“The vans from the United States Embassy pulled up in front of the hotel, and the four trombonists of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra—principal Timothy Myers, associate principal Amanda Stewart, Jonathan Reycraft and bass trombone Gerard Pagano—piled in,” writes Sarah Bryan Miller in Sunday’s (2/11) St. Louis Post-Dispatch, reporting from Madrid on tour with the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra. “Along with them went SLSO vice presidents Anna Kuwabara and Adam Crane, tour security man Jesse Sanchez and me. Meeting us were members of the staff of the embassy’s public diplomacy section, led by cultural attaché Christopher Quade. The SLSO group gave up half their day to perform at Puerto Atocha, the central train station in Madrid, and a children’s hospital, the Hospital Ninõ Jesus, receiving a warm reception at each.… ‘I love doing these small ensembles,’ said Pagano. ‘They’re the best way to really reach people. When we play at a retirement (place) or a school, the people we meet really appreciate it.’ ” At the children’s hospital, the group performed in an auditorium and the ICU, where “the nurses smiled for as long as the music played.”

Posted February 13, 2017