Seventy-six trombonists gathered Saturday to attend a music clinic at the Gordon Indoor Track and Tennis Building and make a guest appearance at the Harvard--Cornell football game in honor of Harvard's first Trombone Day.
"Even if they're not up to it, we won't have to worry. The greater the number of trombones, the better they'll sound," said Tom Everett, Harvard's director of bands, before the event.
"We wanted to bring trombonists together," said Everett, who organized the event. "We also wanted to bring attention to the trombone as an instrument."
Everett is the founder of the International Trombone Association (ITA), a world-wide, non-profit organization of 2500 members that used to run Boston Sackbut Week, an celebration devoted entirely to the trombone. "We got tired of organizing it. We were busy doing other stuff," said Everett. "We thought it might be fun to have one day instead and see the interest that arose."
The clinic for the trombonists, who ranged from elementary school students to octogenarians, was taught by soloist Phil Wilson, a teacher at Berklee College of Music, and funded by the Yamaha Music Corporation.
After a debut performance at the Harvard Field Day--an event for Harvard staff members and their families at at the Palmer-Dickson Indoor Tennis Courts, Boston Pops Assistant Conductor Harry Ellis Dickson led the musicians in their halftime performance of "Soldiers in the Field" and "Seventy-six Trombones."
"This is the second time I've done this. Six months ago, I did "Seventy-six Trombones" in Mason City for my son-in-law, [presendential candidate] Mike Dukakis," Dickson said. "It's fun for me to be here and I love trombones."
During the halftime show, the Harvard Band formed a "C" on the field, and the visiting musicians ran through it to symbolically split the "Red C".
"I'd love to do it again if the weather's better," said participant Chris Baird, a friend of Everett's who has played the trombone for fifteen years.
It's not often a trombone gets honored. We're usually just the background," said Kevin Rugg, a sophomore in the Cornell band who joined his fellow trombonists.