Sim Flora is a jazz trombone player and professor emeritus / former Chairman of Music Theory and Jazz Studies at Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. A native of Southern Illinois, Dr. Flora earned his Ph.D. in Music Education at The University of Oklahoma, his Master of Music Education at Ouachita Baptist University and a Bachelor of Music from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, Illinois.
His unique and varied career has included public school teaching in Southern Illinois, free-lance trombone work on the West Coast and in the St. Louis area and a seven-year tenure as Musical Director at Six Flags Over St. Louis. During this time, he played in bands backing artists such as Sammy Davis Jr., Mel Torme, Clark Terry, Jack Jones, Nancy Wilson, and other stars of the day.
He has served on the faculty of Clark Terryʼs All-American Jazz Camps, various university summer jazz camps and has served on staff at the prestigious Alessi Seminar. Dr. Flora has presented masterclasses and directed All State and regional honor jazz bands throughout the United States. He has appeared as guest artist with many university and community bands and trombone choirs, The United States Air Force Band and has twice been featured soloist at the Eastern Trombone Workshop with The University of Alabama. He recently served as guest soloist at the International Trombone Festival with the Murray State University trombone choir, soloed with the TCU Trombone Choir for the Texas Music Educators Association, and taught three weeks as guest lecturer at Liverpool Hope University in Liverpool, England.
Dr. Flora has instrumental arrangements published by Southern Music, choral anthems published by the G. Lorenz Company and childrenʼs songs published by LifeWay Christian Resources. He and his son, Nick, operate Off The FLor Music which released Dr. Floraʼs debut CD recording entitled Sound Doctrine and in 2011, released Nick Floraʼs recording, Hello Stranger.
Sim Flora is an artist for the Michael Rath Trombone Company, plays custom built Rath trombones and in his retirement, continues to maintain a busy performance and teaching schedule.
|Don't Get Around Much Any More, at the Alessi Seminar|
|from Sim's 2007 cd Sound Doctrine -|
|What A Friend We Have In Jesus.mp3|
|Roll Call to Heaven.mp3|
|Georgia on My Mind, at the Alessi Seminar|
|Take The A Train|
It was my privilege to stand next to this man in many musical situations and perform our duties—duties to first “do no harm,” and then to lead with melodies, to play exciting, interesting and musical improvised solos, to make singers sound better and finally, to KNOW what the other was about to play. This foreknowledge can allow any ensemble to support each other with appropriate harmony, counterpoint or simply a nice sounding unison or octave passage. It was also this foreknowledge that would cause us to glance at each other, horns on faces, and simply grin approvingly, after providing what we thought was just the right line, harmony or unison figure.
Word of warning: this doesn’t happen with every trumpet / trombone duo. Below, in no particular order, are some necessary precursors
Pat and I often agreed (with a grin) that our “timely laying out provided just the right amount of space!”
Pat was one of the best musicians with whom I’ve ever played. His family misses him dearly and so do I. Making music with such a talent is a blessing, but doing it with a friend is a double blessing. As Bob Boyd stated, “Heaven’s trumpet section just received an upgrade .” What a privilege to have made music with Patrick Owen Henry.
I loved Nat King Cole because my mother loved Nat—and I love my mother! Nat’s voice and piano stylings are my earliest memory of music.more/less...
Nat, an American musical treasure, passed away fifty years ago on February 15th, 1965. Such a gift deserves a tribute, and I’ve assembled many Nat Cole musical gems for this performance. Dr. Jon Whitaker, professor of trombone at the University of Alabama, has agreed to premier the Nat Tribute concert on March 26th. We’ll be using Jon’s wonderful trombone choir and the UA Faculty Jazz Combo. This performance will be on the UA campus at Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
Songs represented will include: When I Fall In Love,Orange Colored Sky,It’s Only A Paper Moon,Sweet Lorraine,Mona Lisa,Unforgettable,Route 66, The Christmas Song,Country Medley (Dear Lonely Hearts; Ramblin’ Rose; Cold, Cold, Heart),Stars Fell On Alabama,
These arrangements by Kurt Silver, Rich Coble and myself are for a large trombone choir with no vocals! Jon has agreed to allow me to teach just a bit. I promise to keep the spoken word SHORT and a fun time for all. Come and join in this tribute to one of America’s finest musicians.
|Dr. Flora may be reached at||cell: (870) 210-6013|
|simflora251 at gmail dot com||home: (870) 246-5041|