The Trombones of the St. Louis Symphony play ... Radiohead? | St. Louis Public Radio

The Trombones of the St. Louis Symphony play ... Radiohead?

Apr 12, 2016

The Trombones of the Saint Louis Symphony may be known for their spectacular performances of works by composers like Rimsky-Korsakov, Dukas or Mozart but that’s not all this quartet has up its sleeves. The ensemble will soon feature two world premieres and a new arrangement of Radiohead’ “Everything in its Right Place.”

Yes, you read that right, Radiohead.

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, St. Louis Symphony’s Tim Myers (principal trombonist), Gerry Pagano (bass trombonist) and Amanda Stewart (associate principal trombonist) joined the program to discuss their upcoming performances and works. The only member of the quartet missing was Jonathan Reycraft.

As for the story behind the Radiohead performance, the team describes it as an idea that began with composer and 442s member, Adam Maness. He actually arranged the song ‘Everything in its Right Place” for the quartet after trying with other instruments and finding it just didn’t sound quite right.

“For us, as a quartet, we’re interested in trying new things,” said Pagano. “This is like nothing else we’ve ever done before or tried to do. There’s a challenge in trying to recreate sounds that are computer-generated and we’re going to try to make them acoustically. At one point, Jon’s instrument comes into different pieces and he’s playing on different parts of the slide and with a bucket.”

Stewart will employ her talents in multiphonics, which is where the trombone player sings and plays the instrument at the same time. “That can be difficult because my voice is pitched an octave above the normal trombone player,” she said.

Aside from the challenge, Myers also believes it is the group’s responsibility to create something for the general music listener that they wouldn’t find on a music store shelf.

The Trombones of the St. Louis Symphony show a little Cardinals spirit
Credit The Trombones of the St. Louis Symphony

The quartet has recorded two previous albums but contends that they are due for third, as Stewart is a relatively new addition to the quartet and the St. Louis Symphony.

The quartet will perform at the Sheldon on April 19, where they’ll premiere the Radiohead performance as well as several other new pieces. The concert will start off with solos from each of the quartet’s member to showcase their individual personalities not only through what they play but how they play.

There will also be a world premiere of a minimalist work from Caleb Burhans of Alarm Will Sound. It was commissioned with two other trombone quartets.

“There are actually other trombone quartets in the world,” Myers said.   

Related Event

What: The Trombones of the St. Louis Symphony Play Radiohead
When: Tuesday, April 19 at 7:30 p.m.
Where: Sheldon Concert Hall, 3648 Washington Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63108
More information.

St. Louis on the Air brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh and producers Mary Edwards, Alex Heuer and Kelly Moffitt give you the information you need to make informed decisions and stay in touch with our diverse and vibrant St. Louis region.