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Cleveland Trombone Seminar brings musicians from across U.S. to CSU

The second annual Cleveland Trombone Seminar brought 34 young trombonists from 11 states to Cleveland State University in June for nine days of intensive music lessons, clinics and performances.

“The whole idea is to give these musicians an experience of total immersion and to teach them things that they don’t learn in school,” said seminar founder Shachar Israel, assistant principal trombone of the Cleveland Orchestra and a member of the CSU Department of Music’s faculty.

In addition to Israel, the seminar faculty included internationally renowned jazz trombonist Jiggs Whigham, Toby Oft of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Mark Lusk of Penn State and Haim Avitsur of Queens College.

Rounding out the agenda were a performance by the Great Lakes Trombone Choir and faculty recitals at CSU, as well as a gig by Whigham at Nighttown in Cleveland Heights. The festivities culminated with a concert Sunday, July 16, in CSU’s Drinko Hall, where participants had a chance to shine during a wonderful program that showcased the versatility of the trombone via an eclectic selection of pieces by the likes of Shostakovich, Mahler and Bach.

The 2013 Cleveland Trombone Seminar had double the enrollment of the inaugural 2012 installment, as well as more faculty members and expanded programming.

“I was extremely pleased with this year’s event,” Israel said. “But I don’t spend a lot of time looking in the rearview mirror. I’m already making plans for next year’s seminar.”