trombone quartet

LAS TUNAS. Of the 80 almanacs he completed a few months ago, Ernesto Ochoa Hidalgo added more than 60 to the lectern of the divine art of the god Orpheus. A modest and good-natured man, he comes from a musical caste family known for having supported the Estrella de Oriente organ, which, since its first chords in 1925, has brightened the life of the people of Las Tunas with its distinctive sound. creating earthly music.

In such an orchestra, hidden in a box – the organ can imitate the sounds of different instruments – Ochoa began his musical journey. There he played the crank, the timpani, a little percussion… Using a unique device mounted on a trolley, he threw parties in rural communities. At the carnival, they used to look for him to enjoy “dawn” because he never had a set time to finish.

In the meantime, Ochoa learned music from maestro Cristino Marquez. First the euphonium, then the three-string bass, then some more saxophone… He stopped being a “peak-floor” with instruments when he discovered the love of his life: the trombone. By that time (1962) his teacher had included him in the municipal orchestra and in the orchestra of the Ritmos de Juventud.

An important moment in his career came in 1964, when the first draft for military service called him into the ranks. He was known in the city of Santiago de Cuba, where he completed his cycle dressed in olive green, and as part of several military music bands, with whom he performed at patriotic events and various galas throughout Cuba. The scene was extremely helpful in terms of learning.

It was 1967, and those who appreciated his professional trombone skills chose him as one of the founders of the Orquesta de Música Moderna de Oriente. At the same time, he also joined the staff of the Symphony Orchestra of that province, which for some time delighted many fans of this kind of music.

“I returned to Victoria de las Tunas in 1970, although I could have stayed in Holguin for a while with the Hermanos Avilés or Los chicos de Cuba orchestras,” he recalls. But family problems and nostalgia for a small homeland prompted me to return. I joined the Gigante Miramar orchestra, which I led for almost ten years. It alternated with the Caisimú Ensemble, which later became a well-known orchestra.”

His ability to play the trombone and his liking for teaching led him to join the faculty of the professional art school El Cucalambe. Years later, driven by the interest of some of his students in chamber music, he began to rehearse the formation of wind quartets with trumpet, euphonium, trombone, clarinet… Thus was born the trombone quartet of popular music, concertante Melodiya. , a benchmark for the current musical context of Las Tunas.

A Brief History of the Trombone

As is the case with other wind instruments, its origin is associated with animal horns. However, experts date its invention to the end of the 15th century, when in the French city of Burgundy, a group of musical instrument manufacturers built an improved version of the pipe with rods. Due to its versatility in terms of sounds, dynamics and tuning, the novelty soon became fashionable in groups and was called a trombone. The term comes from the Italian trombonewhich means “big pipe”.

The trombone belongs to a family of brass instruments that also includes, among others, the trumpet, tuba, and horn. Military bands used it in ancient times to accompany war songs. In the era of baroque and classicism, it was repeated in religious music, and since the 19th century it has become an integral part of symphony orchestras, the so-called. large group and in jazz, where he interprets solo passages.

In the 17th century, it was considered the main wind instrument in concert music. Beethoven introduced him to his fifth Symphony, and used it again on Six and Ninth. Mozart made him indispensable for his operas, including magical flute. Over the past 300 years, the trombone has been actively involved in orchestral and chamber ensembles as a soloist or voice accompanist, demonstrating a wide range of notes and melodies.

Trombone Quartet

“The idea for a concerted pop trombone quartet was born in 2009,” recalls Ochoa. we had a long dead enduntil in 2014 we got organized and decided to evaluate ourselves. The National Commission gave us the highest rating, as well as the first level and the first category. This team included Rubinelson Castillo, Paco Aguero, Manuel Leyva and myself. Then came Ismari Avila, Carlos Enrique Diaz and Rafael Vasquez. We are the only professional trombone quartet in Cuba today.”

According to Ochoa, they wanted to start with chamber music, but then they thought they could try popular concert music, regardless of the era. Thus, by updating the songs – both harmonic and orchestral – and with the help of orchestrators from Las Tunas, they began to build their repertoire, now numbering 20 pieces from 12 different genres.

“Our trombone quartet performs sons, songs, jazz, boleros, overtures, medleys, carols, habaneras, songos… And among the authors are Gruber, Rossini, Disney, Formell, Sinatra, Mancini, Edith Piaff, Manzanero, Lecuona, Lennon, Teofilito , Matamoros, in short… The breadth of the spectrum makes this catalog very representative.

“My musicians are professionally trained and most of them are young. In rehearsals, we polish the details, and everyone does what they have to, based on what I write to them. They know how to assimilate what I pass on to them as a director. Our four trombones are tenors of the same pitch. They differ only in harmony and have their own rating on the scale of sounds.

Ismari Avila plays the second trombone in the quartet. The young girl is the first Las Tunas graduate with a degree in instrument playing from the Higher Institute of Arts (ISA).

“This degree does not mean that I have nothing more to study,” she says. In the case of the trombone, it not only blows well and handles the shaft well. It takes music reading, perseverance, and many hours of rehearsal to achieve great success in order to play it to perfection. Seems rough and hard to handle at first glance, but it’s cute and manageable. According to musicologists, its sound imitates the human voice. Oh, and no gender is alien to him!

in public preference

Thanks to the recognition he has received among his audience, and despite the fact that they do not make music for dancing, but for listening, the presence of the trombone quartet of the popular music concertante Melodiya is celebrated in a plural and varied range. places in the province. Thus, they organize concerts and perform in squares, universities, events, hotels, prisons, hospitals, nursing homes… They are frequent guests of the Las Tunas branch of the Nicolás Guillén Foundation and the El Cucalambe Vocational Art School. They even transferred their musical art to other provinces.

“Our repertoire is not static, as we are constantly adding new features to it,” says Ochoa. We are a group that does not stop there. In music, as in life, constant renewal is vital. Our souls and our trombones are imbued with this purpose.”

Source: Juventud Rebelde


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