My time in St. Louis was incredibly special thanks to the amazing trombone section in the orchestra, into which I found myself plopped as a very young player. The three years I spent playing in the St. Louis Symphony were better than any degree I could have got from a music school. I was suddenly surrounded by musicians with such a wealth of expertise in their field, years of experience, just oozing character and finesse, and I soaked up as much as I could.
There was also a fantastic community of low brass players thanks to efforts by many people from all genres of music within the city, and it created a great forum for musical collaboration. The STL Trombones hadn’t performed since losing Steve Lange to Boston but it wasn’t long before I got to fill his shoes and join them for a few performances around the city.
Soon we were working on serious projects and recitals and decided we had enough new music to record the group’s second album, Fleur de Lis. Recording that CD has been one of the highlights of my career as a trombonist. Sometimes I listen to a couple tracks just to be transported back to that special time of coming together to record. I remember how intense those recording days were, and the hours spent practicing, rehearsing and editing – but how much fun we always had doing it. We’d each have to take turns being the one to remind each other we had to cut out the joking around and get to work!