Slide into Spring

Article submission by Nathan Gingrich

Slide Into Spring 2022 – #hybridedition plus Crossbones from Belgium – all part of an incredible International Trombone Month!!!

On Sunday Apr 3, the 9th annual “Slide Into Spring: Calgary’s Trombone Day to celebrate International Trombone Week” was an amazing success on a number of levels!

First of all – we were able to gather in person after 2 long years!  (but we still had an online option – hence #hybridedition). About 40 trombone players got together to be led through a warm-routine by Calgary Philharmonic Principal Trombonist, James Scott.

Then Gareth Jones, Director of Bands and Associate Professor of Trumpet at the University of Calgary rehearsed the entire ensemble through several pieces – most notably Ukraine’s National Anthem because #westandwithukraine

Participants had a chance to simply catch up, ask questions, and talk “all things trombone”. Dave Reid, Principal Bass Trombonist with the Calgary Philharmonic gave us all kinds of incredible trombone wisdom – in particular around the history and development of the… you guessed it: bass trombone!

A mini-concert was held at the end for friends and family and there was even a virtual submission of Malcolm Forsyth’s Trombone Quartet 74, 2nd movement: “Andante Ritmico” performed by the Calgary Trombone Quartet (Nikki McCaslin, Mark Harding, Nathan Gingrich and Greg Robertson).  

But what was really the special announcement was that Calgary was going to host the Belgian Trombone Quintet “Crossbones” and a concert would be presented on Friday April 15!

Through the week of April 12, Crossbones Trombones delighted audiences in the Calgary region with their mix of jazz, classical, and even some pop tune arrangements for trombone quartet and quintet.

In this time of Covid, many music programs have been hit hard. Having live music and the incredible virtuosic playing of Lode Smeets, Peter Delannoye, Søren Brassaert, Pieter Vandermeiren, and Bram Meese in front of students was inspiring and engaging!

Their program included jazz standards like “Bluesette” by Belgian harmonica legend Toots Thielemans, John Williams’ “Olympic fanfare” as well as music from around the world and through the ages!

Their final concert on Friday April 15 was to a packed house at Hope Lutheran Church and garnered a standing ovation with an encore at the end as well!

This was not only a wonderful event, but also a reminder of the power of live music and the connections we have all yearned for over the last 2 years. We look forward to our next trombone day and getting to make new friends from across the world!

We invite you to learn more about Crossbones and watch their Slide into Spring 2022 concert:

Special thanks to the Calgary Association for the Development of Music Education (CADME) for their generous support! 

Thank you to Nathan Gingrich for sharing this summary report.


Nathan Gingrich with Crossbones – Lode Smeets, Søren Brassaert, Peter Delannoye, Pieter Vandermeiren and Bram Meese