Hartt School Trombone Ensemble Hosts Fourth Annual Holiday Benefit Concert Tonight

The Hartt School Trombone Ensemble will present its Fourth Annual Holiday Concert to benefit The Hartt School Community Division's (HCD) Fund for Access tonight, December 15, 2015 at 6 p.m. at the Bliss Music Room located at the University of Hartford's Fuller Music Center. Admission is free with a suggested donation at the door, and all proceeds support financial aid programs providing opportunities for Greater Hartford students to participate in the performing arts.

The locally beloved ensemble will ring in the spirit of the season with a program of favorite Christmas carols arranged for trombones, including "Deck the Halls," "Jingle Bells," "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," and "A Christmas Song," plus a festive audience sing-a-long.

Hartt Trombone Ensemble Director Matthew Russo says, "In 2012, the ensemble responded to the tragedy in Newtown, Conn., with a simple concert as a way to promote healing for the local community. After the performance, the ensemble voted to make this an annual event for the Greater Hartford area. This year, we are proud to support the Fund for Access as a means to invest in the education of our community's students."

The Fund for Access was established in the 1990s as a means to provide high-caliber performing arts instruction to Hartford-area students who otherwise might not be able to afford it. The fund has been generously supported by private individuals, foundations, and corporations, but requires annual donations and gifts from the community to meet the ongoing needs of qualified students.

The Fund for Access awards more than $130,000 in need-based financial assistance to more than 150 Community Division music and dance students from nearly 30 towns in the region. Those interested in supporting the Fund for Access but unable to attend the concert may make a donation through the HCD website, hartford.edu/hcd/give.

The Hartt Trombone Ensemble is made up of undergraduate and graduate trombone students at The Hartt School. In December 2012, the ensemble raised nearly $1,200 for the Sandy Hook School Support Fund following the tragedy at Newtown. In the 2015-16 season, the ensemble will premiere nearly a dozen new works for trombone ensemble written by students from Hartt's composition department. Matthew Russo is director of the Hartt Trombone Ensemble and also serves as Instructor of Trombone at the University of Connecticut and faculty at The Hartt School Community Division.

The Hartt School is the performing arts conservatory of the University of Hartford that offers innovative degree programs in music, dance, and theatre. Founded in 1920, Hartt has been an integral part of the University of Hartford since its charter merged the then Hartt School of Music, the Hartford Art School, and Hillyer College to create the University in 1957. 2010 marked Hartt's 90th year of providing world class performing arts education to students in Greater-Hartford and around the world. With more than 400 concerts, recitals, plays, master classes, dance performances, and musical theatre productions each year, performance is central to Hartt's curriculum. For more information about The Hartt School, visit hartford.edu/hartt.

The Hartt School Community Division (HCD)is a comprehensive community arts school that annually provides performing arts instruction to more than 2,800 students. As the community arm of The University of Hartford's Hartt School, the mission of HCD is to enrich lives through innovative and unparalleled performing arts education. HCD's diverse programing provides a comprehensive music and dance experience for students of all ages and abilities. For more information on The Hartt School Community Division, visit hartford.edu/hcd.

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