Crystal Matthews, Trombone

Crystal Matthews, trombone

Crystal Matthews 120x152She thought it would be easy. After all, it had no valves and you didn’t need to finger anything. Wrong. “Trombone is hard when you have to play fast notes and all you have is a slide!”

Crystal chose trombone in fourth grade in Vallejo, California, because it sounded awesome and there weren’t many girls playing. “I was a tomboy and that seemed cool.” She completely took to it. She played all through high school, in marching band, jazz band and orchestra. She played in a brass band in college at SF State, where she majored in cinema and animation with a minor in music. And all along she was also a competitive swimmer (long distance) and water polo player (which continued even after college).

Crystal played in the Symphonic Band at Diablo Valley College for 12-13 years (where, coincidentally, she met our principal horn player, Adrienne). And, in the summers, she has played with the Stars 2000 program in Walnut Creek (training ground for aspiring teenage stars aiming for Broadway musicals).

But, Crystal took a little detour. She joined a punk band. Yep. The Mystic Knights of the Cobra. “I was definitely more classically trained, so it was a stretch.” She did some improve and added color to the heavy sound. Made two records with them! Check ’em out on Facebook.

Then, about 7-8 years ago, Prometheus needed a trombone sub for Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony, which has some awesome bone parts. A fellow trombone player from DVC brought Crystal along too. “I came to a dress and the concert, and got hooked by Bruce (our principal trombone player) and Eric.” Not to mention old home week with Adrienne. She decided Prometheus is the place for her. “I get to play a wide repertoire, things I would never play anywhere else. I really enjoy playing with this group.”

Now, classical music is notorious for giving trombones amazingly long rests, tacet movements and entire pieces with no parts for them. What the heck are they doing back there while the rest of us are playing? “Well, in rehearsals we’re on the phone or reading. But during concerts we really enjoy listening to the orchestra play some wonderful music.” Audience: keep an eye on them. You’ll enjoy watching them play and please report back on activities during the rests.

Crystal: punk rock’s loss, our gain.

~Joyce Vollmer

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