An internationally known trumpeter will be playing in Morris on Dec. 15 as a guest artist at a free concert with the Morris Community High School band.
Ronald Romm has recorded with the likes of Wynton Marsalis, Doc Severinsen and Arturo Sandoval, and was one of the founding members of Canadian Brass, a quintet of brass musicians, which MCHS band director Don Stinson describes as the world’s preeminent brass group.
Last year, Romm received the 2012 International Trumpet Guild Honorary Award – the guild’s highest honor – given to individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to the art of trumpet playing through performance, teaching, publishing, research and/or composition. Romm also teaches trumpet at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, tours with his pianist wife and trumpeter son in The Romm Trio, and is in demand as an international master clinician for musicians.
Stinson, a trumpeter himself, knew of Romm since Stinson was in high school, listening to Canadian Brass CDs. He saw him play live in Chicago and has never forgotten that experience. He describes Romm as the Michael Jordan of the trumpet world.
“I just thought he was phenomenal,” Stinson said. “He’s such a musician and a showperson. I always hear an honesty in his playing and technical and emotional perfection. ... This is an awesome opportunity for our kids, as well as for the community.”
Romm is being brought to the community through area sponsors Jim and Carol Baum and Ron and Jackie Wohlwend. The school’s guest program began last year under sponsorship by the Baums with Syrian percussionist Omar Al Musfi.
Romm said he’s looking forward to the opportunity to interact with Stinson’s band students and to play with them in their concert. After rehearsal for the concert, he will conduct a master clinic for the students.
“I love working with young people and sharing with them,” Romm said. “It’s very pure to share our skills we’ve learned and gifts we’ve been given. If I can help one student fulfill one part of their dream or think in a positive way about where their life is going, then I will have accomplished more than many people do in their lifetimes.”
Romm was a child prodigy with the trumpet, playing solos in front of audiences by the age of 10. Starting at 12, he performed with the Romm-Antics Orchestra, his talented family’s band. His father played drums, his mother saxophone and clarinet, he the trumpet, and his sister was the pianist, songwriter and singer.
Romm admits he didn’t care for the first music lessons he received. They were for piano. When a piano tuner suggested he try the coronet, Romm couldn’t make a single sound come out of the instrument and gave it up, too. It was about a year later when he came home from school to hear Louis Armstrong on the radio. Music had finally found him.
“It was magical,” he said. “I don’t remember the song, but I remember the notes as clearly as if it was yesterday. I got the bug then and there. There was no stopping me.”
Romm studied at The Juilliard School and since has performed regularly with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra and the Los Angeles Brass Quintet. He has appeared worldwide on the stages of most major concert venues, music festivals and international music conferences.
At the Dec. 15 band concert, he is set to perform “La Virgen De La Macarena” with the high school’s Symphonic Band and “Bugler’s Holiday” with the combined bands. Also performing with him on the latter piece will be Stinson, three senior trumpeters, and Plainfield North High School’s band director Steven Pyter.
If You Go
What: Internationally acclaimed trumpeter Ronald Romm will play with the Morris Community High School band at its Fall ConcertWhen: 3 p.m. Dec. 15Where: Gymnasium at Morris Community High School, 1000 Union St,Cost: FreeOn the Web:www.musicromm.com