Medina Journal-Register — The trombone.
It was called the “Voice of God” by Beethoven.
It was the voice of Charlie Brown’s teacher in the beloved animated television specials.
The versatile, jazzy, slurring, majestic, gloriously powerful trombone, known by all and beloved by many, will be showcased Feb. 22 by the SUNY Fredonia Trombone Choir.
The Orleans Renaissance Group is bringing the 24-horn choir to perform in the sanctuary of St. Mary’s Church.
The church, a place well-known for its acoustics, is made for just such an ensemble.
More recently known as the Fredonia Trombone Collective, the group is under the direction of Carl Mazzio, retired principal trombonist with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra from 1995 until 2002. Mazzio took the reins of the ensemble several years ago and under his direction, the scope and size expanded.
“The Fredonia Trombone Collective is now a surprising sonic experience, with its four-plus octave range, all encompassing repertoire and dynamic equivalency to a symphony orchestra,” Mazzio said.
Mazzio has worked with noted orchestral conductors and musicians including Kurt Masur, Herbert Blomstedt, Mstislav Rostropovich, Itzhak Perlman, Yo-Yo Ma, Jessye Norman, Doc Severinsen and Aretha Franklin.
In Medina, the ensemble will perform a wide range of music, sacred to secular, pop to classical.
“The choir will be performing over 500 years of celebrated music from Giovanni Gabrieli to Sibelius to John Williams and Eric Clapton,” he said.
Among the pieces to be performed is a roof-raising arrangement of Eric Clapton’s “Layla.” This favorite by Derek and the Dominos was arranged by Eric Crees, principal trombonist of the London Symphony Orchestra and originally done by the London Trombone Sound. Also featured will be Sabre Dance by Rimsky Korsakov and Olympic Fanfare by John Williams.
The finale will feature a collaboration between the Trombone Choir and Holy Trinity Music Director and Organist Aaron R. Grabowski. The ensemble, with accompaniment from the Barckhoff pipe organ, will perform the piece “Feierlicher Einzug” by Richard Strauss. Composed in 1909 originally for 15 trumpets, four horns, four trombones, two bass tubas and timpani, this arrangement for trombone choir works slowly towards a powerful finish.
Merle Draper, president of ORG, said the concert is generating interest. “People are talking about this concert and they should be. Those who experienced this ensemble two years ago were thrilled and amazed by the big, incredible sound.”
The doors at St. Mary’s will open at 6:15 p.m. Feb. 22. More information can be found at the ORG website: www.eggstreet.org. The event is underwritten by Baxter Heathcare of Medina.
General seating tickets cost $15 per person and $30 per family and are available at the English Rose Tea Shoppe in Medina, online at www.eggstreet.org, and at the door.
Proceeds from the concert benefit the ongoing restoration of Bent’s Opera House.
As an added incentive to support ORG, each ticket is worth 10 percent off a patron’s bill at Zambistro Restaurant, Della’s Chocolates and the English Rose Tea Shoppe, all in Medina. The offer may be redeemed now through April. Offer details are on each ticket.