lafayette. The Fleur de lis, historically associated with the French monarchy, remains an enduring symbol of France and its conquests, and has a special significance for the city of St. Louis.
With the exception of the Charpentier, all of the pieces on this CD were either written for us or arranged by us. One of our goals has been to promote new music, so we are happy to present two premieres. Collaborating with these composers has been a tremendous experience.
The other works on this album consist of popular works for orchestra or piano that we arranged ourselves for trombone quartet, exercising our creativity. Each piece has significance for us as a group and as individuals, in much the same way as we approach our concept of sound – with room for each voice and its special nature, and yet a dedication to the whole. We wish you well as you travel up the Mississippi and land at our door. Bon Voyage!
As far back as the 1990s, the trombone section occasionally performed in schools and churches through the SLSO’s outreach program. With limited repertoire available that was appropriate for these situations, Tim, along with former Second Trombone Roger Davenport, began writing occasional arrangements for these performances. These performances were fun for us, but back then, we were always a trombone section playing a special event.
However, with Jonathan’s arrival in the orchestra in 2006, we began to dream of becoming our own band. In the process of preparing to record what would eventually become 4.1, we became a chamber ensemble.
We spent endless hours in Steve’s basement rehearsing, talking about the music, matching our sounds, lengths of notes, shapes of phrases, and going off on tangents (at one point, we thought of calling our group “Tangent”). For 4.1, we believed strongly in all of the pieces we recorded, but two of those pieces, Tim’s resetting of the Gabrieli Sonata XV “con tre violini” and Conrad Henning’s beautiful transcription of Poulenc’s Four Prayers of St. Francis, began our trend of finding, arranging, or composing our own music.
The title 4.1 symbolized, for us, four musicians coming together for one purpose. If you missed it in 2010, we hope you’ll give it a listen now.
As a quartet, The STL Trombones have played Holiday concerts for as long as we’ve been members of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra.
When we first started, our repertoire was taken from what was currently available, with just a few original arrangements. One was The Hallelujah Chorus, arranged by Roger Davenport, second trombone in the SLSO for close to forty years! It was a great arrangement, and it was nice to have something from within the group. Then Tim added more to our Christmas repertoire when he brought us In Dulci Jubilo, and La Navidad. Later on, Gerry added a couple more. Before long, we had enough of our own material for a STL Trombones Christmas Album.
And as an extra treat, we added percussion to seven of the fifteen tunes, including Drum Set, Bells, Latin Percussion, and a quartet favorite, the Cajon. With our SLSO colleague Alan Stewart along for the ride, we did our best impersonation of the Leroy Anderson classic, Sleigh Ride. When you open these presents, you may find hidden some of the most well-known orchestral excerpts.
We’d be giving it away if we said more, so you’ll just have to listen for yourself. We hope that our contribution to your holiday spirit is one that brings much joy, and warms you from the inside out. Seasons Greetings!