Why is that guy standing in a field of horses with a trombone, you may wonder.
The scene is from the music video “Socially Distant Trombone Duet,” by music students C.J. Woods and Raymond Fong (’20, music). Their video won the Cal Poly Pomona Wind Ensemble “Virtual Concert” contest.
Woods is the trombonist with the Arabian horses and playing his portion of the Bordogni Vocalise No. 16 duet from his home in Mansfield, Texas. Fong balances their presence with his wide variety of quarantine locations at his home in Walnut, all with a soundtrack of great music.
For the competition, students created performance videos utilizing various music technology software to record & edit their musical performances. The winners were announced May 6.
Rickey Badua, associate professor of music and director of bands, collaborated with Mitchell Fennell, who conducts the CPP Symphonic Winds, to develop a project that would meet the curriculum goals of the ensemble by providing new and challenging artistic experiences that promote individual musicianship through music technology. They also wanted to keep students performing with an element of fun.
“Students were given the option of performing a solo piece or chamber music work for two or more performers,” Badua said. “We met as a class on Zoom where I showed them examples of what they could create using various music technology resources such as SmartMusic, GarageBand, ProTools and Acapella.”
The students were able to hone their musicianship through immediate feedback from the recording technology, which helps them prepare for future careers as musicians of the 21st century, Badua said.
The videos were evaluated for high-quality performance standards including such musical elements of quality tone, intonation, phrasing and accurate rhythms/note precision.
“CJ and Raymond not only met the highest performance standard, but infused humor and Bronco pride by including CJ’s family’s Arabian horses, and Raymond portraying scenes from every students’ quarantined performance spaces,” Badua noted.
The horses in the video also have Cal Poly Pomona ties. “Some of the horses are in fact descendants of horses who are listed in the Kellogg Arabian Horse Library,” Woods said. “It was very exciting searching through the library and being able to find some of my grandparent’s old Arabian horses.”
Woods and Fong became best friends after years of sitting next to each other in four different CPP ensembles. “Even outside of class, there would be times where we would just go practice together and play more duets for fun,” Fong said. “I think it’s great how even when we’re miles apart, we can still find ways to make music and collaborate as great friends. But it was nice to see we how we could input our own humor into our art in music. Making this video made me realize how much I missed playing music next to CJ.”
Fong just graduated with a bachelor’s degree in music performance and music education. He plans to start the credential program and later pursue a graduate degree in music education and a doctorate in conducting. Woods will continue his studies at Cal Poly Pomona and plans to graduate next year.