Welcome New Trombone Students and Congratulations to our 2018 Graduates!

It is with great pleasure that we welcome in our new class of students:

  • Beau Ballard – Aledo
  • Felipe Brito – Sao Paulo, Brazil
  • Duncan Crow – Pflugerville
  • Joshua Hernandez – Pearsall
  • Aiden Gundersen – Austin
  • Matt Schwartz – Pflugerville
  • Matt Ker – Orlando, FL
  • Evan Williams – Cummings, AL

We are thrilled to have you join our family!

Photo (l to r) Aiden, Beau, Evan, Duncan, Matt, Felipe, Joshua

We also send congratulations and best wishes to our 2018 graduating class:

  • Tyler Jacks – BM
  • Tyler Smolovik – MM
  • Sterling Tanner – DMA
  • Jamey Van Vandt – DMA

Hook ’em Horns!

UT Trombone Choir Performs at 2017 International Trombone Festival

The University of Texas Austin Trombone Choir presented a showcase concert, on July 1st , at the 2017 International Trombone Festival in Redlands, California. The program took place in the University of Redlands Memorial Chapel and featured original compositions written from trombone ensemble, including works by two UT composers – current student, Austin Ali and UT alum, Jack Wilds.

In a related note, the group won second-place honors in the 2017 ITA Remington International Trombone Choir Competition. Other competition finalists included Northwestern University (winner), Hannover Germany Trombone Class (third place) and the Juilliard Trombone Choir (fourth place).

2017-18 UT Guest Trombone Artists Announced

Fresh off a stimulating year that was highlighted by UT visits by Mnozil Brass, James Markey (Boston Symphony), Nathan Zgonc (Atlanta Symphony), Zach Bond (Yong Siew Toh Conservatory in Singapore), and UT alums Bill Thomas (Tonhalle-Orchester Zurich) and David Garcia (Zurich Opera Orchestra), studio members are looking forward to upcoming visits by Doug Yeo (former Boston Symphony bass trombonist), Viento Sur (Argentine trombone quartet), 2 extraordinary jazz artists (Conrad Herwig and John Fedchock), and the spectacular Spanish Brass!

Additional details posted soon!

Doug Yeo (pictured)

UT Has Strong Presence at 2017 Southeast Trombone Symposium. Jeanette Velasco wins solo competition.

The Southeast Trombone Symposium is an annual summer trombone workshop hosted by the Schwob School of Music at Columbus State University in Columbus, GA. The 2017 STS was held June 22-27 and included an intense week of competitions, recitals and masterclasses; and performances of solo repertoire, chamber music, and orchestral excerpts by STS students and faculty.

All workshop attendees auditioned and were placed into 3 categories.  UT trombonists, Ryan Murray, Jeanette Velasco and Tim Maines were all selected for the top group of performers – the Participants Class – and each scored very highly in chamber ensemble placements. Additionally, this year’s STS winners included Jeanette Velasco, first prize in the solo competition and Tim Maines, third prize winner. Jeanette is a 2016 BM graduate from UT, while Tim and Ryan are current undergraduate students.

The top competition prize – a new Shires trombone (valued at over $6,000) – was custom built, using modular components, for Jeanette at the symposium.

Previous 1st prize winners in STS Competitions from UT include: Dillon MacIntyre (2016), Sterling Tanner (2015) and Josh Balleza (2014).

Members of the 2017 STS faculty included:  Colin Williams, Assistant Principal Trombone, New York Philharmonic Orchestra; Nathan Zgonc, Assistant Principal Trombone, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra; James Markey, Bass Trombone, Boston Symphony Orchestra; Bill Thomas, Assistant Principal Trombone, Tonhalle-Orchester Zurich; and Bradley Palmer, Professor of Trombone, Columbus State University.


Photo (left to right) – Tim Maines, Gram Lee, Jeanette Velasco, and Ryan Murray

Student Success in the 2017 Zellmer Minnesota Orchestra Trombone Competition

Three of the five trombonists chosen for the final round of the Zellmer Minnesota Orchestra Trombone Competition, held in Minneapolis June 2, 2017, have Butler School of Music ties: Jeanette Velasco (a 2016 BM grad) won the $2,500 2nd prize, Dillon MacIntyre (another 2016 BM grad) won the $1,500 3rd prize, and Evan Williams (a current MM student) won a $500 Finalist prize. Dillon was also a finalist in the Oregon Symphony principal trombone audition held earlier this spring (his very first professional audition).


(photo left to right) Dillon MacIntyre, Jeanette Velasco and Evan Williams.

Famed trombone soloist, James Markey, will visit UT in January 2017

jamesmarkey_345x290Fresh off a stimulating couple of years that were highlighted by UT visits from Joseph Alessi (New York Philharmonic), Paul Welcomer (San Francisco Symphony), Ken Thompkins (Detroit Symphony), David Fedderly (Baltimore Symphony) and UT alums Brian Hecht (Atlanta Symphony) and John Schwalm (Chicago Lyric Opera); studio members are looking forward to an upcoming visit from James Markey, bass trombonist for the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Markey will present a masterclass on Sunday, January 29, 4:00pm, in the UT Recital Studio.  The following day, January 30, he will present a solo recital  at 7:30 pm, in the Recital Studio.  These events are free and open to the public.

Jeanette Velasco wins 2016 UT Concerto Competition!

Jeanette and DillonJeanette Velasco (senior, bass trombone performance major) was named winner of the 2016 UT Concerto Competition (Wind,Brass, Percussion Division). She will perform the Steven Verhelst Concertino with the UT Symphony Orchestra on February 17 at 7:30pm in Bates Recital Hall. That concert will also feature Respighi’s Pines of Rome and Fountains of Rome.

Justin Dunlap and Sterling Tanner win 2016 ATW Solo Competitions!

Four UT students were named finalists in 2016 American Trombone Workshop National Solo Competitions: Ben Yang (freshman, bass trombone performance major), Justin Dunlap (freshman, trombone performance major), Sterling Tanner (2nd year MM bass trombone performance major), and Evan Sankey (2nd year DMA trombone performance major). The ATW National Solo Competition is an annual event that gives students and young professionals an opportunity to compete with soloists drawn from around the world. The organization has drafted the event as follows:

Recordings are sent to ATW for review in November. From this semifinal round, up to three entrants per division are invited to compete in an open public recital doing the workshop in front of a distinguished panel of judges. The judges select winners and provide valuable comments to each of the competitors.

This year’s event was held March 9 and 10 in Brucker Hall – the United States Army’s Performance Center – located at historic Fort Myer, Virginia, just across the Potomac River from the nation’s capital.

Justin was selected as winner in Tenor Trombone Division 1 (for trombonist age 18 and under) and Sterling was selected as winner in Bass Trombone Division 3 (the most advanced competition category).

The ATW is the largest professionally organized and staffed annual trombone conference in the United States. Soloist, educators, and students — as well as university and college trombone ensembles from around the world — attend the workshop.


(l to r) Sterling Tanner, Ben Yang, Evan Sankey, Justin Dunlap

UT and the Royal Academy of Music in Aarhus, Denmark establish a Trombone Exchange Program

Professors Johansen and Brickens with the combined trombone studios

Professors Johansen and Brickens with the combined studios during a rehearsal break outside the UT Music Building.

Several years ago, the UT Butler School of Music established an exchange program with several of the top European schools of music. As a tie in to that initiative, the trombone programs at UT and the Royal Academy of Music in Aarhus, Denmark (RAMA) scheduled, during the 2010-11 school year, a very successful exchange of trombone professors from the respective institutions – Niels-Ole Bo Johansen (Professor at RAMA) and Nathaniel Brickens (Professor at UT) each swapped teaching positions to serve as visiting teachers in residence at their international counterpart. During 2011-12, in an effort to advance the cultural, artistic and educational associations one step further, the thirteen members of the Trombone Studio from the Royal Academy of Music in Aarhus (Denmark) visited Austin, April 15 – 22, for a week of shared masterclasses, clinics, recitals, concerts and social activities. The Danes and the UT studio capped off the week by traveling to Fort Worth to present a joint trombone choir concert at the Fort Worth Trombone Summit, hosted by Professor David Begnoche at Texas Christian University. The UT Austin Trombone Studio, fresh off 2012 performances in France, Switzerland and Germany, is presently making plans to complete their exchange portion of the commitment with RAMA by traveling to Aarhus, March 10-15, 2014.