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Friday, May 4, 2012

Bass Trombonist’s Last Blast At Symphony Hall

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BSO Trombonist Douglas Yeo warms up in the basement of Symphony Hall in Boston. (Jesse Costa/Here & Now)Douglas Yeo explains to Here & Now producer Lynn Menegon that BSO patrons used to enter Symphony Hall via this back entrance, which he says creates the effect of walking into a "temple of music." (Jesse Costa/Here & Now)BSO Trombonist Douglas Yeo warms up in the basement of Symphony Hall in Boston. He says he prefers to avoid smaller, cramped practice rooms. (Jesse Costa/Here & Now)An exhibit of 17th Century wooden horns, called serpents, which trombonist Doug Yeo helped to establish at Symphony Hall. Yeo is a serpent historian and player. (Jesse Costa/Here & Now)(Jesse Costa/Here & Now)BSO Trombonist Douglas Yeo. (Jesse Costa/Here & Now)BSO Trombonist Douglas Yeo, speaking with Here & Now producer Lynn Menegon, on the stage of Symphony Hall in Boston. (Jesse Costa/Here & Now)Trombonist Doug Yeo helped to establish archives of old photographs, reviews, instruments and more at the BSO. He says when he first arrived at the orchestra in the 80s, objects were strewn about in a room like in "King Tut's tomb," he said. (Jesse Costa/Here & Now)

Saturday night the world-famous Boston Symphony Orchestra says goodbye to Doug Yeo, who’s been the BSO’s bass trombonist for the past 27 years.

Here & Now listeners will remember our interview with him a few years back in which he played a 17th-century wooden horn called the serpent because it looks like a big coiled snake.

Yeo is as expressive as his music. He’s played at Fenway Park and Super Bowl 36 when the Patriots beat the Rams, and he’s played with Big Bird and Elmo as conductors.

After playing in Beethoven’s “9th Symphony” with the BSO Saturday night, Yeo will take his final bow from the conductor’s podium, a tradition for the orchestra’s retiring musicians. Here & Now‘s Lynn Menegon took a tour of Symphony Hall with Yeo, on a day when violinist auditions were taking place. And she uncovered something about what makes a musician, an orchestra and a legendary music hall tick like a well-kept metronome.


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