With 20 days to go until Bromley Trombone Workshop kicks off, our thoughts are turning to music that the Trombone Choir will be playing on the day.

As previously, we will form a trombone choir on the day which will be led by our leaders for the day (Brett Baker, Paul Woodward Bones Apart), and will consist of workshop delegates, the idea being to work on music throughout the day, learning as we go and to perform it as part of the concert in the evening. I don’t know what our guests for the day have in mind for the trombone choir, but one piece I do know we will be looking at is Ray Steadman-Allen’s ‘Trombone Vespers‘ which we will play to the accompaniment of Bromley Temple SA band.

If you are not familiar with Ray Steadman-Allen, it’s worth googling him. RSA (as he’s affectionately known) was a Salvation Army Officer (minister) with a tremendous gift for music. He is responsible for some of the most innovative, interesting and exciting brass band music written, both within The Salvation Army and in the wider brass band world, as well as very many choral works. He was the sort of chap, the word ‘genius’ is attached to, although it would have been hard to find a more humble man.

So, the performance of Trombone Vespers is, in a small way, a tribute to this brilliant composer for brass – there is so much music to pick from, but RSA liked to write for the trombone and this is a great trombone feature.

In preparation for this performance, I thought it might be helpful to provide you (if you’re coming – I hope you are!) with the opportunity to view the parts. There are 4 trombone parts, and we have provided both the original Salvation Army copy, but also re-drafated copies in A4 size which are easier to read, and also in both Treble and Bass Clef’s. You can find these to download here! 

If you would like to find out a bit more about RSA, there is a fabulous short video on YouTube, published by The Salvation Army’s UK Video Production Unit, and which was filmed in early 2014 which is really worth a watch, and from it you will get a sense of the man.

Also, there was a lovely obituary published in The Daily Telegraph, which you can view via the link here: Ray Steadman-Allen – Obituary 

If you would like to get an idea of how the piece goes, there are a few versions on YouTube which you can check out.

© Richard Debonnaire

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