Walpole High School (WHS) junior Aaron Suttle recently celebrated a week purposed for what he loves: International Trombone Week (ITW).
This year, ITW was celebrated from April 1-8 across the globe. Now in its 16th year, ITW welcomes trombone players and their advocates to come together to share the music they love.
On trombone.net, there is a list of suggested activities, sheet music and a map pinpointing where ITW was celebrated. ITW’s Twitter, @tromboneweek, shares the stories from worldwide trombonists.
On April 7, Suttle coordinated a quintet of trombonists to practice and perform at Borderland State Park in Easton.
Students ranging from 8th to 12th grade gathered together to play an arrangement of “Run to You” by Pentatonix.
“This piece was originally arranged for voices, but at [UMass Lowell] Band Camp last year someone had the idea of it playing it on the trombone as a quintet, and I really liked the idea. We never got a chance to do it, so I thought this would be the perfect opportunity,” Suttle said.
Suttle gathered four of his trombonist friends—Oliver Ames High School freshmen Michael Gold and Merle Monroe, WHS senior Nick Borchardt and Johnson Middle School 8th grader Cameron Schmottlach—for the event. These students know each other from school, the Southeastern Senior District and Senior Southeastern Massachusetts Bandmasters Association (SEMSBA) music festivals.
“My personal goal when coordinating the event was for it to work,” Suttle said. “I wanted to celebrate International Trombone Week, and my goal was for me to be able to do that with my friends. That’s exactly what I did.”
Suttle led the tuning of their trombones, and they all warmed up with scales and variations. The boys invited their families to listen to the final performance of the piece after the practicing and warmups. They each had a different part: soprano, alto, tenor, baritone or bass. ITW was an opportunity to collaborate, experiment, arrange and conduct music for these five trombonists.
“Trombone is an extension of your voice. It is who you are. I started in fourth grade,” Gold said. “I’ve grown and got into it as I got older. It means a lot. It’s basically what I do with my whole life.”
For Suttle, music allows him to express himself. He hopes that organizing trombones in the park for ITW is a step in the right direction towards his musical future.
“In the future, I hope to eventually coordinate my own trombone group to play together regularly. My ultimate goal, however, is to play with the Boston Pops Orchestra,” Suttle said. “Playing the trombone is who I am as a person. If you were to classify me in anything, it would be trombone.”