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This is a preview of a proposed project.

Free Air

"Free Air" is an exciting new composition for trombone and organ. Some funding is needed to bring "Free Air" to everyone via CD.


Free Air  is the title of a composition by David R. Gaines.  The composition will be premiered by Eileen Meyer Russell and Ellsworth Peterson on October 9, 2014.  Meyer Russell and Peterson will record Free Air in the spring of 2015.  The performing and recording venue is a chapel on the campus of Southwestern University, where Meyer Russell is a music professor and Peterson is a professor emeritus. The commission fee for Gaines is covered by a grant that Meyer Russell received from the Sam Taylor Fellowship. The goal for this New Music USA project is to secure a grant to cover the costs related to recording, editing, and mixing David Gaines’ new composition for trombone and organ, Free Air.  

Meyer Russell has been recording tracks for a CD project since 2012.  Over the past three years she has been commissiong and premiering new works that are then recorded, mixed, and edited by George Oldziey of Greenhaven Studio in Austin, TX. The title of Meyer Russell’s CD and the composition by Gaines, “Free Air,” is inspired by words often used by Professor M. Dee Stewart from the Jacob’s School of Music at Indiana University. Prof. Stewart taught  Meyer Russell that a free and relaxed airstream is the best way to create a beautiful sound.

When Meyer Russell decided to commission Gaines to write a piece for trombone and organ, she asked Gaines to title his work “Free Air” to match the CD title. Both the trombone and pipe organ generate sound with air, so the title for the composition seems quite appropriate. The cover of the CD will be a photo of an air pump from a gas station with the words “Free Air”on a sign.

Gaines recently visited Texas to work with Meyer Russell and Peterson on site with the pipe organ that is located at the Chapel on the SU campus.  The threesome worked through the sample pages of the composition, and shared ideas for different sections of the work.  Gaines has an May 2014 deadline for completion. Meyer Russell’s CD project will be completed in the summer of 2015.

Project Media

“Lyric Fanfare”for trombone and piano by David R. Gaines
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Eileen Meyer Russell and David Gaines met in 2009 at a low brass conference. Meyer Russell was impressed with Gaines and his music, and she began performing his “Lyric Fanfare” regularly on her recital tours. In 2011 Meyer Russell decided to record a CD (“Free Air”) of music that she commissioned, music that she arranged, and existing low brass music that had never been recorded. “Lyric Fanfare” was recorded for this CD in 2012 with Kiyoshi Tamagawa collaborating on piano. George Oldziey from Greenhaven Studio was the recording engineer.

Excerpts from “Shall and Hall”by Alfred Schnittke

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“Shall and Hall,” which translates as “Sound and Resound,”makes use of sound effects and the overtone series on trombone paired with similar effects on pipe organ. This is a live recording of Eileen Meyer Russell and Ellsworth Peterson performing in 2008 in the Southwestern University Chapel. The SU Chapel will be the location of the recording sessions for “Free Air.” The excerpt showcases the performers’ talents, and is an example of challenging and rewarding new music composed for trombone and organ. (Recorded with a ZoomH4n).

“Jubilee” for euphonium and piano by David R. Gaines
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Features: David Gaines

“Jubilee” was recorded and released by Navona Records on the CD “Conversations.” The CD has keyboard and chamber music by John Bilotta and David Gaines. “Jubilee” is performed by Robert Kozanek (euphonium) and Ivana Kozankova Hlavorova (piano). Gaines is an excellent composer, and as a low brass player, he is especially in tune with the ways to show off brass instruments. This is why Meyer Russell was inspired to commission Gaines to write a new work for trombone and organ. Can’t wait!

Start and End Dates



Georgetown, Texas

Project Created By

Georgetown, Texas
Eileen Meyer Russell is an Associate Professor of Music in the Sarofim School of Fine Arts at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas and Principal Trombonist in the Round Rock (TX) Symphony. She is Trombone Clinician and Artist Representative for C.G. Conn/Selmer Musical Instruments. Dr. Meyer Russell’s most recent performing projects include a concert of new…

In Collaboration With

Rockville, Maryland
Recording Engineer
Georgetown, Texas