Mark Kellogg and Jim Martin share their thoughts and passion for this classic Eastman summer institute.
Mark Kellogg and his long-time friend and colleague Jim Martin met as Eastman students a few decades ago. They felt that the strong connection and chemistry they had developed as musicians should be shared in some special ways. So, they created the Eastman Summer Trombone Institute (or ESTI) to replicate that connection with other trombonists of all ages. Indeed, Kellogg is proud of the fact that the Trombone Institute welcomes high school and collegiate students, as well as band leaders and amateur trombonists alike. Everyone learns and is energized by each other’s passion for the trombone.
Martin says that ESTI trombonists go through a “wall-to-wall trombone” experience, often for the first time, creating a sense of camaraderie and brotherhood/sisterhood that they might not have had in their home town. This sense of trombone community is further developed through daily master classes team-taught by the whole faculty. Kellogg explains that “all the teachers are there to listen to the students play and we all take turns making comments. It shows students that there are many different ways of achieving the same goal.” Another community-builder is the trombone choir component of the institute, continuing a rich Eastman tradition. As Martin points out: “Eastman does trombone, in my opinion, better than anybody. It’s a house specialty!”
The institute also combines classical and jazz styles into its program, exposing students to a “broader base of playing styles, which will help them function better in today’s musical world,” says Martin. Kellogg, who himself performs in both classical and jazz settings, believes that “great music is great music, no matter what style it is.” Students get to learn about improvisation and test their skills in a supportive atmosphere.
For the 10th anniversary, ESTI’s founders are preparing something special for their students but prefer keeping it a secret. Whatever they decide to do, it will be a memorable experience.
– Sylvie Beaudette, Summer @Eastman Director