May 31 2010

Episode 153: Robbie Heeds the Call!

****NOTICE: I just published a flurry of Episodes. I'm sorry I can't be more consistent in my posting schedule.....blame it on Facebook. But please do be sure to check the most recent few. Hate for you to miss one.****

Our friend Robbie Kleinberg is first to offer a terrific arrangement......for Trombone Quartet. And for FREE. This is a really beautiful arrangement, Robbie, and very nicely formatted. Thanks so much! Look for this being performed in an upcoming episode.

To my editor and publisher friends, I believe Robbie would like to do a WHOLE lot more work like this. If you like what you see and would like to know what else Mr. Kleinberg has in his catalog, please contact him at:

Thanks again, Robbie! We all appreciate it. (Lots more free sheet music is at Episode 152, click HERE and check out the "Comments" section)

Download "O Magnum Mysterium" for Trombone Quartet (arr. Kleinberg) by clicking the PDF icon below:

icon for podbean

January 13 2010

Episode 143: Brass Blast at KSU! (Feb.13, 2010)

Guess what, everybody!?

We're gonna have a "Brass Blast" at Kennesaw State University on Saturday, Feb. 13, 2010

It's gonna be awesome. Be there to hear some amazing performances, clinics, masterclasses by one of the most dynamic faculties anywhere (seriously, check the line-up at the website:-)

We'll also have a brass ensemble for all participants. Rock on.

Registration deadline is Feb.8, so hurry and sign up. Lots more info is here:

Email me with questions. I have attached a very snazzy poster for you, too.

I really hope to see you there! It is going to be a great day, and if you haven't had a chance to see all the new facilities at KSU, prepare to be impressed.

Happy New Year, everybody. More episodes coming right up.......

icon for podbean

September 10 2009

Episode 137: “Quality of Motion” (pdf)

Part 2 of my master classes at U of M. This pdf file should download by clicking the icon below.

I very much appreciate the comments about "The Big Picture". I hope this installment, too, is useful and helpful in your playing and teaching.


icon for podbean

August 6 2009

Episode 132: The Collection (and Passion) of Benjamin Fagan

I never met Benjamin Fagan, but he sure was a lover of Trombone! At first an accomplished performer, then a collector extraordinaire. In this episode, Benjamin's nephew (Mr. Fulton Stone) kindly welcomes us all into his home so we can peruse this most amazing collection of vintage trombones. There are 18 in all; some REAL beauties.

More than anything else, I sensed that the estate of Mr. Fagan would be thrilled to have these trombones fall into the hands of appreciative owners. That's where you come in! If something in this collection piques your interest, please make an offer to Mr. Stone. His email address is:

(Of special interest might be a "starter kit" for an eager and deserving beginner. Trombone, mutes, slide cream, spray bottle, stand light, etc. If you have a worthy young player in your life, please inquire with Mr. Stone.)

And, if you knew Benjamin Fagan and have any anecdotes to share with his family, they would be most appreciative. Thanks everybody. Enjoy this. Mr. Fagan was quite obviously a man with a passion for our beloved Trombone. May he rest in eternal peace.

Watch Now:

June 1 2009

Episode 128: Lesson with Lynda, Part 2

Cool.......many of you are liking these. Here's some more with Lynda (thanks, Lynda!). Congratulations to all recent Graduates and best wishes in the next phase, whatever that shall be. We hope that it involves trombone in some way, if only because we know it'll keep you happy and sane:-)

Hello to all my new Facebook friends, too. You are very kind friends, indeed. We should plan a party here in Atlanta.......hmmm.

Watch Now:

April 8 2009

Episode 125: It’s International Trombone Week!




Happy International Trombone Week, everybody!



Colleen Wheeler wrote to remind us that April 5-12

is THE WEEK to celebrate all things TROMBONE (Thanks, Colleen!)

 There’s more info here: 

 How will YOU celebrate?

 We’d love to know, so please write us.


Trombone Love to Y’all






February 11 2009

Episode 120: Congratulations, Mr. Pugh!


To our friend Jim Pugh, on being chosen by NPR (National Public Radio) as one of the “10 Best Classical CD’s of 2008”.

Jim, as you know, was our guest on Episodes #32 and 33. He is a class act and we cannot think of a more worthy recipient of this honor. Way to go Jim! You inspire us all.

Every one of us should own this album (you know, if you like TROMBONE)……you can get it at iTunes by clicking here. When I listen to Mr. Pugh on this album, it strikes me that everything is "in the pocket". His groove, the pristine articulations, the presence or absence of vibrato, quality of motion through the phrase, and on and on. It's perfect trombone playing to my ears. Delicious!

Here’s a review from NPR’s website:

Pugh: Trombone Concerto: IIIArtist: James (Jim) Pugh Album: X Over Trombone Song: Concerto for trombone & orchestra Most frequently asked question in the 22-year history of Performance Today: Did Mozart write the PT theme? Nope, it was written for the show by trombonist and composer James Pugh. Pugh is the eclectic's eclectic: He played with the Woody Herman Big Band, he's recorded classical music with Yo-Yo Ma and electric jazz with Chick Corea, he tours with Steely Dan, he's a first-call player for film-soundtrack sessions and he teaches at the University of Illinois. This CD features three jazzy concertos for trombone and orchestra including Pugh's own trombone romp from 1992.

icon for podbean

February 3 2009

Episode 119: Joe Alessi, Pete Ellefson, Jon Whitaker…OMG!, this one's cool. Hip your friends. I was up all night getting it ready. Because I LOVE you. (And because I was so excited to have these guys visit, I couldn't sleep.)

Enjoy! Thanks, Jon, for setting this up. Thanks Joe and Pete. We are all so thankful that the 3 of you spent some time with us. Trombone Love to you all...and thanks for letting us all know just what that means.

The Alessi Seminar sounds like a place we all should be, eh?

Please visit:

Watch Now:

January 31 2009

Episode 118: Mercer University: Townsend School of Music

If you're a student looking either for Undergraduate or Graduate opportunities, check out what's going on at Mercer University. They have opened a new chapter and are seeking to become one of the elite music schools.

In this episode, learn more about Mercer University, The Townsend School of Music, The Robert McDuffie Center for Strings, the town of Macon, and more. Dr. John Dickson tells us all about it.

If after watching this, you want to know more, please visit their website:

Or, as always, write me and I'll help however I can:

Thanks, everyone!

Watch Now:

January 12 2009

Episode 115: Um….hold the phone:-)

Alas, after meeting with the Brass faculty at UGA today, we realized there are logistical hurdles that are just too high to clear. I will not be teaching there in Fall 2009. Ain't life fun like 'dat:-)

Sorry for the false alarm.....but as always:

Peace, and Happy New Year everybody!

Sincerely, Dr. Tom

I will be teaching at Kennesaw State University and Mercer University next year, though! Boy, do I LOVE to teach:-)

November 19 2008

*** Notice to iTunes Subscribers ***

***NOTICE:  iTunes Subscribers***

Episode 106, Part Two may not appear in your iTunes window. It has a .ZIP file attached to it containing a CD of Drones prepared by Brad Edwards. To access and download the Drones CD, please visit Episode 106 (Part 2) at the Podcast homepage:


icon for podbean

November 18 2008

Episode 106: (Part 2) The Drones CD

Here are the Drones prepared by Brad Edwards (as explained in Episode 106, Part 1). These are uncompressed audio files, so they should really sound good on your system, or in headphones as I like to do. The "download" link below is to a .ZIP file. If you cannot get it to open, you might need to do some Google searching for free software. Try searching " opening ZIP files".

The Contents of the CD can be viewed (and printed) by clicking HERE.

Enjoy! Thanks again, Brad.

Once you click the link below, 376MB of juicy drones will begin to download.....

icon for podbean

November 10 2008

Episode 104: “Wicked” Maestro, Mr. Boko Suzuki

It was my extreme pleasure to perform with the Broadway touring production of "Wicked" as they stopped here in Atlanta for the entire month of October. The next few episodes will revolve around that wonderful experience at the Fabulous Fox Theatre here in Atlanta. (Check it out:

This episode is an interview with the Musical Director of this $14 Million extravaganza, Mr. Boko Suzuki. He has a LOT of great insights and tips for those of you looking forward to a career playing shows! It's one of my favorite things to do as a freelancer, because it involves a plethora of styles, lots of different equipment, mutes, etc.

Also, these productions are of the highest imaginable quality....and working with such professionalism is inspiring. The cast, crew, and musicians on this production of "Wicked" were world-class. Talented beyond belief and extremely committed to excellence night after night after night.

I hope you enjoy meeting Mr. Suzuki. We wish him and all of his colleagues safe travels and good times as they tour what may very well go down as one of the greatest musicals of all time. It is a sensational theatre experience."Defying Gravity", "For Good", "I'm Not That Girl", "No Good Deed".....these are great tunes!

You can learn more about the show here:

Boko also hosts a Podcast for singers. Check it out HERE.

Thanks, Boko, for taking the time to share with us all.

***NOTICE: some big files are forthcoming, for you subscribers to this Podcast. Just a head's up....don't want to fill your hard drive and get hate mail. Might be time for an external hard drive for all these juicy episodes, though! On Nov. 17, I'll post a fascinating interview with Larry Douglas Embury, resident organist at The Fox Theatre and Master of "Mighty Mo", one of the world's largest Theatre Organs. That Episode will be about 250MB of goodness, and it will be followed by a series of Episodes with the one-of-a-kind Joe Patten. ***

Watch Now:

September 5 2008

Episode 99: Articles of interest?

I like to write. I enjoy writing about music and the trombone. Some articles have been published in journals, but mostly I write for myself, my students, and the website. In this Episode, I present 3 articles that I've written over the past few years.

I was initially tempted to re-write some of these, but decided against that. They are as I intended at the time of their writing, and there's something valid about that. In any case, they have elicited lively responses in some forums. I thought I would share them with you and if you have strong feelings for or against my observations......that is as it should be. We would all benefit from knowing your thoughts. In truth, if these articles prove so contentious that they initiate a rousing debate whereby we ALL learn something; that would not be a bad thing in the least, now would it?

The articles have been posted on my website for some time, and they are entitled:

1) Static Energy: The Musician's Enemy

2) Achieve v. Receive; Serious v. Sincere

3) Good v. Great Players

I hope you gain from reading them. Perhaps they will open avenues of thought that are new for you.

PS- Since writing the 2nd article, I have learned that many people have intense negative feelings about Martin Luther. I hope that context can overcome these, my apologies if that fails. His life's revelation is used only as an example. I was pondering the good in the man, not the bad. Frankly, I was educated by a reader who knew far more than me and I thank him for expanding my knowledge.

icon for podbean

October 2 2007

Episode 55: The Recital Drawing!

Well, ladies and gentlemen, if you've seen Episode 49, you'll know what this is all about. Today, Colin came to "the lair" and we did a drawing for the upcoming "Viewer's Choice Recital". It was one of the most suspenseful and stressful moments of my life:-)

Wait until you see how it all played out..............enjoy!

I talk about a review of Colin playing the Creston a few years ago with the Atlanta Symphony. Here's the review:

"Review: ASO plays Creston on trombone By Pierre Ruhe | Friday, October 1, 2004 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution CONCERT REVIEW Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

.....This week, the ASO helped revive a worthy composer from irrelevancy. Paul Creston (1906-1985) didn’t live to see a concert-hall revival of his music, but nowadays you can hear all his important works on CD and, increasingly, experience them live.

Creston’s music is “an embodiment of the affirmative, lyrical, melodic strain that dominated American music in the 1930s and for a time afterward,” wrote critic-conductor Will Crutchfield in an obituary. Creston rightly joins the company of Copland, Piston and Barber.

Creston's 1947 Fantasy for Trombone, one of his best-known works, served to introduce the ASO's principal trombonist, Colin Williams, who joined the orchestra three years ago and is now making his official solo debut.

In the jazzy Fantasy, Williams was heard, finally, to his advantage. In the treacherous Symphony Hall acoustic, the orchestral trombones' warm bass notes get absorbed by the stage walls and the bright high notes get polarized to a blinding glare, like sunlight off a swimming pool. At stage front, we heard Williams au natural: his clean, “white” tone, with very little vibrato and exceptionally pure and lovely soft notes.

And for the ASO, with their committed playing this week and last, they showed that it's likely the romantic vs. modernist argument will seem quaint in another generation. This would follow the Wagner (progressive) vs. Brahms (retro) debates, which eventually subsided, leaving both men on the winning side. What survives isn't ideology, it's good art. As an encore, Williams and the orchestra played "The Blue Bells of Scotland,” an amusing and sentimental work by Arthur Pryor, the trombonist in John Philip Sousa’s band a century ago. Where the Creston was unfailingly polite, Pryor asks the soloist to scale heights, blow elephant calls and raspberries, all accompanied by oom-pah-pahs from the orchestra. Williams breezed through the moto perpetuo variations with mostly machine-drilled aplomb."

Watch Now:

September 29 2007

Episode 54: GYSO

GYSO is the Georgia Youth Symphony Orchestra. It is the youth-affiliate of the Cobb Symphony Orchestra. It consists of a number of musical ensembles: 2 full orchestras, woodwind chamber groups, percussion ensemble, and.......a REAL Brass Band (directed by yours truly and employing the British-style instrumentation with cornets, E-flat horns, baritones, euphoniums, trombones, E-flat and B-flat tubas, plus percussion).

The GYSO Brass Band is open, by audition, to any players aged 21-under. We have featured the brass band in earlier Episodes of the podcasts, including a performance with Chris Martin (Episode 29) and a 3-part series about a newly commissioned work by Jen Mitchell.

Here is a video I helped put together about the GYSO program. If you are a young musician in the area, you should really consider checking out what GYSO has to offer. For more info, see their website:

If you want info specifically about the Brass Band, please contact me directly at:

Thanks, all!

Watch Now:

August 19 2007

Episode 49: OPEN me soon, Please!

(Thanks for Opening me so quickly. This is time sensitive material.) Please note the date of this post before responding.

Colin and I would very much like to present for you a "Viewer's Choice" recital. It's a good project to keep us highly motivated and a good chance for all of us to hear something new, or rare, or common, or whatever.

Please send your requests to:

Students, this might be a good chance to hear a piece you're working on? Composers, we would really enjoy playing your works. If you have the urge to write a duet for me and Colin, we couldn't thank you enough for doing so. We pledge to give to your notes everything we've got. If you've written a solo piece and it gets enough votes, we'll do that!!

Thanks for joining the fun by sending a request.

Thanks, too, for the support and encouragement you send our way. We are glad that so many of you were touched by our tribute to Milt. It was a very sad day, but Milt's spirit was wonderfully present with every music became the focus.

Watch Now:

July 15 2007

Episode 42: Thanks, everybody!

A "Viewer Appreciation" episode in which I try to convey my gratitude to all of you. The success of these Podcasts has already exceeded my wildest expectations and we have MUCH more in store. So......thanks.

Please don't forget to visit the companion page to these Podcasts:

We disable comments here, but if you would like to comment on these episodes, please feel free to do so at our iTunes site. You can copy this address into your browser:

Potentially big news coming in the next few weeks!

Oh, man.......I forgot to say hello in this episode to Ron in California. HELLO RON!!!!!!

Another reminder to please check out Episode 38 if you have not. Thanks.

Watch Now:

January 4 2007 Best Podcast Hosting Audio Video Blog Hosting!

Welcome to You can edit this post by clicking "Manage" Tab then "Posts" sub-Tab after you log into your Podbean Dashboard. provides an all-in-one service for video and audio podcast/blog. You can customize your podcast/blog site on mouse clicking, see where your audiences come from on a geographic map powered by Google, moderate your comments with a built-in anti-Spam filter, easy to customize your iTunes podcast page in the iTunes preview page. Learn more at Have question ? check out FAQ. Happy Podcasting!