Beyond sorry to hear. Rip was an inspiration to anyone who met him or heard him play. We all wanted what he had. His generosity of spirit, his dedication to his family and the ABQ were as pure and genuine as his laugh and his smile. An artist to the core, heart and soul. Thankfully a tiny bit of Rip lives in so many of us.
I’m saddened to the core! Sweetest, gentlest soul I’ve had the pleasure to know. So very sorry. My thoughts are with you all!
So sad after a long battle. I have never a kinder, sweeter person that I could call friend.
What a loss to the world - we at Revels are grieving the loss of a dear friend and incredible musician.
what sad news. He will be sorely missed. Who will fill his silly hats at Revels?
Oh no! I'm so sad to hear this. I was just listening to his beautiful playing on our Fragments recording last week. My love to the ABQ folks.
I'm so very sad to hear this. My memory is poor and always has been, but I will never forget Rip and the ABQ being such a wonderful part of my life. Sending my condolences and love to you all.
I am so sorry for our loss. Rest in peace Rip.
I’m so sad to hear this. He was as kind as he was talented.
Such a wonderful musician, colleague, and friend. He was the heart and soul of the Washington Revels Brass too, and they continue to carry on the tradition that he put in place of having a "family reunion" each year. He will be missed.
So blessed to have known him and played along side of him!
One of the very kindest souls I have ever had the pleasure to meet. So sorry for your loss.
I'm very sorry. May he live on through all of you who made music with him and, with him, made the world a better place.
Very sad to see this. My condolences to the ABQ.
So sorry. Such a great loss. Love to you all.
This is the saddest news. Such a gentle and kind man. I'm so glad our paths crossed in my young musician days. ❤️❤️❤️
I am so sorry for this loss 😔 I still listen to to my ABQ CDs often. Praying for peace 💕
"Yes indeed" he said, "of great consequence and worth."
A gentleman, scholar, and an incredible musician and friend.
I'm so sorry to hear this about Rip. My deepest sympathies!
I’m so sorry to hear that sad news. What a gentle, kind, patient man - with a genuine smile and SO much talent. My heart grieves for you ABQ guys, his friends and especially his family. Rest In Peace, Rip.
So sorry to hear of Rip's passing
So sorry to hear!
RIP Rip ♡ always loved hearing you play and meeting you. Ray Sprenkle's 3 Sketches will always be one of my favorites.
So sorry to hear this!
What a wonderful person/musician. RIP
Oh I am so sad to know this. Rip was a wonderful musician and beautiful soul. RIP dear friend.
So sorry to hear of Rip’s passing. Thanks to everyone for your poignant remembrances.
So very sorry. Such a gentle soul.
Omg, this is sad, Rip was a template of a musician and a friend.
He was one of a kind, a beautiful spirit. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
So sorry to hear of Rip’s passing. His legacy lives on with all the brass players and audiences ABQ touched over so many years.
So sad to hear this. He was the best and a great early mentor for me. My deepest condolences to the brass, and Rip's family.
So sorry to hear this. I have so many good memories of ABQ and all its members.
What a loss. He had such a warm soul. May your memories be a comfort to you. His loving spirit touched so many people
I am SO sorry to hear about the passing of wonderful, wonderful Rip!! My memories of him are of a very kind and gentle person whose presence added so much to the quintet just by who he was, not to mention his beautiful musicianship!! My thoughts and prayers go to his family and to all his dearest friends, of which I am sure he had many!
With my love, Heidi
So sad to hear this. I am so sorry to hear this.. He was so supportive when I was working with you and such an incredible player. The sheer power in his sound was amazing! He made me feel so welcome when we worked together (as you all did). Rest in peace dear Rip.
Sad to hear. Robert was the ABQ member that would contact me with letters and programs regarding my piece "Encounter". I probably have one or more of them in a storage box.
So sorry to hear this. What a wonderful guy.
Rip was a gentle soul and an outstanding musician. So sorry to learn of his leaving us.
I am so sorry to hear this. I always admired his playing and it was a pleasure to meet him on the occasions that our paths crossed. All condolences to his family and to his colleagues.
So sorry to hear. RIP, Rip. He was a kindred spirit.
I always loved listening to Rip - his playing and his kind encouragement. He will be missed. Condolences to you and his family and friends.
So sorry to hear this sad news. On behalf of Tower Brass, please accept our deep condolences on the passing of this monumental man. We were honored to know him and privileged to perform with him. We have such fond memories of our time with all of you. Thinking of Ellen, Annie, and all of you.
So sorry to hear. Salt of the earth, sweet and inspirational. More integrity in his baby toe than most of us could ever wish for. An artist to his core.
So sorry to hear. Rip was one of the sweetest guys...
Deepest condolences to you and to all who befriended Rip.
I have wonderful memories of being with Rip. I loved playing the dall'Abacco trio with him, and remember his soulful playing on the Carter and Dahl quintets. I so completely treasure having played so many of the renaissance and baroque pieces that were in Rip's manuscript from his forays at the Library of Congress. He was old school. Highly principled. I learned a lot from him. So sad to learn of his passing. Yes, such a big loss. Dave and Rip were really brothers, and you spent decades with them, too. I feel for all of you; Ellen, of course, and that little Annie who Rip loved so much. Rip had such a sense of style -- such a generous, elegant sweep to him. Something a little theatrical and Dickensian there, but also genuine and heartfelt. I can still hear his closing Bach speeches...I hope I will have them with me for some time to come.
I have nice memories of getting calzones with him in New York, of volleyball in the summers, and I remember something about spreading the fresh concrete in the new garage. He seemed to know how to do everything. There are so many little cartoon moments. The fromage blanc he ordered as dessert in Vichy that we all laughed about because it looked like a bowl of sour cream -- he said it was delicious. And the puny little white asparagus he ordered somewhere in Germany that he was very satisfied with though they were incredibly modest in every way as they sat there on a big plate. I could go on. Shrimp and bread with mayo and lemons in the hotel room in Oslo.
Know that I feel the pain, too. You all even more, I know; I was just a snapshot but it was a powerful shaping time for me and Rip was so very much a part of it.
Very sad, but I’m glad we could spend so many evenings together at his cozy place on the water.
I’m so terribly sorry to hear about Rip. Despite his long illness I am still a bit shocked at losing my old section mate. And despite being radically different personalities (an understatement), Rip and I had a remarkable blend and unity of purpose and style.
I am truly shocked. All who knew Rip in his special musical world will be saddened because of his wonderful character and his dedication to what we all did together for a time. He was a fierce proponent of his art and it was a pleasure to play with him.
With my finest feelings I wish to remember Robert. He was a nice and positive man, and a committed musician.
Honory Producer Belgian Radio -( Europe)
It was such a joy to know Rip and all the ABQ folks. Always positive, charming and gracious. While I have many fond performance memories I will NEVER forget the incredible encore at ABQs last performance in Annapolis. If only Rip could replicate that event and step back on the stage for one more time... Ellen, Anne and all ABQ players, my condolences, our hearts are with you. I'm so glad we knew him and he was shared with us.
Rip was in many ways a creature of a bygone era. He had a great sense of humor, but where the quintet was concerned he was all business. He often displayed an old-fashioned sense of formality and quaint manner of speech, perhaps influenced by his reverence for Shakespeare, which he would frequently read on concert tour van trips. On the frequent occasions when he were lost in finding the way to our hotel in a European city, he would say we needed to stop and "hail a citizen" to ask directions. When we took publicity photos, he thought we should always look dignified, not wanting even a hint of a smile, because he didn't believe in sending out "laughingstock" photos. He was also meticulous in his job as the quintet's "Chancellor of the Exchequer," occasionally annoyingly so. In the early days of the group, his monthly treasurer's reports were a source of dread for the rest of us, but not because the coffers were dry. It was because he would insist on reading every single purchase, payment or deposit to the penny. As a result, these meetings were interminable. But he could not be shamed into modifying his style. And even on 6-week Community Concert tours playing 5 or 6 different small towns each week, he would insist on getting to the hall an hour and a half before the program was to begin, just so he had enough time to warm up and acclimate himself to his spot on stage. But he was easily the most consistent player in the ensemble. We always knew we could count on Rip to have his part exactly where it should be. There was never any grumbling about chop problems. He was always extremely gracious with audience members at post concert receptions, even when privately he would rather be heading off to the local Pizza Hut or whatever else might be open nearby. (He would never eat before a concert.) Comparatively, all the rest of us could almost seem like we were indistinguishable, but everyone who ever saw or met the Annapolis Brass Quintet would have remembered Rip.
Rip was one of the best singers I have ever met. I know he helped to define the brass quintet, two trombones and all, but his song was inspiring nonetheless. We are all the poorer for his loss.
Bob Posten was the rock bottom foundation of the ABQ. He was a model of a true musician dedicated to his profession.
The musical world is the lesser with his departure
I had not seen Rip since 1991 when the ABQ held a reunion with past members. But I have vivid memories of Rip, the consummate bass trombonist, and Rip the man. Some of the most precious memories have been rekindled by reading previous tributes.
When I worked with him, Rip was not married. His devotion to the Quintet was second to nothing else. He had an infectious sense of humor, but when it came to practicing and performing with the quintet, he was all business. Every spare moment, Rip could be found tirelessly perfecting his part as the bass voice in the group. He was always the first one in his seat for rehearsals or for pre-concert preparations. Not only that, he studied keenly all the scores of our works, especially the new ones.
Here is just one example. When we undertook to learn Elliott Carter’s monumental Brass Quintet (1974), the complexities of the work at first appeared almost insurmountable. The metric modulations embedded throughout the work were alone enough to baffle a performer at first glance. But it was decided to divide the composition into sections and assign them to the members to study and explain to the rest of us. I remember that we estimated spending nearly 100 hours in rehearsal of the piece, not counting individual study and practice. In the end, it was Rip’s observations and understanding that were the key to unlocking the mysteries of the work. I am proud to say that our performance of Carter’s Brass Quintet in Germany in 1978 earned the Munich Critic’s Award.
At home, and on the road, Rip took responsibility for maintaining the quintet library as well as its finances, taxes and other such records. So, when we traveled in Europe, he was the one to issue us our per diems. For some reason it seemed that we often began our tours in Spain, where they always paid us in cash. When that happened, our disbursals then came in Spanish pesetas. He joked that the peseta was so worthless that the fellow on the notes looked as if he was about to cry from shame and humiliation.
Rip Posten was unfailingly honest and loyal, a great musician, colleague and friend. It is hard to think of him as being gone. I miss him.
I met Rip my freshmen year in college. At first I was not sure about him. Gradually and in time, I came to realize he was the “real deal”. With Rip you always knew what you had. We ended up being roommates for three semesters.
Among the many wonderful memories is the times we spent at the Newport Jazz Festivals. We stayed at our roommates home in Fall River. We truly got the full experience.
I admired Rip as a musician and as a person. He was committed and driven to be the best musician he could be.
It is not possible to adequately describe what a great friend he was. He loaned me the money to buy my first Bach trumpet and at a time when I suspected he did not have money to spare.
I am truly blessed to have had the great fortune to know Rip and forever grateful to call him my friend.
I’m seeing lots of folks describing the type of person Rip was and we all appreciated that about him. What I haven’t seen mentioned yet is the extent to which his personality came out of the bell of his bass trombone in a way that was really unique to Rip. What I’m referring to specifically is his control and wide array of dynamics, especially the soft dynamics especially much more often than not in the brass quintet, knowing and playing much more of a supporting role and letting the melodic line take place and play in a comfortable dynamic range without having to force to be heard. Folks, what bass trombone player have we ever known who played with such finesse? Only one comes to mind. Goodbye dear friend.
It took my breath away to learn of Bob's passing. We were close friends in high school and played in the band together. Then we both attended college together becoming fraternity brothers. Eventually Bob gave up his possible career in physics to follow his dream of performing his trombone. And whenever he returned tomhis hometown, he would visit me with a gift of his latest album. And when he was being inducted into the East Stroudsburg HS Music Hall of Fame, he and Ellen stayed with us for lovely weekend. I'll never forget playing sand lot football in the snow, smoking corn cob pipes and riding in his old Dodge. Thaks for the memoriews. RIP Po.
I was an East Stroudsburg High School 'bone player from the class of 1966. I took private lessons from Bob long before he was "Rip." He had tremendous school spirit, and I'll always remember that as an upper classman, Bob treated me like a peer when others didn't speak to those in the lower grades. This could be a false memory, but the first chair trombone players always occupied the outside marching band positions, and I think Bob was always armed with a bar of soap when we marched from borough to borough in the annual Halloween parade. Regardless, he was a great person gone too soon.
I wish to extend my condolences to the family. Robert and I where in the Naval Academy Band together in the late 60's. As singles we shared a rented house at that time. He was a great musician and a great person.
Reply to Scott Shanetzka (above):
Rip was a great friend to me in my first and only year at LVC. I joined Scott and Rip on one of those trips to the Newport Jazz Festival. My first and only time. I knew nothing about jazz, but Rip was a good teacher. Scott - do you remember that Rip suggested that we keep track of the expenses by writing them in the dust on the metal dash of the old car in which we traveled!
I later reciprocated by taking Rip (and Scott, I think) to Philadelphia to hear the Philly Orchestra. Rip wanted to learn more about classical performance. Typical of Rip, even all those years ago. - DB
The previous comments are so very fitting for RIP; the language in each so very appropriate in originality, humor, and depth of memory. Ellen and Rip, long time friends and almost family are a treasured memory that continues to inspire; daughter Anne a lovely tribute to their love of music, art, quiet dignity and penetrating intellect.
I was lucky to collaborate on an original piece of choreography accompanied by a work by the Quintet. RIP was as always, inspiring, encouraging and welcoming of creative endeavors. Yes, and a task master of the very best kind. My most resonant memory is RIP's face as he smiled a welcome and conjured imagery to celebrate friendship. He will be missed.
Robert( Po to me) and I played trombone in the East Stroudsburg High School band. We were great buddies; Po had a great ear for music and he would chide me about my "tin ear". Po was giving and unselfish; he loaned me the money to buy my trombone, a King which I still have and play. I was a year ahead of him and I went on to college. We fell out of touch due to our separate career paths. I managed to visit him when he appeared with the Quintet in Allentown some years later. My last contact was an email from him back in 2013. I am very sad to hear of his passing. I feel I have lost a fine friend, and I regret not having been able to remain in contact with him over the years. My sincere condolences to his family for their loss.
I first heard the ABQ perform at North Carolina State University and then later went to the Brass Chamber Music Workshop conducted by ABQ in July 1982. Robert Poston was very friendly and knowledgeable about the music. I remember hearing him tell us he went to the Library of Congress and transcribed music for the quintet many times. One thing I learned from the ABQ workshop was the importance of long warmups every day. He stated he would take as much as 1 1/2 hours or longer to warmup every day on the bass trombone. Condolences to the ABQ for the loss of one of their members.
I was surprised and very saddened to hear of Rip's passing.
The last time I saw him was at a performance of the Mozart K626 given
by the CYSO, honoring the passing of my daughter in 2005. She had been concertmistress there during her late H.S. years.
Rip was still the same gentle soul that I remembered from our shared days in the USNA Band, and when seeing him occasionally at CYSO rehearsals.
During the band years, I remember well our extra-band brass quintet playing. That quintet (sometimes larger) included Rip, Dave, and Butch, which three were eventually founding ABQ members.
Years later, I did see him at the Maryland Inn's jazz room, where Urbie Green was performing.
After those years, I rarely encountered Rip. But his sweet character and fine musicianship established
memories which I never forgot.
And now, I regret not having invested more in our friendship over the decades.
My most sincere condolences to his family and friends.
Requiescat in pace, my old fine friend,