Randy Malm, Trombone

Randy  Malm

Columbia Orchestra Member for Decades (can’t remember when I started)

I began with piano at some single digit age, but piano was never my main instrument. I tried trumpet in 6th grade, but switched to trombone in 7th and dropped it junior year due to a school change (no instrumental music at the new school).

I trained for a career in Electrical Engineering at the University of Bridgeport (Connecticut), and worked in that field and project management for just over 30 years, retiring early. After about 7 years of retirement, I started a home improvement business which I still own and operate. (I am really the only employee.)

I also trained as a pilot, holding a commercial license, with single-engine land and sea, multi-engine land, and instrument ratings. While I owned a small plane back then, I am inactive in that field now.

In the late 1970’s, I joined the Columbia Concert Band playing trombone after a 22 year hiatus, then moved to a jazz big band course at UMBC, then joined the Columbia Big Band (CBB). In the early 1980’s I co-produced a Big Band jazz show at Ethel’s Place (which featured renowned jazz singer Ethel Ennis), Ethel’s Place being a new jazz club in Baltimore directly across the street from the Meyerhoff Theater. Playing in that show was probably the greatest musical high of my life, certainly at that time, anyway.

I never really lost interest in piano though, and in the early 1980’s received some piano lessons from Marc Cohen (now Marc Copeland), who is a pretty well known jazz pianist. He had a remarkably different approach to teaching piano which I have never forgotten. I would be happy to talk about it sometime. After those lessons, I played much more piano than ever before, and I still play often, mostly just improv and mostly at home.

In the early 1990’s I joined the Columbia Jazz Band (CJB) (not to be confused with the Columbia Big Band (CBB)), but this time on bass guitar. I had never played the bass guitar before, so I had to learn it really quickly. At present, I am still in that position. That band is currently under the direction of Pete Barrenbregge, former director of the Airmen of Note, the Air Force’s premier jazz band. In 2008, I toured Europe with the CJB, playing in the Montreux (Switzerland) Jazz Festival, and three other locations in Europe. More Europe touring is in the works. We have also played at Blues Alley, Washington, DC’s top jazz supper club.

I don’t remember when I joined the Columbia Orchestra, but I know it was in the previous century. I play 2nd trombone there. I have no training in classical music, so every season is a new adventure.

I also play in a trombone choir which is (usually) 12 trombones, playing under the direction of David Fetter, a former Principal Trombone in the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.

If you are in the market for any home improvements, please check my ad in the Orchestra Programs.

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