Toronto Trombonist Rides Bike And Borrows Tails For TSO Concert



These are the kind of stories, that when you hear them, they tell you to always be prepared – even if it means you might have to use a bike and wear someone else’s tuxedo.

According to the University of Toronto News Page, Brayden Friesen, a former U of T student, received a phone call from his former teacher Vanessa Fralick asking if he would be able to head to the concert hall as quickly as possible. Friesen, now a student at Glenn Gould School at the Royal Conservatory of Music, hopped on a bike and 25 minutes later arrived at Roy Thomson Hall with 5 minutes to spare. Friesen quickly jumped into Gordon Wolfe’s tails and went to stage with Fralick talking through some of the performing pieces.

On the program for the Toronto Symphony’s performance were no standard pieces – no familiar trombone excerpts. It was a program that paid tribute to Glenn Gould that included two contemporary works by the Canadian composers Yannick Plamondon and Kelly-Marie Murphy.

Sight Reading = Semper Paratus

In the article, both Fralick and the TSO’s bass trombonist, Jeff Hall explained that Friesen did a wonderful job especially given the circumstances. Even with this happening, Vanessa Fralick, had to also move to the Principal slot to cover Gordon Wolfe who was stuck in traffic. Wolfe arrived to the concert hall and was able to take a picture (see below) of the section before playing on the second half of the concert.

Photo Sources

Jeremy Smith

Jeremy Smith is a trombonist, brass teacher, and blogger. He studied music performance at both Grace College and Carnegie Mellon University, and currently is the bass trombonist for Orchestra Iowa and the Huntington Symphony Orchestra. In 2014, Jeremy started Last Row Music as an online resource of job postings and artist links for brass musicians around the world. When he is not performing or blogging, Jeremy is giving brass lessons to students throughout the country from his home in Centerburg, Ohio.