Tag Archives: trombone

Music Conservatory-the Producers

I just came back to the Houston heat and humidity after spending two wonderful weeks in the hills of North Carolina. I could walk outside without feeling like being in a sauna!

The event was the Salvation Army Carolina division‘s Summer Music Conservatory at Camp Walter Johnson. It’s a month-long camp for middle- and high-schoolers with brass band, choir, drama group and piano classes. I was there last year for a week together with Mark Barton, the tubist with HGO and the Houston Ballet. We both liked it so much so we decided to come back this year for more. Great kids and a great camp!

The camp is run by Jamie Hood, Scottish trumpeter extra-ordinaire, and Daniel Simmons. The other guests included my old buddies Herb Bruce and Steve Bulla. Herb is the fastest trombone in the east (and the west!), an absolutely incredible player. He’s a master slammer, junk food aficiniado, BMW devotee, nuts, and an all-around great guy.

Steve Bulla is well-known as the Chief Arranger for the US Marine Band, the President’s Own. He is a master arranger and composer, who got his start in the Salvation Army New York Staff Band as a trombone player. He’s the guy behind Spiritual to the Bone, the trombone-jazz group that I’ve been fortunate to play and record with on tour in Australia, Switzerland and the US.

The Salvation Army in Charlotte, NC, also puts on a big event twice a year called the Brass Spectacular, with Jamie conducting an all-star brass band. I did the first one in Houston back in 2007 when Jamie brought in euphonium master Steven Mead from England: lots of fun!

Tonight is opening night for Houston’s Masquerade Theater’s production of “The Producers,” Mel Brooks’ hysterical musical. I played it a few years ago when the touring Broadway production came to town. I was still laughing at all the jokes after playing it for three weeks, and it’s the same this time, it’s priceless! My favorite character is of course Swedish bomb-shell Ulla, I get a lot of favorable comments about Sweden coming my way in the orchestra! Come check it out at Hobby Center’s Zilkha Hall through August 6.

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Cabaret!

I think it’s safe to say I’ve now reached the pinnacle of my career: I get to play with the Kit Kat Klub band! I like playing trombone by itself, but getting to do it in women’s clothes and doubling on tuba just adds a whole new dimension to being a musician. And the rest of the guys in the band, now I know what sisterhood feels like!

Kit Kat Klub Band in drag

When I saw myself in the mirror I realized I look like a mix of my mom and Björn Borg (my mom’s never been much of a tennis player though). I did wish for a bigger cup-size, hoping to make my wife jealous. As it is she’ll just laugh at me, you just can’t have everything in life…

This production of the musical Cabaret is in Houston’s Hobby Center with TUTS, Theater Under The Stars. The orchestra in this production totals 11 musicians, with five of us onstage acting as the club band, that’s why we’re in drag. (The other guys are of course very envious, and I probably have to report a couple of them for sexual harassment after grabbing my tits). I’ve always liked this show, great (very tragic) story, great music and fun to play.

Thomas and his tuba

I own this old King Bb tuba that I play dixie-gigs on from time to time (it has to stay in the garage, not trained to stay inside). Luckily the tuba part in Cabaret is pretty basic, I do the “um”, the rest of the band “pa”, if it was more complicated I’d be in trouble!

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Moose March

Performed by Peoria Jazz Band, from the CD “Going Home”

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Fantasy on Swedish Hymntunes

Arranged by Thomas Hultén

Performed by TOOT!

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In The Sweet By And By

Performed by Peoria Jazz Band, from the CD “Going Home”

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Lapp-Nils Polska

Composed by Niclas Ericsson.

Performed by Hässlöbrasset/Messing Around from the CD “Wake Up!”

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Gas-X

Composed by Niclas Ericsson.

Performed by Hässlöbrasset/Messing Around from the CD “Wake Up!”

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Dry Bones

Performed by Spiritual to the ‘Bone, from the CD “Live in Switzerland”

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