A continuing opus: John Cheetham relishes a life of composition

Thursday, May 14, 2009 | 12:01 a.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — Playing trombone in a symphony orchestra is a pretty sweet gig. For starters, you play a fraction of the notes the violinists do, and you still get paid the same. Then there is that beautiful five-letter word: “tacet.” In Italian, it instructs to "be silent" for the entire movement, but to a trombone player, it means go get a drink with some friends while the rest of the orchestra practices.