Trombone Pros to Hold Benefit Concert for School Music Programs Hit by Hurricane Harvey
Meadows professional musicians John Kitzman, Derek Hawkes, Jeff Dee, John Sebastian Vera and more donate their time and talents to “D/FW Trombones for Houston” event November 15
A star-studded collection of trombonists will perform in the upcoming "D/FW Trombones for Houston" benefit concert on November 15 at 7:30 p.m. at the Plano West Senior High School auditorium, 5601 W. Parker Rd. in Plano (75093). The concert is being held to help Houston area school bands that have suffered losses from Hurricane Harvey. In lieu of admission, attendees are encouraged to donate cash or checks to The Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation's "Music Rising" program, which will distribute funds to schools requesting help in replacing instruments and supplies lost or damaged by Harvey.
"D/FW Trombones for Houston" stars trombonists John Kitzman, former principal trombone with the Dallas Symphony for 43 years and adjunct professor at SMU Meadows School of the Arts for more than 40 years; Jeff Dee (B.M. Performance '99), principal bass trombone with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra; John Sebastian Vera (B.M. Performance '05), principal trombone with the Pittsburgh Opera; Derek Hawkes (B.M. Performance and B.A. Interdisciplinary Studies '14), assistant principal trombone with the Nashville Symphony, as well as John Romero, principal trombone with the Fort Worth Symphony. In addition, the 16-member Slideshow Trombone Ensemble and jazz group Them Bones will perform. The program will be a mix of classical and crossover music.
The organizers of D/FW Trombones for Houston hope to raise $10,000.
Texas Trombone Power: D/FW-Houston Rivalry, Camaraderie
Hawkes says to be raised as a trombonist in Texas is a potent thing. "There is no denying the tradition, culture and atmosphere of growing up in this state playing the trombone," he says. "One of the pieces at the heart of that is the decades-running, wonderfully healthy and competitive rivalry between the D/FW and Houston areas. This state wouldn't have produced the laudably high number of elite orchestral trombonists over the past several decades if not for the fact that the Dallas and Houston areas in particular have pushed each other forward, lifting the standard of the craft to what we enjoy today."
Kitzman has seen the tremendous growth in the arts and in the strength of music programs across the state ever since he first arrived in Texas in 1972. "Houston is one of the leaders in that movement and we want to support all the great music education programs there," he says. "Plus, one of the reasons I look forward to this concert is the opportunity to collaborate with three outstanding trombonists who just happen to be my ex-students. This is a special treat for me!"
The organizers say the concert provides an opportune time for the D/FW Metroplex to acknowledge and assist their colleagues in Houston, and is a means to help restore and relevel the playing field between all of the band programs. Hawkes says, "I hope the state of Texas, the trombone world, and the band communities come together at this event and online to show just how much love we have for this area of the state and its programs in this, their time of such dire need."
Donations can be made at the D/FW Trombones for Houston November 15 concert or online through the group's fundraising portal on crowdrise, which is currently active. All donations will be sent to national nonprofit Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation's Music Rising program, which was co-founded in 2005 by U2's the Edge and producer Bob Ezrin in response to Hurricane Katrina. The foundation has distributed more than $3.3 million worth of instruments to over 100 schools nationwide over the past 17 years.
For updates, see the D/FW Trombones for Houston Facebook page.
Read more about Music Rising and The Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation.