Brass Spectacular – Tribute to Bill Pearce – Queen of Spades

This upcoming weekend, May 14-16, I’m going to Charlotte, North Carolina, to participate in the Salvation Army Brass Spectacular. It was started a few years ago here in Houston when Jamie Hood, trumpeter extra-ordinaire and Salvationist, brought together a “dream-team” of a brass-band, mainly with players from the Houston orchestras, some guys from the New York Staff Band and still a few coming over from Europe. Steven Mead was the euphonium soloist, both Steven Bulla and William Himes were there and brought pieces they’d composed, and it was just a great night!

Jamie moved to Charlotte in 2009 to keep working for the Salvation Army, and brought the Brass Specatcular with him. I haven’t be able to go since that first concert until now, I’m sure it’ll be a blast. The trombone section will be killer, with both Herb Bruce and Eric Alexander in it, my old collegues from Sprititual to the ‘Bone.

Bill Pearce, pioneering radio broadcaster and founder of the Nightsounds radio program died February 23, 2010 from complications of Parkinson’s disease. He was 83.
Bill was a fantastic trombone player, and influenced a whole generation of players with his smooth and unique style of playing. I got to spend a day with him in his studio in Rockford, Illinois, about ten years ago, and I’ve never met such a humble, gracious and truly Christian person before or since. He remains one of my big heros, both as a player and as a person. There’s a very nice tribute to Bill on Doug Yeo’s home page:

We just finished the Houston Grand Opera season with Tjaikovskij’s Queen of Spades. There are some very nice moments, but I have to admit it’s not one of my favorite operas. It’s long, over three and a half hours, and the trombones hardly play at all in the first two acts, so when the action finally starts in the third act, it’s way past my bedtime!

Brass Spectacular