IMG_5898 - Version 2The lyrical sounds of trumpet solo filled the hallways of Saint Viator High School on Thursday afternoon, drawing faculty members and administrators to peak into the auditorium to see who was playing.

Sure enough, it was professional trumpeter, Aaron Romm, rehearing with Saint Viator’s symphonic band before tonight’s Spring Awards Concert at 7:30 p.m. in the auditorium.

Romm is the first guest soloist to perform with the band. Together, they will play a pair of pieces written by Rafael Mendez, including the melodic “Romanza,” written for the composer’s wife and the traditional bull fighting song, “Virgen de La Macarena.”

While the latter features much of the brass section playing behind Romm’s solo, he asked for the trombone section and lower brass to play out more, during today’s rehearsal.

IMG_5877“As the soloist, I’m listening to the lowest voice,” Romm told them. “Overall, it sounds great. Nice work.”

Romm earned his undergraduate degree in music at Vanderbilt University, where he also played in its marching band during its years of football led by quarterback Jay Cutler, before going on to earn his master’s and doctorate in music at the University of Illinois.

He has played in orchestras across the Midwest and in Mexico and regularly tours with a brass quintet, Nightmusic. As an educator, Dr. Romm has maintained a studio of pre-college students at The Conservatory of Central Illinois since 2011. During the summer months, he coordinates the Illinois Summer Youth Music Trumpet Camp, an intensive program for pre-college trumpet students wishing to hone their skills in all aspects of solo and chamber performance.

IMG_5875On Wednesday and Thursday, Romm held a series of master classes where he talked about the power of setting goals, approaching music positively and the benefits of listening to other musicians.

“Have a concept of what you want to sound like,” he told them. “Listen to other musicians and focus on good tone. If you can make one long note sound interesting, you can make many notes sound interesting.”