The Slide Suite was written to give the trombone sextet or trombone choir a true concert suite that could demonstrate the unique capabilities of the tenor and bass trombones.
It was also written to satisfy the itch to write something that expressed some of the depth and breadth of American music. Rather than writing a suite with movements titled with Italian words for tempos like Allegro and Lento, or names of antiquated dances like Minuet and Gigue, the movements are all examples of American musical forms.
The five movements are (in order) Rag, Barbershop, Spiritual, DooWop, and Fight Song, so the Suite is bookended by instrumental forms while the three middle movements are vocal forms.
This is the only quartet in a suite otherwise populated by sextets. The parts are marked trombone 2, trombone 3, trombone 4, and bass trombone, meaning the intent is the first and fifth players are tacet. If the suite is being performed by a larger trombone choir, the best effect for this piece would still be to perform it with just four players.
MP3 sound sample: Entire Movement (synthesizer/midi).
SLIDE SUITE NO. II: BARBERSHOP, by Tom Kirkland, for trombone quartet of three tenors and one bass trombone, comes in a pdf file of 475K, with a three-page score, four one-page parts, and a license page, eight pages in all. Performance time should be about 2:20.
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Last update: 16 December 2014