By Douglas Yeo
When I graduated from high school in 1973, I received two awards in addition to my diploma. That I received the senior class music award was probably not a big surprise to most people in my community, considering that I had played in All-State band and orchestra in two states (New York, and then in New Jersey when my family moved there after my sophomore year in high school), All-Eastern orchestra, and was selected as a member of the McDonald’s All-American High School Band. But in addition to the music award, I also received the senior class English award. What a minute. It seems people are always saying, “Music and math go together.” Not for me. My mind seemed to reject math and science; I got through those classes by the grace of God and the mercy of my teachers. English was my favorite class when I didn’t have a trombone in my hand. History was a close second.
The 1973 senior class music and English awards from Jefferson Township High School (NJ) that were presented to me on graduation day.
My love of words was instilled in me by my father who, when commuting to work on the Long Island Railroad for 20 years, read The New York Times by the time he arrived at Penn Station in Manhattan, and read the New York Post on the way home. He subscribed to The New Yorker magazine, and he was a Trustee of our local public library. That’s my dad, Alan Yeo, in the photo below, third from the left, with other town officials and library Trustees at the laying of the cornerstone ceremony for the new Valley Stream Public Library on November 17, 1962.
Town officials at the laying of the cornerstone for the Valley Stream (NY) Public Library, November 17, 1962. Mayor Henry Waldinger is second from left (the library was renamed in his memory in 1968), and my father, Library Trustee Alan Yeo, is third from left.
Books and reading were part of the fabric of our family—it seems we were always at the town library getting books to read—and while I “read the classics,” Shakespeare, and plenty of great fiction by the time I headed to college, it was reading about real events and history that really got my attention. My father taught me the importance of a broad vocabulary – both spoken and written vocabularies. I came to love words, and wordsmiths who used them in evocative and creative ways.
Over the years, I’ve written dozens of published articles, blog articles, book chapters, and books, and I continue to enjoy the chase of research and the happy discipline of writing. I especially like to tell stories about musicians and the instruments they play. My research on diverse individuals and musical instruments has brought me in contact with a host of really interesting people who have helped me along the way.
The other day, someone wrote to me and asked if I could share one of my articles with him. This happens a lot, and I’m always happy to do so. But that got me thinking about putting together a list of some of my publications along with links to free downloads of many of my articles, and information about books and other resources. So, if this interests you, here goes, and enjoy.
- An Illustrated Dictionary for the Modern Trombone, Tuba, and Euphonium Player (Rowman & Littlefield, 2021).
- Homer Rodeheaver and the Rise of the Gospel Music Industry (University of Illinois Press, 2021; co-authored with Kevin Mungons).
- Serpents, Ophicleides and Bass Horns in the Bate Collection (Oxford University Press, 2019).
- The One Hundred: Essential Works for the Symphonic Bass Trombonist (Encore Music Publishers, 2017).
- Mastering the Trombone (Ensemble Publications, 1997; co-authored with Edward Kleinhammer).
PUBLISHED BOOK CHAPTERS
- Marches and Divertimenti: Haydn and the Serpent. Monica Lustig, editor, Der Zink – Geschichte, Instrumente und Bauweise (Michaelsteiner Konferenzberichte Band 79, 2015).
- The Serpent in England: Evolution and Design, and The Serpent in England, Context, Decline and Revival. Florence Gétreau, editor, Le serpent: itinéaires passés et présents (CNRS Editions, 2013).
- Utley Collection Serpents and recorded performance. Sabine K. Klaus, Trumpets and Other High Brass: A History inspired by the Joe R. and Joella F. Utley Collection. Volume 2: Ways to Expand the Harmonic Series (National Music Museum, Vermillion, South Dakota, 2013).
- Playing Historical Instruments: With the Right Tool, You Can Do Any Job. Ken Amis, editor, The Brass Player’s Cookbook: Creative Recipes for a Successful Performance (Meredith Music Publications, 2006).
- Approaching the Trombone. Mark Johnson, editor, The Instrumental Resource for Church and School (Church Street Press, 2002).
PUBLISHED DICTIONARY ENTRIES
- Serpent. Grove Dictionary of Musical Instruments, Second edition. Oxford University Press, 2014.
- Buccin. Grove Dictionary of Musical Instruments, Second edition. Oxford University Press, 2014.
SELECTED PUBLISHED ARTICLES
- A Fresh Look at Mozart’s Tuba mirum. International Trombone Association Journal, Vol. 50, No. 4, January 2022.
- A Comprehensive History of Tubby the Tuba: More than a Melody—More than Oompah. International Tuba Euphonium Association Journal. Part 1, Vol, 47, No. 2, Winter 2020; Part 2, Vol. 47, No. 3, Spring, 2020; Part 3, Vol. 47, No. 4, Summer 2020; Part 4, Vol. 48, No. 1, Fall 2020; Part 5, Vol. 48, No. 2, Winter 2021; Part 6, Vol. 48, No. 3, Spring 2021; Part 7, Vol. 48, No. 4, Summer 2021; Part 8, Vol. 49, No. 1, Fall 2021.
- The Story of a Trombone by Mrs. Frank M’Carthy. International Trombone Association Journal, Vol. 49, No. 2, April 2021.
- Megumi Kanda—Amazing Grace. International Trombone Association Journal, Vol. 49, No. 1, January 2021.
- Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees: A Few Thoughts on Copyright, the Public Domain, and Music Publishing. International Trombone Association Journal, Vol. 48, No. 3, July 2020.
- Keith Brown: Renaissance Man. International Trombone Association Journal, Vol. 47, No. 3, July 2019.
- Take It, Big Chief: An Appreciation of Russell Moore. International Trombone Association Journal, Vol. 45, No. 3, July 2017.
- Climbing the Mountain of Life. Encore Music Publishers, 2017.
- Homer Rodeheaver: Reverend Trombone. Historic Brass Society Journal. Vol. 27, 2015.
- Evolution: The Double-Valve Bass Trombone. International Trombone Association Journal, Vol. 23, No. 3, July 2015.
- Edward Kleinhammer: A Life and Legacy Remembered. International Trombone Association Journal, Vol. 42, No. 2, April 2014.
- Serpents in Boston: The Museum of Fine Arts and Boston Symphony Orchestra Collections. Galpin Society Journal, Volume LXV, March 2012.
- A Good Old Note: The Serpent in Thomas Hardy’s World and Works. The Hardy Review (Journal of the Thomas Hardy Association), Volume XIII, Number 1, Spring 2011.
- Some Clarity about the Cimbasso. The Brass Herald, Issue 11, December 2005-January 2006.
- The Buccin: A Trombone With a Serious Bite. The Brass Herald, Issue 8, May-July 2005.
- Serpentists in Charles Wild’s Choir of the Cathedral of Amiens, c. 1826. Historic Brass Society Journal, Volume 13, 2001.
- Necrology: A Tribute to Robert King (1914-1999). Historic Brass Society Newsletter, 2000.
- Trumpet Players of the Boston Symphony, 1881-1990, International Trumpet Guild Journal, Volume 15, Number 2, December 1990.
- Horn Players of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, 1881-1988, The Horn Call, Volume XVIII, Number 2, April 1988.
- Tuba Players of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, 1913-1987, T.U.B.A. Journal, Volume 14, Number 4, May 1987.
- A Pictorial History of Low Brass Players in the Boston Symphony Orchestra, 1887-1986, International Trombone Association Journal, Volume XIV, Number 4, Fall 1986.
SELECTED ARTICLES FROM THELASTTROMBONE.COM ABOUT INDIVIDUALS, ENSEMBLES, AND MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS
- Remembering a Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day thrill: the McDonald’s All-American High School Band, 1972-1973, TheLastTrombone, November 27, 2021.
- Remembering Bernard Haitink (1929-2021), TheLastTrombone, October 23, 2021.
- Henry Charles Smith III (1931-2021): my first trombone hero, TheLastTrombone, September 16, 2021.
- The Leonard Bernstein I knew, TheLastTrombone, September 3, 2021.
- Musical instruments real and imagined: Lennie Peterson, Dr. Seuss, and J.J. Grandville, TheLastTrombone, April 8, 2021.
- Joannès Rochut, the Boston Symphony, and his trombone, TheLastTrombone, October 2, 2020.
- Two orchestras, 31 years, 11 colleagues. TheLastTrombone, September 30, 2020.
- A few famous trombone players—Holton catalog, c. 1920, TheLastTrombone, July 24, 2020.
- Trombone players: It’s time to bury Henry Fillmore’s “Lassus Trombone,” TheLastTrombone, June 28, 2020.
- A path forward from Henry Fillmore’s “Lassus Trombone,” TheLastTrombone, July 6, 2020.
- The music goes on, TheLastTrombone, March 31, 2020.
- Trombone iconography: confusion abounds (and it shouldn’t be this difficult), TheLastTrombone, November 13, 2018.
- Bach, choices, and change. TheLastTrombone, November 10, 2018.
- The illusive “Rochut No. 1,” TheLastTrombone, August 2, 2018.
- Keith Brown (1933-2018), TheLastTrombone, May 10, 2018.
- “It is the hope of man translated into a piece of music,” TheLastTrombone, May 20, 2018.
- The road to success, TheLastTrombone, January 1, 2018.
- Santa plays the trombone. Of course he does, TheLastTrombone, December 21, 2017.
- Reformation: Luther, Mendelssohn, and the serpent, TheLastTrombone, November 11, 2017.
- The trombone in popular culture, TheLastTrombone, October 23, 2017.
- Seeing the Unseen: Trombone Playing Through the Eye of a MRI Scanner with the MRI Brass Repository Project, TheLastTrombone, August 22, 2017.
- What is “American Style” in music?, TheLastTrombone, May 11, 2017.
- The trombone and words: Duke Ellington, TheLastTrombone, March 22, 2017.
- Musical instruments in Hamamatsu: their voices are alive, TheLastTrombone, March 18, 2017.
- The Sackbut, the Psaltery, and the Dulcimer: a 1954 recording, TheLastTrombone, February 3, 2017.
- Wilson Carlile: The Man Behind the Trombone, TheLastTrombone, January 28, 2017.
- The buccin: the coolest trombone, TheLastTrombone, January 20, 2017.
- Cliff Barrows (1923-2016): A man of song. And the trombone. TheLastTrombone, September 16, 2016.
- 76 Trombones, TheLastTrombone, November 12, 2016.
- The President and the trombone, TheLastTrombone, September 26, 2016.
- Waiting, TheLastTrombone, September 22, 2016.