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Remembering Peter Kline

Peter Kline, performing in concert.
Courtesy photo
Peter Kline, performing in concert.

As word spreads of the recent passing of trombonist William Peter Kline, former member of the San Antonio Symphony, but more significantly an important part of San Antonio's classical music scene and also a long time member of the music faculty of San Antonio College, the grief of losing such an important friend and colleague grows deeper.

The best we can do is to follow the example Pete set, of faith, humility, professionalism and, perhaps most importantly, the highest level of artistry. These he learned from his teacher at the Eastman School of Music, Emory Remington. In the nine-minute video below, you'll hear Pete speak of Remington with awe and an emotional quiver in his voice. The lessons we learn from our teachers become lessons we teach to others. Pete taught many lessons to his students, but he also shared them with his colleagues. To make music with Pete was an always joyous experience.

San Antonio Brass Quintet, c. 1977
James Baker
San Antonio Brass Quintet, c. 1977

Musical bookends here consist of Giovanni Gabrieli's "Canzona per Sonare No. 2," played at a spontaneous concert outside of Pete's house the day before he passed away. The other bookend is a motet by Johannes Brahms, arranged for brass and played by the San Antonio Brass Quintet, a group Pete helped form in 1976. For five wonderful years I played with the ensemble, including my final concert with them in April of 1981.

May this serve as an offering to the memory of Peter Kline, with hopes it will offer some consolation to his family and legion of friends.

Peter Kline will be remembered with a special program on "Classics a la Carte" this Friday, December 11 at 7 p.m. on KPAC 88.3 FM and KTXI 90.1 FM.

—James Baker