Soon to be Plainwell MIddle School 8th grader, Joshua Pembrook, recently had the opportunity to attend the annual International Trombone Festival in Utah from July 12-15, an event typically reserved for trombone professionals and college students. He was encouraged to attend by WMU Trombone Professor, Dr. Steve Wolfinbarger, who has taken Joshua on as a private lesson student outside of school.
The International Trombone Festival is the most important event of the year for trombonists worldwide. It attracts about 1,000 participants from multiple countries and includes premiere trombone artists from around the world, as well as a Youth Workshop. This year's event was held at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City and Joshua was one of the Youth Workshop participants where for four days he and other students were able to work with renowned trombonists in master classes, warm up sessions, large trombone ensembles, warm up sessions and clinics. They were also able to meet and take photos of some of their trombone "heros" who were attending the Festival.
Here is a quote from Joshua regarding his experience: "The ITF was the best week in Utah I have ever had in my entire life. When I was at the ITF I was around people who loved the same instrument as me. Trombone was the only thing we talked about. It was very weird because all of the youth workshop participants were 11th and 12th grade. We had a dorm room and they were really nice and I literally felt like I was in college. It was very nice because the high schoolers showed me a whole bunch of music and different things to look forward to and learning in high school band. I was the only middle schooler there. It was cool though."
In addition to attending the Youth Workshop, Joshua also had the opportunity to take pictures with several trombonists, including: Christopher Bill (famous trombone YouTuber), Sebastian Vera (Pittsburgh Opera), Nick Schwartz (New York City Ballet), Carol Jarvis (who has toured and recorded with artists ranging from Queen, Bon Jovi, Ellie Goulding and Taylor Swift and frequently performs with the London Symphony Orchestra and the BBC Orchestra) and the biggest of all, a selfie with Joseph Alessi (principal trombone for the New York Philharmonic and considered by many in the trombone community to be the greatest trombone player alive).
What an amazing experience and phenomenal opportunity for one of our Trojans - way to go, Joshua! Plainwell Pride!