After initial training at the Alberta College Conservatory of Music with Ken Read, Alden biked to Mexico with a trombone strapped to his bike. On his way home he stopped in Arizona and had trombone lessons with Gail Eugene Wilson and Will Kimball at ASU. In 1999 he began work on his BMus at the UofA where he studied with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra‘s principal trombonist, John McPherson. In 2003 he completed his degree and began a long term artist’s residency at the Banff Centre. In the summer of 2004 Alden toured Europe as principal euphonium with the New Edmonton Wind Symphonia. Thanks to an open ended return ticket he stayed in Europe, travelled around and ended up living in La Rochelle, France where he studied with Thomas Besse at the École Nationale de Musique et de Danse.
Alden loves all music and plays in a wide variety of groups and settings. He often performs with chamber ensembles, symphony orchestras, jazz groups, salsa, ska and rock bands.
Music is fun. Music makes people feel good. Learning music can be a life-changing experience. I love going into my studio unable to play something and emerging an hour later finally able to play it or at least able to play it better. Helping someone else do the same thing and feel the same sense of accomplishment is great fun for me.
I love all styles of music. If one of my students likes a song or a band I want to learn that music and then help them to learn that music. Some things that I think make music great are interesting melodies, exquisite harmonies, groovin’ beats, well written lyrics, and most importantly energy and emotion.
Each student has a different musical background and different goals so private lessons are all individually tailored. Some of the things we work on include sound production, reading and writing music, improvising, learning new music, performing, communicating, playing from memory and a variety of practise techniques.
Practising scales and arpeggios in order to be able to play music seems silly to me. All music is basically made up of scales and arpeggios anyways – why not learn a new piece of music instead?
I like to make recordings of my students as often as possible. I have all the gear in my studio anyways so as soon as a piece is ready we just do it. At the end of the year we can listen back and see the progress that’s been made.
The only way to get good at performing for people is to perform for people. My studio usually puts on at least one concert every year. We also get together for a repertoire class and play for each other with no non-performers allowed.