Tianjin Juilliard Graduate Trombone Quartet Rehearsal Photo Credit: Lee Allen
Trombone faculty Lee Allen recounts a memorable recent trip with the Tianjin Juilliard Graduate Trombone Quartet. Last December, the Tianjin Juilliard graduate trombone quartet was invited by Shanghai Conservatory’s trombone professor, Hao Jie, for a master class and joint concert. It was a whirlwind four-day trip from December 21 to 24.
Dec. 21: We traveled to Shanghai in the afternoon and were warmly welcomed by the trombone quartet from the Shanghai Conservatory. The flight was just over 2 hours. That evening, we had a wonderful meal at a nearby Mongolian barbecue restaurant and enjoyed walking around and exploring the flourishing neighborhood, which was incredibly lively.
Dec. 22: The next day was focused on rehearsals. Due to COVID-19, impromptu access to the school was difficult and we were only approved to be there at certain times/days. Students got creative and found a local piano store to practice at. They rented a rehearsal room for a couple hours and got some quality practice done. That evening, we met Professor Hao Jie and his family for a lovely dinner that included many delicious local delicacies.
Tianjin Juilliard Graduate Trombone Quartet at Shanghai Conservatory Photo Credit: Justin
Dec. 23: It was a very busy day. I led a group warmup session followed by a two hour master class where students of Professor Hao Jie performed. It is always a pleasure to work with Hao Jie’s students! In the afternoon we had a Tianjin Juilliard quartet rehearsal followed by a joint rehearsal with the trombones of the Shanghai Conservatory. That evening, the Tianjin Juilliard trombone quartet presented a 45-minute concert with works by Haydn, Rossini, Lotti, Ross, Uber, and Bach. The students performed great and really presented a tasteful and convincing performance. The final part of the program included joint forces on Dvorak’s Slavonic Dance No. 8 and a few Christmas carols to conclude this wonderful concert. As food is always a highlight of our travel experiences, we completed the night at an incredible tripe hotpot restaurant!
Dec. 24: We traveled back home to Tianjin where students were welcomed with a well-deserved holiday break. In the upcoming months of 2021, the students will be busy with many performances, as well as continuing rehearsals with the Tianjin Juilliard trombone quartet. There will be more travelling for concerts and master classes in the spring which we are all looking forward to! Collaborating with the Shanghai Conservatory always brings joy and inspiration and we look forward to more of such meaningful exchanges in the near future! In a time where performing live concerts are few and far between, we are truly grateful for the opportunity to travel and perform live concerts.