Organist Al Fedak joins North Star Trombone Quartet in Inaugural Concert

NorthStarTrombone4t+AlFedak7:30 pm • Saturday, September 24th 2016
Westminster Presbyterian Church • Albany, NY

It is always interesting to find out what has been hatched out of a passing conversation. In this case, it seems a concert and an ensemble are the result of ongoing chats between musical Schenectady County Community College colleagues William Meckley, a trombone player, and organist Alfred Fedak.

The concert is a program of organ and trombone music this weekend at Albany’s Westminster Presbyterian Church. The ensemble is the North Star Trombone Quartet. Perhaps the trombone and organ may seem a bit of an unusual pairing, yet one that works as well as any other. And admittedly when one mentions chamber music, a trombone quartet is probably not what first comes to mind, but there are a few.

The newly formed North Star Trombone Quartet members are some of New York’s finest trombone virtuosi:

  • Lisa Albrecht is currently a trombonist with the Rochester Philharmonic and has numerous performances, recordings, and international tours with the New York and Los Angeles Philharmonics under her belt. She is also a veteran New York classical and Broadway freelance artist.
  • Heather Buchman is a former Principal Trombonist with the San Diego Symphony and currently is Chair of the Department of Music at Hamilton College.
  • William Meckley is Dean of the School of Music at Schenectady County Community College and Music Director of the Empire Jazz Orchestra. You can usually find him pretty busy of campus performing in various classical ensembles as well as in Broadway touring shows sitting down in the Capital Region.
  • Daniel Cordell, a veteran bass trombonist, keeps his chops up with the numerous Broadway and touring shows at Proctor’s, as well as a long-time member of the Empire Jazz Orchestra and the Schenectady Symphony Orchestra.

Back to Saturday… The North Star Trombone Quartet joins nationally acclaimed organist and composer Alfred Fedak in concert for their inaugural concert, which also features Westminster’s spectacular four-manual 1929 E. M. Skinner pipe organ. The colorful program includes a wide variety of musich including:

  • Charles Ives — Processional: Let There Be Light, scored for four trombones and organ
  • Michael Praetorius — Two Renaissance Dances  (arr. Reichert & Albrecht)
  • Gabriel FauréCantique de Jean Racine, Op. 11 (arr. Albrecht)
  • Alfred V. Fedak — “Dialogue and Trumpet Tune” from Lyric Suite
  • Englebert Humperdinck — “Evening Prayer” and “Dream Pantomime” from Hänsel und Gretel (arr. Lamare & Albrecht)
  • Jean-Baptiste Lully — Marche Royale from Thésée  /  Passacaille from Persée / Pour le Cérémonie des Turcs (arr. Albrecht)
  • Victor Hebert — “March of the Toys” from Babes in Toyland (arr. Albrecht)
  • Dmitri Shostakovich —  “A Walk into the Future” from Song of the Forests (arr. Hesford)
  • Richard Wagner — “Elsa’s Procession to the Cathedral” from Lohengrin (arr. Miller)

Well now, that is quite a curious and appetizing variety!  While the majority of the program reaches back into the established canon with newly-arranged works for the North Star Trombone Quartet by Lisa Albrecht, there are composers out there who are writing for this configuration. Hopefully North Star will discover these and share with the rest of us in future concerts.

Meanwhile, you’ll want to know this concert has no admission charge and is to be about an hour-long. Happy musicking with the rich and glorious sounds this weekend offers!

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