Essex

Tiptree trombone sneeze man tells of 'freak event'

Trevor Smith Image copyright EAST NEWS PRESS AGENCY
Image caption Trevor Smith said he had tried unsuccessfully to recreate his now world-famous trombone sneeze

A trombonist whose sneeze into his instrument has generated global attention said he wished the ground had "swallowed him up".

Trevor Smith was in Tiptree, Essex, with the London Central Fellowship Band in February when the sneeze happened.

A video of him sneezing during the church concert has been viewed on the internet more than one million times.

Mr Smith, now nicknamed "Sneezer" by the band, said it was a "freak event" in a 50-year playing career.

Image copyright EAST NEWS PRESS AGENCY
Image caption Mr Smith warned others not to try trombone-sneezing at home

"I couldn't recreate it if I tried. It came on very suddenly," he said.

"I realised it was coming and I pushed the instrument forward slightly but this sneeze was so violent that the reflex action forced my neck forward and it just fitted perfectly with the mouthpiece and made this horrendous noise.

'Wholly surreal'

"I've been playing the trombone for about 50 years - since I was very, very young, you understand - and that was a totally freak event.

"I wanted the ground to open and swallow me up when it happened.

"We played all sorts of music - loud, soft, quiet, fast - and if it had happened during the opening piece, Olympic Fanfare (by John Williams), nobody would have noticed."

Asked about the attention he had received, Mr Smith said: "It has been wholly surreal. At the time I thought it was horrendous, but the band took it in good spirit; they just carried out as though nothing had happened.

"But it has grown exponentially. It has gone around the globe and in America Bill Himes, who wrote the piece (Procession to Covenant), said on Twitter if he realized such a thing was possible he would have written it in."

He warned others not to try a trombone sneeze at home. "You could end up breaking your teeth on the metal mouthpiece," he said.

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