Ouachita Baptist University will host Trombonanza, a one-of-a-kind musical event, on Sunday, Sept. 9, at 2:30 p.m. The concert, to be held in Jones Performing Arts Center on Ouachita’s Arkadelphia campus, is free to the public.
Trombonanza is a unique event for the state because of the level of professional talent that will comprise the trombone choir. Dr. Sim Flora, professor emeritus of music at Ouachita, began planning for Trombonanza last May. He said he wanted to “put on the best trombone concert” while having fun doing it. Calling on friends from all over the country, Flora assembled a top-quality trombone choir.
“That was one of my goals,” he explained, “to do something really fun and yet requires high-level trombone playing.”
Among those Flora invited to perform are Ouachita students, faculty and alumni. Performers in Trombonanza vary in their backgrounds and musical styles ranging from Bret Steed, a junior performance major from Oklahoma, to Gene Stiman, an Illinois musician who shared the stage with Benny Goodman in the Big Band era and will perform a solo during the show.
Other featured musicians include Ouachita’s own trombone and low brass and theory professor, Dr. Justin Isenhour; Kurt Silver, one of Flora’s former students from St. Louis; and Jon Whitaker of University of Alabama, who will serve as trombone choir conductor. Ouachita alumnus Tony Hutchins will anchor the trombone choir and solo with the group; the Jacksonville, Ark., native serves as professor of low brass at Morningside College in Iowa.
Pianist Bob Boyd and the Bob Boyd Sounds will provide accompaniment on piano, bass and drums for the 10 to 14 trombone players. Vocal performances will also be accompanied by the trombone choir. Featuring a mixture of classical and jazz music, Trombonanza will offer swing, funk, ballads and Latin styles for the audience to enjoy. Many well-known pieces will be played as well as a number of pieces that are Flora’s own compositions.
For more information, contact OBU’s School of Fine Arts at (870) 245-5129.
By Rachel Gregory