From its origins in 15th century Europe to its decline two centuries later, the trombone was originally used only at outdoor events, in concerts, and in conjunction with other brass instruments like the often more heralded trumpet.
But the triumphant return for the trombone would come. Beethoven became a huge fan of the trombone and influenced Shubert, Wagner, Berlioz, and Lizst, all of whom wrote with the instrument in mind, bringing a legitimacy to the big brass horn that set it on a course that would eventually lead to its prominence as an essential part of modern-day jazz, orchestras, and college marching bands.
Enter the Purdue Fort Wayne Trombone Ensemble. A group made up of PFW students and directed by David Cooke, they aim to show the versatility of the instrument by presenting fun and engaging concerts that take audiences on a musical journey. Past performances have included the music of classic composers like Gabrieli, Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Brahms, and Mahler as well as modern artists like Earth Wind and Fire, Stevie Wonder, and Weezer.
The ensemble’s next show takes place Tuesday, Nov. 20, in the Rhinehart Recital Hall on the PFW campus. What exactly is on the set list is currently a mystery, but the Trombone Ensemble always like to surprise, so you’ll have to stop by to find out.