When I was a university student, I spent many, many hours photocopying music. Back in those days, if you wanted to practice music for trombone from the orchestral repertoire, your only options were to purchase the 10 volume set of excerpts published by Robert King (which were notoriously incomplete), scrounge the parts from a musician or teacher, or if you were lucky enough, get access to an orchestra's library. It was a lot of work, but the fruits of that labour are still sitting on my closet floor, all 18 lbs of it.
Now I'm thinking of recycling the lot. The Complete Low Brass Excerpt Collection, compiled by Vancouver Symphony Principal Trombonist Gordon Cherry, makes my entire collection obsolete!
Included on the CD are the complete low brass parts for over 280 public domain works! The music is scanned on a high end scanner, then cleaned up using digital editing software before being converted into pdf format. All you need to view and print the music is Adobe Acrobat Reader, a universally-available program that you probably already have installed on your computer. If not, you can download it for free. The complete collection retails for $89.00, but Gordon has also divided it up into partial packages, for those who just want to buy the music of a single composer, or need a specific piece.
These aren't pristine parts. There are numerous pencil markings, but this is not a detriment! What you are getting is years of knowledge accumulated by one of the finest orchestral trombone sections in North America. It's a great learning tool to see in your music how a seasoned, professional musician actually performed it. It's like being coached on the entire repertoire!
Another benefit to buying this CD are the free upgrades. As Gordon adds works to the collection, he emails previous buyers to let them know where the new parts can be downloaded from. The pdf files are large, and if you'd rather not download them you can order an upgrade CD mailed to you for a nominal shipping and handling charge.
This collection of music is an incredible resource for trombone students, professionals, and teachers, or any low brass player that plays in an orchestra. Visit Cherry Classics to order the CD.
Brad Howland is the Principal Trombonist of the Victoria Symphony Orchestra.