Well-known Michigan trombonist steps into the spotlight for upcoming WMS concert

Edward “Kip” Hickman will perform rarely heard work for trombone and orchestra

Muskegon, Michigan, May 3, 2023—Edward Hickman has been the Principal Trombone of the West Michigan Symphony since 2013 and the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra’s Principal Trombone since 2001. He is a familiar face to West Michigan concertgoers, and the low brass section he fronts has become the backbone of WMS’s sound. But in an upcoming concert, Mr. Hickman—known to friends and colleagues as “Kip”—will step into the spotlight to perform the rarely-heard trombone concerto by Danish composer Launy Grøndahl. Also on the program will be Brahms’s sunny Symphony No. 2 in D Major, along with Florence Price’s Ethiopa’s Shadow in America.  

The concert will be held at 7:30pm Friday, May 19 at the Frauenthal Center, 425 W. Western Avenue. The concert is sponsored by West Shore Bank. Mr. Hickman’s appearance is sponsored by the Friends of Kip Hickman, a private group of area music aficionados and WMS supporters. The 2022-2023 Season is sponsored by Mike and Kay Olthoff. For tickets, starting at $19 for adults, $10 for students, call 231.727.8001, visit the Frauenthal box office or purchase online at www.westmichigansymphony.org.

Edward “Kip” Hikcman grew up in San Diego, CA, received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from UCLA in Music Performance and Education and his Master of Music from the University of Michigan in Trombone Performance. He also is a member of the KSO Brass Quintet and the Kalamazoo Brass. Previously, Kip was the Second Trombone in the Lansing Symphony Orchestra. He has performed with the Detroit and Grand Rapids symphonies, the Michigan Opera Theatre Orchestra, Detroit Chamber Winds and the Western Brass Quintet. He teaches privately and at the Crescendo Academy of Music, and is the Low Brass instructor for the KSO’s Kids in Tune after school program.

Brahms’s Symphony No. 2 is a rare sunny, happy work by an otherwise brooding, introspective and rather melancholy personality. It was a work written while on a lakeside summer vacation—perfect for restive West Michiganders ready for an end of the ups and downs of spring weather.

After her death in 1953, much of Florence Price’s music was forgotten or lost. The last decade has seen a renewed interest propelled by the discovery of over 200 lost compositions — including Ethiopia’s Shadow in America — in an abandoned house south of Chicago. Although she long resided in the Windy City, this tone poem places the composer squarely within the ethos of the cultural movement known as the Harlem Renaissance, whose writers, artists, musicians, and performers took pride in their Black experience and were dedicated to its representation in American culture.

Scott Speck and Kip Hickman will discuss the program during a free Lunch ‘n Learn at The Block at noon Wednesday, May 17, sponsored by Embark Financial Partners with delicious hors d’ oeuvres by Kuntry Cookin’. To RSVP, visit bit.ly/3NFzStU. ###

Michigan Arts & Culture Council
National Endowment for the Arts