Like wildlife experts with endangered species, arts coordinators in the Bakersfield City School District are trying to preserve a rare breed within their schools... trombone players! Last year, they noticed fewer students choosing the trombone. On Thursday, the district declared the day "Trombone Day," hoping to slide some more interest the instrument's way.
Trying to breathe new life into the horn, the Bakersfield City School District held Trombone Day at Sequoia Middle School.
"We had 160-plus kids today," said Michael Stone, the Visual and Performing Arts Coordinator at BCSD. "The trombone isn't out there in popular culture like it would have been 50 years ago, and we thought we would have a special day to feature the trombone."
Robert Soto, Professor of Trombone at Fullerton College, led the two-hour clinic showing the range of fun and hoping to stretch the reach this brass horn has among students.
"The whole focus of today is really educating all of these young kids and promoting the trombone and getting more kids to want to play the instrument in band," said Soto.
"Trombone is an essential part of a great band and orchestra. You've got to have a lot of them to have a great sounding ensemble," said Stone.
From beginners to those with more honed horn skills, students watched what this instrument could do, each piece with a purpose and what puckering practice behind the brass could achieve.
"I just thought the trombone was unique because some instruments just have buttons," said trombone student Chris Lopez. "I saw the trombone just slides, and I wanted to try that for once."
"I don't want to let go," said trombone student, Jacob Robles. "I want to keep on playing."
The clinic opened these kids' eyes to a future in music that could blow future audiences away.
"I think in the future we'll probably see more trombone players because these kids will talk to other kids, and we have new crops of students every year," said Stone.
"Please play it because it's a great instrument," said Lopez.
Stone says the reasons students gave for not wanting to play the trombone were because the case was too big, they were too expensive to rent, or they didn't know what a trombone is. Stone thinks Trombone Day will change that.
The clinic was put on with help from the Yamaha Corporation and Nick Rail Music.