Nathaniel O. Brickens

Professor of Trombone


Nathaniel O. Brickens,

Professor of Music at The University of Texas at Austin, teaches trombone and serves as director of the internationally acclaimed UT Trombone Choir.  He holds a D.M.A. from The University of Texas at Austin, an M.M. from the University of Michigan, and a B.M. from Southern University. In recognition of his teaching, he has received several citations including being nominated for a 2013 UT Regents Outstanding Teacher Award, a 2012 Blunk Memorial Professorship, and the UT Senate of College Councils 2009 Professor of the Year Award; and was the recipient of a 2009 College of Fine Arts Distinguished Teacher Award, a 2006-07 Dad’s Association Centennial Teaching Fellowship and a 2005 Texas Exes Excellence in Teaching Award.  His students have won competitions sponsored by the International Trombone Association, the Eastern Trombone Workshop, the Zellmer Minnesota Orchestra Trombone Competition, Big XII Conference, MTNA, Fort Worth Trombone Summit, and others. As a free-lance trombonist, Brickens has performed with the St. Louis Symphony, the Kansas City Symphony, the Houston Symphony, Opera St. Louis, the Austin Symphony, the San Antonio Symphony, the Victoria Bach Festival Orchestra, Ray Charles, Lena Horne, the Temptations, Andrea Bocelli, and with a wide variety of other popular artists.  He has toured nationally as trombonist in the Texas Opera Theater Orchestra (the touring arm of the Houston Grand Opera), the Paragon Brass Ensemble, and the Chicago-based Black Music Repertory Ensemble.  He has performed on NBC’s Today Show and on the stage of many of our nation’s finest concert halls.  Several concerts have been heard on National Public Radio and Public Radio International broadcasts.  Brickens is a vocal advocate for the trombone and an active member of the International Trombone Association.  He served as ITA President (2002-2004), and presided over meetings in Helsinki, Finland and Ithaca, New York. An artist/clinician for Edwards Musical Instruments, he has performed at festivals in Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Denmark, Germany, Finland, Puerto Rico, Russia, and The Netherlands.   He has conducted the UT Trombone Choir in concerts presented in France, Germany, Switzerland, Brazil, and throughout the U.S.  His teachers include Paul Adams, Glenn P. Smith, David Waters and Donald Knaub.

Sterling Tanner

Trombone Teaching Assistant

A native of Alabama, Sterling Tanner holds a Bachelor of Music Education Degree from Columbus State University, a Master of Music Degree from the University of Texas at Austin (UT), and he is currently working towards a Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in Trombone Performance at UT. His principal teachers include Nathaniel Brickens and Bradley Palmer.

Sterling has built a solid record as a trombone teacher through his work at Longhorn Music Camps, and in the Leander Independent School District; having taught at Vandergrift High School, Canyon Ridge Middle School, and Four Points Middle School.

In addition to performing in UT’s top ensembles, Sterling is an active freelance artist and has performed with the Macon Symphony Orchestra (GA), the LaGrange Symphony Orchestra (GA), and the Mid-Texas Symphony (TX). He is a founding member of Somos Quartet, a group that has been featured in performance at the Big 12 Trombone Conference, the Texas State University Trombone Symposium, and at various venues across central Texas.

Sterling is also an accomplished soloist, and was named winner of the 2016 American Trombone Workshop Division III Bass Trombone Solo Competition, the 2015 Southeastern Trombone Symposium S.E. Shires Solo Competition, and he was a finalist in the 2016 International Trombone Festival’s Donald Yaxley Solo Competition. He has also shared the stage with trombone greats such as Jim Markey, Charlie Vernon, Denson Paul Pollard, George Curran, Joseph Alessi, Bill Thomas, and Gerry Pagano. From 2010-2014, he collaborated in a unique recording project at Columbus State University where various trombone artists recorded solo works with trombone ensemble. The culmination of that collaboration resulted in a compact disk released by Summit records entitled, “A Beautiful Noise”.