The University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg will host the Pittsburgh Trombone Project (PTP) on Friday, Nov. 3, as part of this year’s Joan Chambers Concert Series. The 7:30 p.m. concert in the Mary Lou Campana Chapel and Lecture Center is free and open to the public.
Taylor Jones (tenor), Kevin M. McManus (tenor), Ryan Smith (Tenor), and Chris Carson (bass) are four of the leading freelance trombonists in the Pittsburgh music scene. The Pittsburgh Trombone Project is now in its ninth year and is being recognized as one of America’s leading chamber ensembles.
McManus described tonight’s program as “a unique concert highlighting music from various eras. It will be very unexpected from what you think a trombone can make.”
The group is committed to raising the profile of the trombone as a chamber music instrument by demonstrating its versatility as a classical, jazz, and pop music instrument. Through writing its own arrangements and commissioning new works, the Pittsburgh Trombone Project has expanded the boundaries of the trombone quartet and widened its appeal to an ever-increasing audience.
Always excited to promote music education, the PTP is active in delivering workshops and clinics to students of all ages and abilities from college music majors to elementary-aged students. Members of the group have music degrees and have attended some of the finest music schools in the United States. Members have also performed and recorded with some of the biggest entertainers and performers throughout the world.
During a recent visit to campus, McManus spent an evening working with the Pitt-Greensburg Consort, a newer campus group that offers students the opportunity to perform instrumental music. At tonight’s concert, several members of the Consort will perform a selection with the PTP.
“That’s what the Pittsburgh Trombone Project was designed for,” said McManus. “We’re a collection of four trombonists who play in the Pittsburgh Symphony and freelance gigs. It’s a wide range of people. We come together to make great music and give back to students. We go in and work with student ensembles and individuals.”
McManus emphasized that tonight’s concert will surprise the people not familiar with the instrument. “When you hear someone who can play the instrument, it doesn’t sound like a circus instrument. When it’s played well it can make beautiful music. We call it a trombone choir because it sounds like a choir of voices. There’s also something about live music that can’t be captured on a recording. There is something really beautiful about hearing these instruments played live.”
The Joan Chambers Concert Series is possible through the generous support of George F. Chambers, president emeritus of the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg. It brings local, national, and international artists to the campus for performances of the highest professional caliber. The series is named in honor of Joan Chambers, the late wife of President Chambers, who was an ardent supporter and representative of Pitt‐Greensburg in the community for many years. While her interests were widespread, she especially enjoyed participating in book discussion groups and attending cultural events. The Children’s Literature Collection in Millstein Library, another of her passions, was developed and named in her honor.