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News Archive 2004-05


IU Trombone Alum Weston Sprott wins Met audition

Weston Sprott called with the good news that he has been offered a position as 2nd trombonists with the orchestra of the Metropolitan Opera. Weston, who attended IU as a performance major in StudioLenthe from 2000-2002, recently shared his insights about our IU trombone program in the context of our Alum Testimonials page. Some of our upperclassmen and many of our recent graduates will remember playing together with Weston in trombone choir and orchestra. Our congrats to him!!

Matt Vaughn to appear with IU Wind Ensemble

Matt Vaughn, Associate-Principal Trombonist with the Philadelphia Orchestra, will appear as soloist with the IU Wind Ensemble on Friday, April 22nd at 8pm in the MAC. This appearance is one of the weekend's events to honor Director of Bands Ray E. Cramer upon his retirement. Matt, who earned his Bachelor of Music at IU as a student of M. Dee Stewart, will perform Arthur Pryor's "Fantastic Polka". Also appearing as soloist on the program is IU alum Susan Rider, trumpeter with the U.S. Marine Band "The President's Own". Together, they will perform "Cousins" by Herbert L. Clark. Both were members of the Wind Ensemble during their studies here.

A master class is also planned for Wednesday 4/20 at 4-5pm in MA452.

Matt has returned to campus for master classes and informal visits in the past, and our students and faculty look forward to welcoming him here again!

Trombone alumni share insights

In this time of decision making among our many applicants, the trombone faculty thought it would be helpful to compile some of the insights and perspectives that their former students have shared over the years about their decisions to attend IU and their time here, also as it relates to their further career paths. The result is the beginning of an "Alum Testimonials" Webpage, which we hope will grow as further 'formers' are in touch with us.

Click here to read what they say!

New excerpts added to collection

New band and orchestra excerpts have been added to our Excerpt Collection. Included among the new excerpts are some that are often requested for auditions to the top service bands.

American Brass Quintet to visit IU

The American Brass Quintet (ABQ) will visit IU on Monday, April 4th. A master class is planned at 6:30pm in Ford Hall, in which the group will play and also coach two of our student quintets, as well as leaving time for an Q&A session.

Founded in 1960, the American Brass Quintet seeks to promote brass chamber music as a serious chamber music medium. The group has enlarged the repertoire for brass quintet by commissioning, performing, and recording new works for brass quintet, unearthing earlier music, and compiling pieces into viable suites. The group is of special interest to trombonists in that it has two trombones, utilizing a bass trombone on the fifth voice and tenor trombone on the 4th voice.

For more on the ABQ, click here.

Kris Wolfe to perform Ewazen Concerto with IU Band

After his compelling performance in the Brass Concerto Competition, for which he received 2nd prize, Kris Wolfe, DM student with Professor Stewart, will perform the Ewazen Concerto for Bass Trombone with IU's Symphonic Band under the direction of Professor Stephen Pratt. The performance will take place on Tuesday, April 12th at 8pm in the MAC.

Phil Stehly wins West Point position

Philip Stehly, MM student in the Ellefson studio (undergraduate trombone studies with Professor Stewart) recently won the audition for Principal Trombone with the United States Military Academy Band at West Point, NY. Phil reports for his musical duties on July 20.

Congratulations, Phil!

Wes Ballenger wins position with Army Field Band

After a successful audition, Wes Ballenger, senior bass trombone major with M. Dee Stewart, has been offered a position with the Army Field Band, and plans to begin duties with that ensemble in September. Based just north of Washington D.C. at Ft. Meade, the Army Field Band is the main touring ensemble for the U.S. Army. 

Big congrats and a salute to Wes!

Ellefson to run Auditors Class at Alessi Seminar IV

Albuquerque, New Mexico is the new home of the Alessi Seminar, and IU faculty member Peter Ellefson is the new leader of the auditors class. The Alessi Seminar IV will take place July 31-August 9. For  more
information click here.

Two guest artists in March

The windy month of March brings two guest trombone artists to campus.

Alex Iles, in-demand Los Angeles freelance player in all styles, will be on campus on March 22nd and 23rd. A master class and recital are planned, with specific details on those events available from Phil Stehly [email]. The Iles visit is organized by IUITA, the Indiana University chapter of the International Trombone Association.

On Thursday, March 24th at 8:30pm in MA452, Blake Schlabach will present selections from his recital repertoire, followed by an informal master class/Q&A session. Schlabach is 2nd trombonist and personnel manager of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.

March 4th Audition Eve recital and Reception

The third and final 2005 Audition Eve recital will take place on March 4th, at 8:30pm in Ford Hall. The program will include solo performances by the trombone faculty, a graduate trombone quartet, and the "Hoosier Bones". All attending trombonists and euphonium players (students, candidates, amateurs and professionals young and old) are encouraged to bring their instruments for the "Grand Finale"!

A reception will follow the concert, offering the chance to meet informally with students, candidates, and faculty over punch and cookies.

For those new to campus, Ford Hall is in the Simon Center - the building on Jordan Avenue with the semi-circular fountain in front. Click here for a campus map with the Simon Center highlighted.

Ellefson: New York, New York & a 2/10 faculty recital!

Peter Ellefson continues to be busy in New York, having played with the New York Philharmonic Brass Quintet in a December recital at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, as well as planning to rejoin the Philharmonic's ranks for a series of subscription concerts this Spring.

In addition, Professor Ellefson is preparing a February 10th solo recital to take place at 8pm in Auer Hall. Accompanied by Kimberly Russ on piano, he will be performing works by Telemann, Greer, and Pryor, as well as a suite of selections from Prokofiev's ballet Romeo and Juliet.

Lenthe recitalizing

Carl Lenthe is plunging headlong into a season of solo recitals, from Indiana, through Wisconsin, and on to Germany. Spring boarding off of his various contributions to the Audition Eve recitals here in Bloomington, he will be featured artist at the University of Wisconsin's "Badger Bone Bash" in Madison, and also give a full length recital at DePauw University, before traveling to some of his old haunts in Germany, where he will present master classes and recitals in Munich and Mannheim. The repertoire includes concertos by Eugen Reiche and Nino Rota, recital fare by Gabrieli, Marcello, and Crespo, as well as opera arias from Bizet and Verdi.

Stewart to perform at ITF 2005 in New Orleans

During the last week of May, Dee Stewart will be one of the featured artists at the International Trombone Festival 2005 in New Orleans. He has been invited to perform his adaptation of Mussorgky's ?Pictures at an Exhibition?, in which he plays bass trumpet and tenor tuba, as well as alto, tenor, and bass trombones, all accompanied by piano. This edition has been recorded and will soon be released. Sound bits from that recording can be found on our mp3 page and at

This will be a home coming of sorts as Stewart started his career as bass trombonist with the New Orleans Symphony Orchestra. He first performed ?Pictures? there in the Ravel orchestration. Later in the Philadelphia Orchestra, that piece was one of the staples that was performed on most of the international tours as a showcase for the orchestra, and so became one of Stewart?s favorites. Upon joining the Indiana University faculty and realizing the solo performance possibilities presented, he boldly decided to see if a solo arrangement of the piece could be musically appropriate. The spectacular music of Mussorgsky has again proven very adaptable, and this arrangement for five low brass solo instruments has been very favorably received in performances in and around Bloomington.

Trombone Choir, faculty and student soloists perform on 2/4

The second Audition Eve recital will take place on Friday evening, February 4th, at 8pm in Auer Hall, and include solo performances by the faculty and select students, as well as selections by the trombone choir.

All attending trombonists and euphonium players (students, candidates, amateurs and professionals young and old) are encouraged to bring their instruments for the "Grand Finale"! A reception in the Auer Hall Green Room will follow the concert, offering the chance to meet informally with students, candidates, and faculty over punch and cookies.

For those new to campus, Auer Hall is in the Simon Center - the building with the semi-circular fountain in front. Click here for a campus map with the Simon Center highlighted.

"Audition Eve" Faculty/Student Recital, January 14th

The trombone faculty is pleased to present this year's first "Audition Eve" recital on Friday January 14th, at 8pm in Auer Hall. This is a continuation of the successful Audition Eve recital series, initiated last year, with three Friday evening faculty/student recitals and receptions on the evenings before the respective audition Saturdays. Further Audition Eve recitals are planned on February 4th (8pm in Auer Hall), and March 4th (8:30pm in Ford Hall).

All attending trombonists and euphonium players (students, candidates, amateurs and professionals young and old) are encouraged to bring their instruments for the "Grand Finale"! A reception in the Auer Hall Green Room will follow the concert, offering the chance to meet informally with students, candidates, and faculty over punch and cookies.

The January 14th program includes solo performances by Professors Stewart, Lenthe, and Ellefson in works by Persichetti, Bach, Rota, and Ropartz, with the student group "Hoosier Bones" presenting works by Tommy Pederson.

For those new to campus, Auer Hall is in the Simon Center - the building with the semi-circular fountain in front. Click here for a campus map with the Simon Center highlighted.

Alex Iles to visit IU

Trombonist Alex Iles will visit IU on March 22nd and 23rd, 2005. A recital and master class are planned, with exact times and locations yet to be announced.

Alex Iles began his musical career while still a student at UCLA, as a member of the Disneyland All American College Band, and has gone on to enjoy a wide-ranging and successful career as an in-demand freelance trombonist and low brass educator in Southern California. He is active as a session player, soloist, chamber, orchestral, and jazz musician, and has performed with acts as varied as Joe Cocker, Henry Mancini, The Tonight Show, The Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, Johnny Mathis, Ray Charles, Robbie Williams, Woody Herman, and Maynard Ferguson. He is currently principal trombonist of the Long Beach Symphony Orchestra, and has also performed with the Pacific Symphony, Pasadena Symphony and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Further details should be available in the Department Calendar soon.

StudioLenthe pages updated - new mp3s and more

The StudioLenthe WebPages update includes new mp3 files of live performances (with more to follow), the eagerly awaited SemesterSpin for Spring 2005, new "Ramble & Roam" ruminations, and further miscellany. Click here to go to StudioLenthe.

Also new is the launch of ~carlNotes~, WebPages designed in response to the persistent trickle of requests for Lenthe's various arrangements, CDs, etc.

Doug Wright and Jared Rodin to perform

Thursday 12/9/04 at 8:30 pm in MA452:

R. Douglas Wright (Principal Trombonist of the Cleveland Orchestra) and Jared Rodin (Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra and multi-faceted performer) will present a master class recital. Afterwards there will be an informal Q&A session. These two artists have taught Professor Lenthe's studio during his sabbatical leave, and had wonderful input among our students.

12/18: Click here for pictures

Equipment comparison page launched

At some time or other, an important part of any instrumentalist's career is being able to compare different pieces of equipment. Whether mouthpieces, leadpipes, or entire trombones, for your own use, or to evaluate for others - this is an interesting exercise in astute listening and exact verbalization (the semantics of sound, as it were), as well as a study in subjectivity.

In his LentheLessons, Carl Lenthe has now designed a page to explore not only the possibility of using the Web medium for these purposes, but also to generate and refine ideas, practices, and semantics in the process of comparing equipment.

Click here to go to the Equipment Comparison page, and have fun comparing and verbalizing!

Trombone Choir Auditions and semester plan

Auditions for Trombone Choir will be held on Tuesday 1/11/05, beginning at 6pm in MA315. A sign-up sheet will be available at MA315. Please take the next available time.

Two performances are planned for the semester: a February concert for octet, with Lenthe as one of the eight players, and an April performance in the Gabrieli Festival, in which the ensemble may be expanded to 12 players, with Lenthe conducting.

Please visit the Trombone Choir page for further details on the audition as well as the semester curriculum.

New Ensemble Placement Procedure

In an effort to tailor our ensemble audition process more to the possibilities and demands of today's professional music world, the Trombone Faculty is modifying the orchestra placement auditions to also include Wind Ensemble placement. In the placement hierarchy, Wind Ensemble will be equated to the Philharmonic Orchestra, with these two ensembles alternating semesters as "top placement". This new procedure will commence with the upcoming 1/10/2005 audition, and Wind Ensemble will be the top placement for spring 2005. In fall 2005, the Philharmonic will be top placement, and so the rotation will continue.

Also, to further maximize the IU ensemble experience as preparation for well rounded performance career possibilities, the trombone faculty is seeking to underscore the importance of our jazz ensembles. Options include requiring undergraduate trombone performance majors to participate for at least one semester in a jazz ensemble. Details of this will be forthcoming.

Audition repertoire announced

The audition repertoire for the Ensemble Placement Auditions (Orchestras and Wind Ensemble) is available here. Please sign up in person for the audition in *SY246* before 12 noon on 1/10/05. Upon signing up, you will receive your audition time.

Professorial performances

The IU trombone faculty refuses to be locked up in the academic ivory tower, and will be escaping for some choice performance opportunities in the coming weeks. Peter Ellefson is headed to New York, Korea and Japan, substituting as associate principal trombone in the New York Philharmonic for concerts in Avery Fisher Hall as well as on tour in Korea and Japan during parts of October. Carl Lenthe will be performing Wagner and Mahler with the Minnesota Orchestra, and Holst's Planets with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. M. Dee Stewart has been invited to perform the tenorhorn part in Mahler's 7th Symphony with the Tucson Symphony.

These activities contribute to the IU School of Music's faculty hallmark of professional performing excellence combined with dedicated teaching. It is a point of pride and priority for Ellefson, Lenthe, and Stewart alike, that the students receive their full complement of lessons from them personally.

Bloomington exports rare commodity

The Minnesota Orchestra, in need of a bass trumpet section of two for upcoming performances of Janacek's Sinfonietta, knew to go directly to the mother lode for specialists in this rare orchestral specialty, and is importing Professors Stewart and Lenthe for a series of concerts opening their 2004-05 season.

IU Trombonists win positions in Columbus (IN) and Evansville

Three of our current IU trombone students recently won auditions for positions in Indiana orchestras. Crystal Booher and Jake Harris won 1st and 2nd trombone respectively in the Columbus Indiana Philharmonic, and Matt Calvert won the audition for 2nd trombone in the Evansville Philharmonic.

Congratulations Crystal, Jake, and Matt!!

"IUbones Forum" launched

"IUbones Forum" - an interactive bulletin board forum intended for exchange about the trombone and related items/issues - has been launched. After a brief trial period in the StudioLenthe pages, it has now been placed in the link bar of the Homepage - and all other pages of this website.

A few threads have been uploaded to initiate exchange, and it is hoped that the forum will be of good service and interest to our IU trombone community and beyond. Trusting the good judgment of our users, it is expected that a long list of do's and don'ts can be avoided, and that its use will remain within the intended parameters. This forum is open to, and can be viewed by, anyone - also from outside of IU.

Click here to go to IUbones Forum! (Or use the link bar on the left.)

Doug Wright and Jared Rodin cover Lenthe sabbatical

A fall 2004 sabbatical has been approved for Carl Lenthe. This teaching reprieve is granted to enable faculty to pursue research and creative activity more intensely than is usually possible in the free time afforded around the teaching schedule. Lenthe's primary project will be to digitize, archive, review and analyze 30 years of his performance recordings. In addition, he plans to resume piano lessons (after a brief, quarter-century hiatus), continue and intensify work on his various writings, and rededicate his practice energies. Various performance projects are also planned.

In his teaching absence, the School of Music is fortunate to have secured the services of R. Douglas Wright and Jared Rodin. The trombone faculty is greatly looking forward to the the input from these two pre-eminent artists, which - beyond teaching StudioLenthe - will include master classes for the entire trombone department. 

For the fall semester, Professors Stewart and Ellefson have agreed to lead the Trombone Choir and Brass Orchestral Repertoire class respectively.

A detailed description of the sabbatical modalities is available in the StudioLenthe pages. Lenthe will resume his normal teaching duties in January.

Ellefson does Chicago

Peter Ellefson recently appeared with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. The concerts included the CSO Millennium Park Gala as well as performances at the Ravinia Festival of Mahler Symphony No. 8 and Act I of Die Walk?e by Richard Wagner. While in Chicago he also participated in many hours of recording with the Tower Brass, the resident brass ensemble of Fourth Presbyterian Church on North Michigan Avenue.

IU trombonists study in Vienna

This fall semester, junior trombone major Brad Evans from StudioLenthe will participate in the Institute for the International Education of Students (IES) Vienna Music program. After hearing an IES representative speak about the program, he jumped at the chance to further his musical skills in the rich cultural surroundings of that wonderfully musical city. In this, he is following in the footsteps of two other IU trombonists, Crystal Booher and Wes Ballenger (both StewartStudio), who did the exact same program during the Fall 2003 semester, and whose contagious enthusiasm from their experience there has awakened keen interest among our students.

While studying abroad almost anywhere is a great learning experience, IES?s Vienna music program has several features that make it great for IU music students. The collaboration between IES and IU allows music students to stay on the same graduating path as their peers that remain in the USA. Other highlights of the music program include a chamber music workshop, courses at local universities, trips to Milan for performance opportunities, private instrumental lessons, nightly world-class concerts, classes in Art and Architecture, Sachertorte, intensified language drill, and much more.

For more information on the IES Vienna program, check this link:

Orchestra auditions announced

Orchestra placement auditions will take place on Monday 8/30/04 beginning at 6:30 pm in MA452. Please sign up in person for the audition in

***Sycamore Hall 246***

before noon on 8/30 . Upon signing up, you will receive your audition time. Further information and repertoire lists are available here.

New calendar launched

IU Web Security concerns dictated that the calendar script previously used in our Website be abandoned. Subsequently, a new calendar page has been formatted and uploaded. The procedure for submitting events will remain as before. It is hoped that this new calendar will remain a useful tool in the trombone department's workings.

Jon Whitaker appointment at Henderson State University

Jonathan Whitaker, DM student and trombone AI since 2001, has been awarded the position of Assistant Professor of Low Brass at Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. Scheduled to begin in August, his duties will include teaching trombone, euphonium and tuba, conducting the British-style brass band, and teaching brass methods. He is also excited about plans to start a brass chamber music program with trombone choir, tuba/euphonium ensemble, brass quintet, etc.

Congratulations Professor Whitaker!!

Peter Ellefson launches new Website

Professor Ellefson  has launched his new Website "Peter Ellefson trombone", with comprehensive information and background on his IU Studio teaching, biography, teachers, links, multimedia and more. Ellefson cites this launch as "the first wave" with a "second to follow soon". This Website promises to quickly become one of the high-interest resources and beacons of perspective in the trombone web-world. Congrats, Pete!


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