Vibrations could be felt through the floor boards in the auditorium of Mathes Hall as trombone, euphonium and tuba players gathered together for the finale concert of ETSU’s Low Brass Festival.
“I’m a music minor at the university,” participant Casey Gregory said. “I was required to come, but I wanted to do it. It’s fun, they bring in very nice guest artists.”
The Low Brass Festival returned to ETSU for its second year. Starting on March 22, low brass players from around the community came together to learn more about their instruments and how to improve playing techniques.
“Low brass players, a lot of times we don’t have the opportunity to get together and do things like this,” Dr. Arthur Haecker, instructor of trombone said. “Dr. Frye, who’s the tuba professor, and I just wanted an opportunity for us to kind of come together as a community. Both ETSU students and also local high school musicians and professionals. It’s just a great opportunity to get together and play and learn how to get better.”
The Low Brass Festival featured a recital on Friday with the visiting guest artists and faculty of ETSU. On Saturday, students attended master classes with the guest artists and learned more on topics such as warm up techniques and jazz improvisation.
“I actually learned a lot,” Gregory said. “There’s a lot of insights, especially in jazz, because our trombone guest artist was one of the best jazz artists in the country.”
Saturday evening, the musicians all gathered together to put on one final performance. The trombone players performed a few pieces together, such as ‘Ave Maria.’ The tuba and euphonium players followed them, playing an old church hymn ‘Down in the River.’ For the final part of the concert they all joined together to play a few pieces of music.
“I think my favorite part was the big, huge, choir,” Haecker said. “It’s just so wonderful and that’s why we do this. To play with our friends and have a good time and I think just coming together, playing and just seeing people get excited about it is my favorite part.”