Area’s First “Trombone Christmas” Features 42 Virginia Musicians
42 Trombonists from across Virginia are meeting up to play a concert of holiday favorites next Saturday, December 21 at Harrisonburg’s Valley Mall beginning at 1:30 p.m. The one-hour concert will take place in front of Santa Claus Village inside the mall near JC Penney. This free event will help raise awareness of (and donations for) CASA for Children of the Blue Ridge.
Trombone Christmas organizer, Robert Mott of Mr. Jefferson’s Bones, got the idea from the Los Angeles-based Bones West: an organization of professional trombonists and “weekend warriors” that has been performing holiday concerts like this since the late 1980s in Southern California. Over the years, Bones West collected their arrangements — some of which were penned by Count Basie’s long-time arranger, Sammy Nestico — into a music book and has helped to “franchise” the experience to interested trombone groups across the U.S.
In 2019, Trombone Christmases will be performed in Philadelphia; Denver; Kansas City; Charlotte; Hillsboro, Oregon and Middletown, Connecticut. This year marks the first Trombone Christmas in Virginia.