Trombone Choir

The Festival Trombone Choir will meet to rehearse early each day, during ensemble rehearsal time.

Home Moravian Fellowship Hall (CE)  Map

8:30am – 9:15am

* This is a small ensemble in addition to the large ensembles (Chorus or Concert Band)

The Trombone Choir (Posaunenchor) is a tradition of the Moravian Church, dating back to 1733, when the first set of trombones arrived in Herrnhut, Germany.

The Festival is a unique opportunity for trombonists to perform as an ensemble, and many other instrumentalists bring trombones to join in.

  • Soprano trombone (in Bb) uses the same mouthpiece as Trumpet and is pitched in Bb. Reads Bb treble parts.
  • Alto trombones are made in F and Eb and read transposed music like French and Alto Horns in treble clef. Some alto players read Alto Clef in C.
  • Tenor and Bass trombones are the common modern trombone, reading Bass Clef in C.
  • Contrabass trombone also reads Bass Clef in C, but can play the tuba part (chorale books) or sometimes just a lower part, or an octave lower part. Bass Trombones pitched in F or G are often referred to as contrabass, but a true contrabass is equivalent to a BBb Tuba. Bass Trombones in all keys are welcome!

1978 trombone choir2006 Band Prelude Moravians have used brass ensembles and bands since their earliest years in Herrnhut to announce special events and to accompany singing at outdoor services and funerals. Trombones were some of the first instruments received in or imported to Moravian settlements in North America, where, in certain congregations, like Bethlehem, PA (Bethlehem Area Moravian Trombone Choir), Downey (CA) and Glenwood (Madison, WI), the original instrumentation of trombones in soprano, alto, tenor, bass and contrabass, is preserved. The Salem Trombone Choir (Winston-Salem, NC) also uses exclusively SATB trombones and is a performing ensemble formed as a non-profit organization to promote this unique musical art form.

Dr. Donna Rothrock

Dr. Donna Rothrock, Festival Trombone Choir Director, serves as Associate Librarian and Assistant Professor of Music at Salem College. She has held adjunct positions in music education at Appalachian State University and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She has served as band director at Clemmons Moravian Church since 1989 and at Trinity Moravian Church since 2011. In 1984, Dr. Rothrock founded and continues to conduct the Salem Trombone Choir (STC) in Winston-Salem, NC, which has performed throughout the southeast, Pennsylvania, and in Germany. The STC and Salem College were privileged to host both the 14th and 19th North Carolina Trombone Festivals, held in 2011 and 2016. She has been a Moravian Music Festival participant since 1978, and served as the Festival Trombone Choir conductor at both the 21st and 23rd Festivals.

Festival 2006 trombone choir

Downey Moravian brass ensemble Salem Trombone ChoirDon Kemmerer conducts