There’s Lots to Love About the Trombone!


March 3, 2023

16-year-old trombonist Bugs Kelley can’t wait to return to the Merkin Hall stage at the 2023 Contemporary Festival this Sunday! A Lucy Moses School student of Matt Walley, he’ll perform David Uber’s “The Ballad of Enob Mort.” Get tickets

  • What should we know about this piece? “’Enob Mort’ is trombone spelled backwards! I love it because it has a great story with a fun, lively feel – it has a slow, sentimental opening and then gets exciting with syncopated rhythms full of action and suspense.”
  • What’s most challenging? “The rhythms are very hard to play. The piece demands a lot of patient practice to get all the intervals and slide positions and notes across the whole range of the instrument. There are also a lot of details with dynamics, slurs and special articulations to remember.”
  • What‘s great about the trombone? “It’s a unique instrument. You don’t hear a lot of people playing it. And compared to other low brass instruments, in my opinion it has the best sound.”
  • What other pieces written for the trombone do you like to play? “Music by Guilmant, Blazevich and Handel, and contemporary pieces by Warner Hutchison and William Grant Still.”
  • Did you know? Bugs is also a trained vocalist! When he’s not practicing the trombone or playing basketball, you can find him singing early Italian arias, French art songs and Schubert lieder.

Come see Bugs and many other young stars from Kaufman Music Center’s Lucy Moses School and Special Music School perform a wide-ranging program of music written after 1973 on March 5 at 4:30 pm!

Watch Bugs rehearse:

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