Nowhere in "The Twelve Days of Christmas" is there a word about four trombonists.
But maybe there should be.
Four accomplished trombone players - friends since their freshman days at Penn State - will perform a free concert at 3 p.m. Sunday at St. John the Evangelist Church, 311 Lotz Ave., in the Lakemont section of Altoona.
The Nittany Trombone Quartet consists of (from left) Bruce Tychinski, Jon Moyer, Sean Reusch and Matt?Neff.
The concert will celebrate the quartet's 25 years together and the release of its first CD, "Christmas with the Nittany Trombone Quartet." The CD includes its new arrangements of Christmastime favorites.
Two of the quartet members, Bruce Tychinski of Altoona and Matt Neff of Hollidaysburg, met at an eighth-grade county band festival, Tychinski recalled.
They came to the trombone in different ways. As a youngster, Tychinski had heard a neighbor's trombone playing. When his twin brother, Brian, and he were at Fairview Elementary School, Brian wanted to play drums. (Brian is now the band director at Hempfield High School in Greensburg). Bruce chose to try the trombone.
If you go
What: Free Christmas concert by Nittany Trombone Quartet
When: 3 p.m. Sunday
Where:?St. John the Evangelist Church, 311 Lotz Ave., Lakemont
Then there were, he said, "the great stories." His first trombone teacher, the late Jim Pross of Altoona, had been a member of the U.S. Army Band and, during World War II, traveled all over Europe with the Army's 28th Division Band. He knew and played with the time's famous trombonists.
Pross' grandfather was also an accomplished trombonist. When Pross was 12, John Phillip Sousa's band would stop in Altoona while touring and play music at his grandfather's house.
"Today, it would be like having a member of the NFL stay at your house," he said.
"I was inspired by the stories," Tychinski said, pausing to add, "and I had a little bit of talent."
He is now professor of trombone at the University of Delaware.
Neff's older brother, David, was playing trombone when Neff picked up the instrument. He was in the first grade at Curtin Elementary School. Although he says first grade was "too early," he started lessons with now-retired trombone teacher Jack Sears, with whom he still keeps in touch.
Neff is now the senior chief musician in the U.S. Navy Band, which he has been a member of for 20 years.
At Penn State, Neff and Tychinski met Jon Moyer of Butler and Sean Reusch of Toms River, N.J. They all studied trombone under professor Mark Lusk, who for the past quarter-century has been their friend and mentor.
Moyer received his doctorate and is the band director at Central York Middle School. Reusch is a member of the Presidio Brass Quintet and a freelance trombonist in southern California.
Fred Fornwalt, a trombone player and St. John the Evangelist parishioner, coordinates musical concerts at the church.
He recalled that Neff and Tychinski competed for first chair district and regional orchestra spots when they were in high school.
"Both succeeded very, very well," he said. "We're happy to celebrate them."
As for the concert, Tychinski said, "It's always special for us to play for friends and family."