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The Joyce and Henry Schwob School of Music

A Beautiful Noise

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Summit Records, 2013


1. CAPPRICCIO (7:38)
(Steven Verhelst)
James Markey, soloist
(Eric Ewazen)
Bill Thomas and George Curran, soloists
I. OF BEAUTY (3:56)
II. OF CHAOS (4:26)
IV. OF HOPE (3:45)

6. LAPS AND LHASA (11:06)
(Fred Cohen)
Charlie Vernon, soloist

7. A RITE OF FOREST (10:05)
(Jun Nagao)
Ko-Ichiro Yamamoto, soloist

(John Frith)
Denson Paul Pollard, soloist

I. VIVO (3:19)
III. FINALE (3:00)

11. BLUE TOPAZ (6:11)
(Tommy Pederson)
James Markey, soloist

(James David)
Joseph Alessi, soloist


The Story Behind the Project

This recording is the result of a six-semester synergy between students, soloists, faculty members, composers, producers, engineers, and of course a business coordinator, facilities manager, and other staff. It was only through the hard work and dedication of all of these people, along with the vision of the administration of the Schwob School of Music and Columbus State University that this massive project came to fruition. I want to thank everyone involved with the project, and also to take a moment to illustrate some of the many elements that connect the artists.

Many of the soloists on this project have been long-time friends of mine. In fact, James Markey was the only performer that had never been to Columbus prior to recording in Legacy Hall! The acoustics of this beautiful space and the outstanding recording facilities have made Legacy Hall a popular spot for recording. Previous recordings in Legacy Hall by soloists on this project (that I produced or co-produced) include:

  • Joseph Alessi with the CSU Wind Ensemble Visions CD (also on Summit Records)
  • Ko-Ichiro Yamamoto's solo CD Ballade
  • Ko-Ichiro Yamamoto's CD with the Center City Brass Quintet (in production)
  • Paul Pollard's solo CD Listening
  • Paul Pollard with the NY Metropolitan Opera Orchestra trombone section
  • George Curran and Bill Thomas on the Atlanta Trombone Project CD Roadwork

Charlie Vernon initially visited CSU for a performance of Christian Lindberg's “Chick 'a' Bone Checkout” with the CSU Orchestra under the direction of Fred Cohen. Dr. Cohen was inspired by Vernon's alto, tenor, and bass playing. The resulting piece, “Laps and Lhasa,” was begun two years later.

In 2010, Bill Thomas and George Curran, along with their Atlanta Symphony Orchestra section-mate, Colin Williams, and I formed the Southeast Trombone Symposium here at CSU. Thomas and Curran presented the American premier of Ewazen's “A Duet for Our Time” with the STS Professors Choir in 2010.

Paul Pollard and I were in graduate school together at the University of Iowa studying under David Gier, and have since collaborated many times in performance and teaching in the US and in Asia.

Alessi's solo work on the Visions CD was masterful, and one gem that came out of that project was the incredible new piece “Bright Window” that James David composed for the CD. In the early stages of planning the repertoire for the Beautiful Noise project I reached out to Dr. David to compose another piece for Mr. Alessi for this CD.

The trombone world is such a small one, and I am thrilled to have been able to bring these amazing artists in to work with my students here at CSU. The students were able to interact with the soloists— getting to know them personally as well as artistically. The soloists worked with the students in lessons and masterclasses, rehearsals, recording sessions, and performances. The conversations that happened over meals, during trips to and from the airport, in the hallways, and backstage before and after performances and recording sessions were so very important for these young musicians. I look forward to seeing the paths cross between the students and soloists on this recording as all of their careers continue to develop. The next time that happens is with the 2013 International Trombone Festival we are hosting here in Columbus, GA, where three of the soloists on this CD will be featured artists.

– by Bradley Palmer

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