NIELSEN Maskarade Overture
LUMBYE Copenhagen Steam Railway Galop
GRONDAHL Trombone Concerto
SIBELIUS Symphony No. 2
Thomas McKee, trombone
This enchanting program explores the kaleidoscopic colors of Scandinavian music. The concert opens up with Hans Christian Lumbye's Copenhagen Steam Railway Galop which faithfully recreates the sounds of a train chugging out of a station and grinding to a halt at the next stop. The work was composed in 1847 to celebrate the opening of the first railway in Denmark between Copenhagen and Roskilde. Continuing the trip you'll hear Carl Nielsen's wonderfully ebullient Maskarade Overture, exploding with Nielsen’s characteristic melodies taking unexpected twists and turns at every opportunity, It was 1902 when Finnish composer Jean Sibelius finished his Symphony No. 2 – right at a time when his country was struggling with Russian oppression through extreme sanctions on the Finnish language and culture. While Finland fought for its independence as best it could, Sibelius’ composition became the unofficial light at the end of the tunnel – the voice of Finnish nationalism – and gave a renewed hope to the Finnish people, a perfect example of beauty created in the midst of chaos. Rounding out the concert, SCSO Trombonist, Thomas McKee will perform Launy Grøndahl's popular and energetic Trombone Concerto, a lyrical and dramatic work
Thomas Edward McKee is a classically trained tenor trombonist, teacher, composer and arranger currently based out of Miami, FL. Whether he’s performing the likes of romantic trombone works, swinging through the jazz genre or experimenting with creative new sounds, Thomas enjoys playing all things trombone. A native of Houston, TX, Thomas attended Pearland High School where he took private lessons from freelance trombonist, Brian Logan. Growing up he found his passion for playing trombone when he auditioned for the Houston Youth Symphony and placed in the top orchestra in which he performed with for 2 years. He was also part of Texas Music Festival’s summer Jazz Big Band camp for 2 years where he was featured as a soloist in both years. In his senior year of high school, Thomas placed and performed with the TMEA Philharmonic Orchestra in the Texas All-State Competition. Thomas attended Louisiana State University as an undergraduate where he studied with Steve Menard for 3 years and Dr. Hana Beloglavec for his senior year. Highlights at LSU include performing as a soloist in LSU’s Jazz Lab Band alongside Wycliffe Gordon, touring with the LSU Wind Ensemble across the states of Louisiana and Texas, leading a high school master class for the “Stately Oaks” wind camp as well as performing as a featured soloist with the LSU Jazz Ensemble on the tune “Blue Cellophane.” Outside of school, Thomas often performed as a substitute trombonist with the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra and Acadiana Symphony of Lafayette. In addition, he would regularly perform with professional live bands “After 8,” “Boucoup Boogie,” and “Souled Out” in venues all across southern Louisiana. While at LSU, Thomas performed for 3 years with the “Cool Winter Nights Big Band” led by Dr. Brian Shaw. With that band he was also part of a live Christmas album which was recorded and released in the winter of 2017. Thomas completed his Master’s degree in Trombone Performance at the University of Miami’s highly acclaimed Frost School of Music in the Spring of 2019 where he studied with Professor Tim Conner. The following school year he returned to UM and completed his Artist Diploma degree, serving as a Teaching Assistant for the Frost Trombone Studio as well as a Fellow for the Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra. Since he began in the fall of 2017, his highlights have included performing as a principal trombonist for the Frost Wind Ensemble and the Frost Symphony Orchestra, leading master classes for Frost’s high school honor band camp as well as a couple stints conducting for the Frost Trombone Choir. Since settling into life in south Florida, Thomas has recorded music for Bad Bunny and currently performs with the Nu Deco Ensemble, Southwest Florida Symphony Orchestra, Space Coast Symphony Orchestra, South Florida Master Chorale, and the Miami Sousa Band. In addition to being an active freelance musician Thomas works as the Music Director of SLAM Miami, a public charter school located in the Little Havana community, and is currently developing a music program from the ground up.