I promise I don't only view the world through Adagio so bear with me...
The OTJ Forum ("Discuss and Discover the Trombone") had a recent poll to vote on preferred arrangement of Barber's Adagio. To the trombonists' credit, string orchestra won out over the arrangement for trombone choir (which I'll admit I haven't heard). All well and good, but then I just read Paul Bailey's post where he laments the traditionally limited path for trombonists:
listening to them talk and prepare the same few excerpts seemed like they were limiting the trombone to a character actor status instead of practicing an instrument that is capable of a wide range of expression. many of my lessons on classical repertoire were consumed not with musical expression, but strategies and discussion of the various “schools and sounds” in the trombone world.
He also points out that playing the traditional repetoire, despite its lack of connection to contemporary culture, is the equivalent of having comedians today primarily performing vaudeville. Today, for something different, I happened to read comic Jay Mohr's book about his two years on Saturday Night Live. While Mohr behaved in some less than flattering ways, at the end, he comes across well by forsaking his SNL gig in order to regularly perform as he was driven to do. Clearly, SNL was stifling his creativity and so he found a means of expression more true to himself. It sounds like Bailey, at some point, made a similar decision to focus on his own ensemble instead of the conventional "paradigm."
And apparently, Chris Farley was the funniest man alive and a great guy.