International Trombone Festival comes to Columbus in mid-July

Community News

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – Columbus State University’s Schwob School of Music will host the 50th annual International Trombone Festival this year on July 14 through July 17.  

The International Trombone Festival is an annual event that unifies trombone players around the world. Over the last decade, the festival has been held in the United States, Spain and France. There were plans to hold the festival in Japan in 2020, but was ultimately cancelled due to COVID-19.

Festival Director Dr. Karen Marston looks forward to hosting players working in a wide variety of styles.

“We feature classical musicians who are playing in orchestras from around the world,” said Marston. “We also have incredible Jazz musicians that perform with us. This year we have some salsa artists from Miami. We even have a rock band.” 

This will be the second time that Columbus State will be holding the festival, the first time being in 2013. Additionally, it will be the second time that Dr. Bradley Palmer, CSU trombone professor, will host. 

“I usually go to the trombone festival every summer,” said Palmer, “and there’s so many friends and colleagues that I only see once a year. And to not only to be able to see all those folks but have them here in Columbus. If you never heard of Columbus, Ga. before, you don’t know how amazing this town is.”

Organizers also considered the University of Central Arkansas as a potential host. They chose Columbus State because of their world-class music facilities and their capability to livestream the event for other trombonists around the world. 

“Columbus State’s facilities are about as world class as it gets,” said Dr. Justin Cook, Festival Manager. 

This year, the ITF is partnering with the Southeast Trombone Symposium, another annual trombone event in Columbus. They will be hosting their own competition, with the prize being a customized trombone. 

Columbus State student Jordan Johnson is one of the many semi-finalists in the competition. 

“I’m really excited,” said Jordan, “it’s a nice little milestone to show that the work that I’m doing is paying off and I’m starting to go places,” 

The festival would typically have 1100 attendees in prior years. However due to international travel restrictions, the festival is expecting about 500 to 600 attendees.

Performances are open to the general public, with schedules being posted on the ITF website. All attendees must be vaccinated and will have to show proof of vaccination. 

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