My name is Trevor Barroero and I am currently a Graduate Teaching Assistant at UGA, pursuing my Master of Music in Percussion Performance with Professors Timothy Adams and Kimberly Toscano Adams. In March of 2018, I auditioned for The National Collegiate Solo Competition hosted by The United States Army Band “Pershing’s Own.” With a few hundred applicants each year, I was honored to be chosen as the NCSC winner and was given the special opportunity to perform as a featured soloist with the Pershing’s Own.
The Army flew me out to Washington D.C. last week to rehearse with the band and perform Emmanuel Sejourne’s Concerto for Marimba at their outdoor concert in front of the United States Capitol Building. It was an absolute privilege and honor to share the stage with such remarkable musicians and it’s an experience I won’t soon forget!
Rehearsals and New Custom Mallets
I arrived in Washington D.C. on Monday, June 4th. I was picked up from the airport and driven to my hotel, which was right across the street from the Pentagon! We began rehearsals on Tuesday morning, where I had the chance to meet with Colonel Andrew J. Esch, Leader and Commander of Pershing’s Own. We discussed my interpretation of the piece, tempi, phrasing, etc.
We had rehearsals on Tuesday and Wednesday morning, with a recorded dress rehearsal on Thursday (more about that – with a link to the video – below!) The members of the percussion section even invited me to perform in the section with them on some of the other pieces, too! The program was a lot of fun, based on the music of “Saturday Morning Cartoons.” It featured classics from The Jetsons, The Flintstones, Superman, Batman, The Incredibles, Looney Tunes, and more!
Every member of the percussion section was extremely kind and it was so special to play alongside such phenomenal percussionists! I learned a lot from watching each of them perform and I am so happy I had the opportunity to chat with them and get to know them during my week in D.C. All the members of the band and support staff were so incredibly welcoming and I hope to work with some of them again in the future!
The instrument on which I performed was a beautiful 5.0 octave marimba crafted by Doug DeMorrow, similar to one we have here at the University of Georgia. Mike Balter, who has been an invaluable supporter and advocate of Lineage Percussion (a percussion trio that was formed here at The Hugh back in 2014), was kind enough to help design a custom set of Tony Miceli mallets on short birch shafts specifically for my performance in D.C!
Recorded Dress Rehearsal
I am excited to share our video from Thursday’s dress rehearsal! I am so grateful to the Army Band’s Support Staff for capturing this special performance and producing such a wonderful multi-shot video!
**Check out the full video by visiting The United States Army Band’s Facebook page: www.facebook.com/usarmyband/videos/10156143267275380/
The Performance at The U.S. Capitol Building
With the first two “Sunsets with a Soundtrack” performances of 2018 cancelled due to inclement weather, the fear of rain for Friday’s performance was legitimate. The weather forecasts went back and forth, predicting heavy rain to no rain at all. However, in the end, we could not have asked for better weather! The day of the concert was absolutely gorgeous. The clouds provided just enough shade to prevent it from being too hot, and not a single drop fell from the sky during the concert!! Of course, within one hour of the concert concluding, it began pouring: thunder, lightning, and all!
It was surreal, performing as the sun was setting, in front of the glowing backdrop of the United States Capitol Building, looking out across the National Mall at the Washington Monument in the distance. I will always remember that moment.
After the performance, the Colonel presented me with a certificate recognizing the achievement and the US Army Band’s challenge coin. I am definitely indebted to SFC Chris Branagan, too, for capturing some great photographs during the soundcheck and performance!! Check them out below!
A Few Thank You’s…
I definitely owe a lot to The Hugh Hodgson School of Music for equipping me with the tools to have led me to this incredibly special opportunity. Chris Leslie, former euphonium student here at The Hugh and current musician with The West Point Band, was also a past winner of the same competition back in 2014! After hearing about his experiences in D.C., I knew that I wanted to apply to the NCS Competition one day!
A huge thank you to Dr. Cynthia Turner and the entire Hodgson Wind Ensemble for rehearsing and performing the Sejourne concerto with me back in January at JanFest. I felt so comfortable at rehearsals with the Pershing’s Own due to our hard work and preparations earlier in the semester!!
I am indebted to my professors, Mr. Timothy Adams, Jr. and Ms. Kimberly Toscano Adams for their constant guidance. And, of course, a huge thank you to every member of “Pershing’s Own” for making me feel so welcomed and appreciated during my time in D.C. So many musicians approached me before and after rehearsals to introduce themselves and talk for a bit. I am so thankful for the entire experience; it was truly special.
I’m looking forward to attending The Cloyd Duff Timpani Masterclass here at UGA this week and I am eager to get back in the practice room this summer to prepare my Master’s Recital which will take place in Ramsey Concert Hall at the UGA Performing Arts Center on Friday, August 31st and 3:30PM.
To read more about my experiences in D.C., see more photos/videos, and too stay up-to-date about future performances, please feel free to check out my website at: www.trevorbarroero.com
Thanks for reading!