The oldest continuously performing musical ensemble in America is a trombone choir. Beginning in the early 18th century, Moravian settlements in America used the trombone choir (German: Posaunenchor) as a distinctive part of worship, though it is a practice that had its roots in centuries of church tradition in Germany. It is still a widely popular tradition in Protestant churches in Germany, though these days Posaunenchor generally indicates a church brass band, rather than an all-trombone group.
The Shenandoah Conservatory Trombone Collective, directed by Dr. Matthew Niess, continues this tradition featuring new and old sacred and secular works for trombone ensemble. From Bach to Ellington they perform all genres of music for trombone ensemble and also feature new works by its members.
In the fall of 2018, the Shenandoah Conservatory Trombone Collective toured north east Pennsylvania performing for a service at the Emmaus Moravian church, accompanied the Allentown Band on “76 Trombones,” and offered performance and clinics at local high schools. They have been performed at the American Trombone Workshop hosted by The United States Army Band in Washington, D.C., as well as numerous schools and universities.
In 2016 the ensemble formed and hosted the Mid-Atlantic Trombone Alliance, a consortium of Shenandoah Conservatory, Towson University, George Mason University, Shepherd University, George Washington University and The Catholic University of America trombone departments. It is open to all trombone players (regardless of age) and offers a day of clinics, masterclasses, and performances. This year MATA will take place on Saturday, October 19.