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The Trombone ForumCreation and PerformanceTrombonists(Moderator: zemry) Orchestral tenor/bass players
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ChadA
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« on: Dec 01, 2016, 09:14AM »

Hello friends,
I'm looking for something very specific:  trombonists who hold (or have held) positions as both an orchestral tenor and orchestral bass trombone player.  My preference is for people who have won auditions on each instrument like Peter Norton (principal in Montreal, bass in Cincinnati) and James Markey (Asst. principal in NY, bass in NY and Boston).  Info on people whose positions includes both (like Paul Pollard at the Met and others) is fine, too.

Thanks!
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« Reply #1 on: Dec 01, 2016, 09:30AM »

I will ask around! Someone has to have done it.

If you're not terribly picky, I have had professional orchestral gigs on both instruments. But on bass, it was a NETworks tour called "Handel's Messiah Rocks"...I'm guessing that doesn't count!  :D
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« Reply #2 on: Dec 01, 2016, 01:38PM »

I will ask around! Someone has to have done it.

If you're not terribly picky, I have had professional orchestral gigs on both instruments. But on bass, it was a NETworks tour called "Handel's Messiah Rocks"...I'm guessing that doesn't count!  :D

I'm actually trying to be picky.  :)  I've played gigs on both, too.  I'm looking for people who have held positions in professional, traditional orchestras (ROPA or ICSOM in the US and their European/Canadian equivalents).
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Chad Arnow, DMA
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« Reply #3 on: Dec 01, 2016, 01:55PM »

Does that include most assistant principal players?
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« Reply #4 on: Dec 02, 2016, 05:30AM »

Stefan Schulz of the Berlin Philharmonic has held second trombone and bass trombone positions in that orchestra.
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« Reply #5 on: Dec 02, 2016, 07:17AM »

Does that include most assistant principal players?

I'm more interested in people that won separate auditions on each instrument.  But, I would take names of people that fill a utility role (often, but not always, an assistant principal role) that involves playing tenor and bass in their orchestra, too.
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« Reply #6 on: Dec 02, 2016, 07:22AM »

Bill Rose held the bass trombone and tuba position with the Houston Symphony... Peter Kline held the bass trombone and a tenor chair with the San Antonio Symphony.
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« Reply #7 on: Dec 02, 2016, 08:09AM »

Steve Fissel has held 2nd and bass trombone in the Seattle Symphony
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« Reply #8 on: Dec 02, 2016, 10:14AM »

In that case, James Miller at LA plays both regularly.
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« Reply #9 on: Dec 02, 2016, 10:41AM »

I'm not sure where you are trying to head with this, Chad.  Nowadays there are specialized auditions for Bass Trombone and Trombone in orchestras.

If we go back a ways, Eugene Adam was Principal Trombone in the Boston Symphony but was fired because of a Musician Union strike in 1919.  He later rejoined the orchestra as Tubist.

Kilton Vinal Smith doubled as trombone and tuba with the Boston Symphony just prior to World War II.

But back then, you studied "trombone" and the 3rd chair wasn't a specialty.
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« Reply #10 on: Dec 02, 2016, 11:27AM »

The obvious name that has not been mentioned, perhaps the best example, is Charlie Vernon.
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« Reply #11 on: Dec 02, 2016, 12:06PM »

The obvious name that has not been mentioned, perhaps the best example, is Charlie Vernon.

Dunno.  Did Charlie win an audition on tenor?  Agreed he can play any trombone, though.
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« Reply #12 on: Dec 02, 2016, 12:41PM »

Dave Reid.

2nd bone then bass bone in Calgary Phil. Home of Rockymountainbone here on TTF.
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« Reply #13 on: Dec 02, 2016, 01:21PM »

David Pell in the Toronto (Canada) area. Dave's won positions on both tenor and bass.

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« Reply #14 on: Dec 02, 2016, 01:56PM »

I'm not sure where you are trying to head with this, Chad.  Nowadays there are specialized auditions for Bass Trombone and Trombone in orchestras.

Bruce,
I'm a product of the specialized bass vs tenor audition system:  I play both, but have only ever held the specialized third/bass trombone position in my ROPA orchestra.  :)  I'm looking for people who've succeeded in both scenarios, preferably recently; current folks are of the most interest.  

I know there are a few people who have navigated both audition circuits successfully and I'm looking to add to the list.
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« Reply #15 on: Dec 02, 2016, 02:18PM »

Dunno.  Did Charlie win an audition on tenor?  Agreed he can play any trombone, though.

He won a principal job before going to Chicago.
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« Reply #16 on: Dec 02, 2016, 02:23PM »

He won a principal job before going to Chicago.
Really????
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« Reply #17 on: Dec 02, 2016, 02:31PM »

The only person i can think of who im pretty sure has done that in my corner of the world is Howard Parkinson who is the current Bass Trombone player in the Adelaide symphony orchestra but originally won an audition for the same orchestra as the principle trombone. I have never spoken to Howard about the specifics but i know there was a reason he changed positions in ASO.

Actually I could have this guess completely wrong, but I would hazard a guess that if a player wins both a SEPARATE tenor and bass job, that it would be VERY rare if it were not in the same orchestra. Or at least if they do hold a position in a different orchestrs they will have established themselves on tenor and bass chairs within ONE  professional orchestra first. I would be more interested specifically in people who have won a tenor job in one orchestra, then won a bass job in a totally separate professional orchestra  (or vice versa). I imagine those players would be rare. Am i right?
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« Reply #18 on: Dec 02, 2016, 02:34PM »

He won a principal job before going to Chicago.

Wasn't he bass trombone in Philadelphia before Chicago? And from memory (hopefully im not getting mixed up!) before that had a short time as Bass trombone in san Francisco? I heard he took an audition for a principle tenor position but was not awarded it.
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« Reply #19 on: Dec 02, 2016, 02:54PM »

Wasn't he bass trombone in Philadelphia before Chicago? And from memory (hopefully im not getting mixed up!) before that had a short time as Bass trombone in san Francisco? I heard he took an audition for a principle tenor position but was not awarded it.

My recollection was Charlie was in Baltimore, San Francisco and Philadelphia before Chicago all on bass. To my knowledge he didn't win any tenor auditions but he has taken a number of them spanning a few decades.
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« Reply #20 on: Dec 02, 2016, 02:59PM »

Really????

I guess I'm wrong. I swear that was a thing!
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« Reply #21 on: Dec 02, 2016, 03:16PM »

Kevin already mentioned my section mate Dave Reid.

In addition to Jim Miller in LA, many of the big orchestras that carry 4 players have one player (either the 2nd or the Asst./Assoc) who has to fill in on Bass periodically. Colin Williams does that in the NYPhil. I think Eric Carlson does that role in Philly - not sure in Cleveland, San Fran., Baltimore, National.

Nowadays, most orchestra contracts have some language about trying to spread out the workload among the whole section, as well as many having some of their vacation weeks being done on a rotating basis, so someone has to cover the Bass chair in those situations. That's how Jim Markey began playing bass and fell in love with the instrument.

If you're looking into this for an article, or just for the info, I'd suggest checking with those orchestras that carry 4 (or 5 at the Met). I think that's all of the current ones in my 2nd paragraph, but Detroit, Toronto and Atlanta (briefly) all had 4 players for a time and lost that chair to attrition when finances were tight.

Jim Scott
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« Reply #22 on: Dec 17, 2016, 12:03PM »

I saw of a picture of Don Harwood holding a Conn 88H with Per Brevig and a fellow named Gillespie listed as New Tork  Met Bone section.
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« Reply #23 on: Dec 18, 2016, 09:19AM »

Martin Schippers
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« Reply #24 on: Dec 18, 2016, 10:40AM »

He won a principal job before going to Chicago.

Really? Where? What orchestra?
Before going to Chicago wasn't he the Bass trombone of the Philadelphia Orchestra?

Stefan Schulz from the Berlin Philharmonic, he won Second Trombone and then Bass in the BPO, before this he was Bass trombone with the Berlin Staatskapelle.

Vivan Lee from the Montreal Symphony, tenor with Montreal SYm. and bass with Orchestra London Canada
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« Reply #25 on: Dec 18, 2016, 02:49PM »

I believe Charlie won Assistant Principal, Detroit Symphony Orchestra.
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« Reply #26 on: Dec 20, 2016, 01:50AM »

Thomas Leyendecker (Berliner Philharmoniker)
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« Reply #27 on: Dec 20, 2016, 06:00AM »

In his own bio on his website, Charlie mentions only these professional positions, all bass trombone.

"Charles Vernon began his orchestral career as bass trombonist with the Baltimore Symphony, starting in September 1971. In 1980 he went to the San Francisco Symphony for one season. He was then chosen by Riccardo Muti to play bass trombone with the Philadelphia Orchestra, where he played for five years until coming to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in 1986."

If he won any tenor auditions (e.g. Detroit) he apparently did not accept the position.
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« Reply #28 on: Dec 20, 2016, 06:09AM »

Come to think of it though, at a CSO Ravina concert this summer, Jay was off and Charlie played first trombone. He really seemed/looked at home there. When Jay (sadly) retires some day, I wonder if Charlie will move over a couple of seats?
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« Reply #29 on: Dec 20, 2016, 06:47AM »

I heard that in Helsinki Philharmonic they have changed their trombone section like that: principal switched to play bass (he used to be bass-trombonist in his younger age) and bass-trombonist switched to associate principal (former associate principal became principal now). Everything is possible.
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« Reply #30 on: Dec 20, 2016, 07:23AM »

Bill Thomas was 2nd trombone in Atlanta and is now 2nd/3rd in the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich. I believe he mostly plays bass in that job.
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« Reply #31 on: Dec 20, 2016, 07:27AM »

Sam Chen is principal of the Knoxville Symphony and also holds a position as bass trombone of another orchestra in TN called Symphony of the Mountains. He gets around subbing on bass trombone (and probably tenor) as well.
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« Reply #32 on: Dec 20, 2016, 07:29AM »

In the doubling by necessity category, Colin Williams covers bass trombone in the NY Phil sometimes, as does Jim Nova in Pittsburgh.
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« Reply #33 on: Dec 20, 2016, 07:34AM »

I saw of a picture of Don Harwood holding a Conn 88H with Per Brevig and a fellow named Gillespie listed as New Tork  Met Bone section.

I've seen that picture, and I'm pretty sure that's a Holton Tr-185 he's holding. The wrap looks like an 88H wrap.
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« Reply #34 on: Dec 20, 2016, 07:57AM »

Buffalo Phil 2nd trombonist Tim Smith also covers bass trombone.
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« Reply #35 on: Dec 20, 2016, 08:51AM »

I've seen that picture, and I'm pretty sure that's a Holton Tr-185 he's holding. The wrap looks like an 88H wrap.

I'm not sure what Don Harwood used as his tenor when he started at the Met, but I remember hearing that his tenor set-up before he moved over to the NY Phil. was a Bach 50 slide with a 42 bell.

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« Reply #36 on: Dec 20, 2016, 12:05PM »

Michael Mulchay, 2nd trombone in CSO, covers for Charlie on bass every so often.
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« Reply #37 on: Dec 20, 2016, 01:18PM »

This is pretty common in Europe to have the 4th trombonist in a section be the Veksel posaune, or utility position.  Both the larger orchestras when I was in Copenhagen had someone who's job it is to play both.
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« Reply #38 on: Mar 15, 2017, 12:15AM »

I believe Charlie won Assistant Principal, Detroit Symphony Orchestra.

Tanny Gurin won that audition. Charlie was runner up.

Dee Stewart was bass trombonist in Louisiana and later second in Philadelphia.
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« Reply #39 on: Mar 15, 2017, 05:35AM »

Phil Brink is now bass trombone in Singapore (?).  He was 1st trombone in Calgary in the '70's, and has won numerous other bass trombone spots along the way.
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« Reply #40 on: Mar 15, 2017, 05:43AM »

I believe Douglas Sparkes played 2nd tenor in Hamilton before going to Vancouver to play bass trombone.
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