Steven Witser dies at 48; L.A. Philharmonic's principal trombonist - Los Angeles TimesThe loss of a stellar player, teacher, and human: Steven Witser.
I did not have the pleasure of knowing Mr. Witser personally, but I do have several close friends and colleagues who were students and friends of his--through which, I have learned greatly.
The picture above is a scanned "Baseball trading card" style production by the Los Angeles Philharmonic's outreach program. This was shared with me by colleague Alisha Ard. These "trading cards" were passed out to children during the orchestras educational outreach program in an effort to involve children in classical music. Of the 76 trading cards assembled, Mr. Witser was the only trombonist represented. Upon inquiry as to why the only trombonist was Mr. Witser, Ms. Ard was told "SOME sections aren't as good about getting their information back to us."
:) As we all know, life often gets in the way of returned calls, email, greetings, and human contact. It's impressive to note that amongst the busy schedule with the Philharmonic and life, he took the time to share with the next generation of audiences and musicians.
The overall resonating vibe surrounding Mr. Witser's legacy through his students and peers always surrounded two facets--he was an impressive and inspiring musician, but also, or more importantly, a good human.
Thanks for all the great inspiration Steve, through your recordings and your students-- god bless you and your family, and may we aspire to similar evolution as musicians and humans.