The International Trombone Festival
Festival Director: Karen Marston
Festival Manager: Justin Cook
Board of Directors: Carol Jarvis, Brad Palmer, Steve Wolfinbarger
Board of Advisers: Nathaniel Brickens, Magnus Nilsson, Mark Kellogg (2014 Festival Host), Inda Bonet (2015 Festival Host)
MISSION OF THE ITF
The mission of the International Trombone Festival (ITF) is to host an annual multi-day festival event that showcases the many styles of music performed by trombonists. ITF programming focuses on diversity, and reflects a comprehensive sampling of trombone styles as they are performed around the world. The ITF seeks to unite artists, pedagogues, composers, students, hobbyists, and enthusiasts under the common goal of promoting, understanding, appreciating, and celebrating the trombone and its literature.
As the performing branch of the International Trombone Association, the ITF actively promotes the following core values:
- To expand the audience for trombone music around the world
- To commission, promote, and perform new music for the trombone
- To promote communications among trombonists around the world
- To improve the artistic level of performance, teaching, and literature associated with the trombone family
HISTORY OF THE ITF
The International Trombone Festival (formerly the International Trombone Workshop) was founded in 1971 to celebrate the life and legacy of the great trombone artist and pedagogue Emory Remington, who served as Professor of Trombone at the Eastman School of Music from 1922-1971. Continuing in the tradition of the trombone choirs that Remington had founded and conducted during his tenure, the goal of the Festival was to showcase the beauty and versatility of the trombone through concerts, master classes, and exhibits, as well as to bring together performers, teachers, students, and enthusiasts from around the world.
From 1972-1979, the event was held annually at George Peabody College in Nashville, TN, and beginning in 1980, it moved yearly between host sites located both in the US, and abroad. Averaging around 35 concerts per year, ITF programs now number in the thousands, and have taken place around the world, including: Detmold, Germany (1992), Boulder, CO (1998), Helsinki, Finland (2003), New Orleans, LA (2005), and Paris, France (2012). Since the beginning, the ITF has maintained a strong focus on expanding the repertoire for trombone. In 1973, a Commissioning Committee was formed, and annual premiers and new publications became regular activities of the organization. Many of these commissions, such as Stjepan Sulek’s Sonata Vox Gabriel (1974), Gordon Jacob’s Concertino (1977), and Henry Brandt’s monumental spatial work for 80 trombones, Orbits (1978), have now become landmarks of the repertoire.
In addition its performance activities, the ITF has a strong commitment to education. Festival programs blend concert events with master classes, instructional sessions, round table discussions, and lectures. The Junior ITF, which has been presented in conjunction with the annual ITF since 2009, is a three-day educational seminar during which students of pre-college age work directly with Festival artists in master classes, ensemble rehearsals, and concerts. The ITF is also host to the final round of the International Trombone Association’s solo and ensemble competitions, which promote and maintain the highest levels of performance excellence in the up-and-coming generation of college-aged performers.
Today, the International Trombone Association, which functions as the governing body for the ITF, has 4,000 members in 69 countries across the globe, and affiliate organizations in Australia, Britain, Brazil, Finland, Hong Kong, Hungary, Germany, Scandinavia, and Spain. The annual festival attracts an average of 500 out-of-town visitors to the host city, and features world class soloists, chamber groups, orchestral low brass sections, trombone choirs, and pedagogues from cities all around the world. It is the premier event worldwide for all things trombone-related, and attracts a diverse audiences of music educators, composers, publishers, students, vendors, and trombone-enthusiasts.