John Frith
Blockbuster: for bass trombone and wind orchestra
Bass trombone and piano reduction

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Publisher: Cherry Classics Music
Date of Publication: 2009 / 2018

Score and solo part


This work was written on commission for British bass trombonist Jonathan Warburton and the “Trimitas Band” of Lithuania in 2009. From the Cherry Classics Music web page: Blockbuster, solo for Bass Trombone with Piano reduction (the original is scored for wind ensemble) is a new work from UK composer John Frith dedicated to Bass Trombone soloist Jonathan Warburton. The work of about 6 minutes in length is for virtuoso performers, featuring a huge range from low to high on the Bass Trombone and a variety of technical and lyrical styles that will keep the interest of both musicians and the audience.


The title is suggestive, implying a strong, dramatic and high-energy work. The solo part makes use of sixteenth-note passages in scales and arpeggios, frequent off-beat accents, fast triplets and extensions of range. The highest note is b-flat1 and the lowest note is CC, in a wide-ranging solo part. The solo features a variety of stylistic elements, making it a virtuoso exercise. The piano part is also quite active, indicating the performers of this piece should be talented and highly trained. The music, in the version for bass trombone and piano, is available from Hickey’s Music or by download from Cherry Classics. Blockbuster is highly recommended for bass trombonists interested in expanding their skills.

Reviewer: Philip Brink
Review Published January 28, 2019