A Trip to Affton

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Members of the St. Louis Symphony brass made a visit to Bayless School in Affton, Missouri, to sit in with young musicians and to play a concert. Video intern Nicola Muscroft and Symphony staff member Zach Schimpf made the trip down with Director of Community Programs Maureen Byrne and the Symphony musicians. Nicola created this mini-documentary out of the experience. The musicians are Principal Trumpet Karin Bliznik, Associate Principal Trombone Amanda Stewart, Julie Thayer on horn, Jeffrey Strong on trumpet, and Gerry Pagano on bass trombone.

Before Mahler, During Mahler

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During the rehearsal break for Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 I strolled the stage and took notice of the elegant device holding a double bass together:

Bass bungee
Bass bungee

I also saw David Halen’s violin set on a table with Vivaldi music near his chair:

Table and violin
Table, Vivaldi, and violin

And before the Mahler 4 began, on Wednesday members of the St. Louis Symphony brass visited Brittany Woods Middle School. Even with a David Robertson program to practice this week, the brass took time out to share some musical knowledge with young people:

Left to right: Lucy Mosier, Orchestra Director @ University City High; Gerard Pagano, bass trombone; Amanda Stewart, Associate Principal Trombone; Jeffrey Stone, trumpet; Roger Kaza, Principal Horn; Karin Bliznik, Principal Trumpet; Rob Giles, Band Director @ Brittany Woods Middle School
Left to right: Lucy Mosier, Orchestra Director @ University City High; Gerard Pagano, bass trombone; Amanda Stewart, Associate Principal Trombone; Jeffrey Strong, trumpet; Roger Kaza, Principal Horn; Karin Bliznik, Principal Trumpet; Rob Giles, Band Director @ Brittany Woods Middle School

Holiday Trombones

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This Thursday the Trombones of the St. Louis Symphony perform their 21st annual St. Agnes Home Holiday Concert in Kirkwood.

Gerry Pagano at St. Agnes Home
Gerry Pagano at St. Agnes Home

It’s part of the SymphonyCares for Seniors program, but it began with bass trombonist Gerry Pagano driving by St. Agnes Home one day and figuring that they could use some holiday brass. The ensemble has changed a few times, but the residents at St. Agnes keep wanting them to come back for more.

The current ensemble is Pagano, Tim Myers, Amanda Stewart and Jonathan Reycraft. They will all be wearing their Santa caps.

Fab Four

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The Fab Four that is the St. Louis Symphony trombone section plays Ludwig van Beethoven’s Three Equali for Four Trombones at Powell Hall Friday and Saturday night. They start the show, alone on stage, and make music with their amazing song machines. Trombone is a very songful instrument, as you’ll hear in this week’s video blog.