10. University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music – Cincinnati, OH
Notable Faculty: Timothy Anderson, Peter Norton
One of the biggest advantages of being a brass player is that when you go to a large conservatory, you are still among the select few in your school since there are always less brass players than string players, pianists, and vocalists. At CCM, we find that trombonists are offered well over a dozen university-sponsored ensembles to perform in, including three symphonic orchestras, three bands/wind ensembles, a brass-specific choir, a modern music group, several jazz bands and combos, and even a trombone choir, among many more groups.
Situated in a college known for having a strong brass department, the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music has produced fine alumni that have ascended the ranks of the brass world, including trombonists who have won positions in the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Cincinnati Orchestra, and the Atlanta Symphony, among others . Here is a list of some notable alumni.
9. University of North Texas – Denton, TX
Notable Faculty: Jan Kagarice, Tony Baker
Possibly the most populated trombone studio in America, the University of North Texas has over 70 trombonists at the college pursuing studies in classical trombone, jazz trombone, and even education. Still, don’t let the large number of students make you think you won’t get the individual attention you deserve: the University of North Texas legitimately hosts over 1,000 performances annually, ensuring myriads of opportunities for young student trombonists to perform classical and jazz music at the highest level in a number of genres via jazz ensembles, solo recitals, symphonic orchestras, wind bands, and chamber groups. Their recent trombone alumni have accepted teaching positions at Ohio University, Howard College, and the University of Minnesota, among dozens of more colleges. Alumni of the program are performing in orchestras such as the Fort Worth Symphony, the Houston Grand Opera Orchestra, and the Dallas Opera Orchestra.
8. Yale School of Music – New Haven, CT
Notable Faculty: Scott Hartman
Scott Hartman is one of the most distinguished and eminent trombonists today, having begun his international career as a member of the world-famous group the Empire Brass, who have appeared on Good Morning America, Today Show, and even everyone’s favorite Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood. Scott is now a member of many other groups, including the Millennium Brass Quintet. Along with Joseph Alessi, Blair Bollinger, and Mark Lawrence, Scott Hartman is considered one of the finest living musicians playing trombone.
His students have demonstrated considerable ethic and leadership in classical music, including recent students who have become members of the Canadian Brass and the Alabama Symphony Orchestra. For graduate students only, the Yale School of Music accepts premiere talent that has gradutaed from the top schools.
7. Northwestern University Bienen School of Music – Evanston, IL
Notable Faculty: Michael Mulcahy, Timothy Higgins, Randall Hawes
It is no secret that Northwestern University has long been a leader in producing the world’s finest brass musicians; indeed, members of the Boston Symphony, New York Philharmonic, The President’s Own Marine Band, and the Berlin Philharmonic, among countless other major orchestras, were once students of Northwestern University’s brass program. The trombone faculty at Northwestern is especially outstanding, with teachers like Michael Mulcahy, trombonist of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, as well as trombonist Timothy Higgins, who travels between Illinois and California as a member of both the Northwestern faculty and the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra. Like at many top schools, incoming Doctoral students are afforded stipends and free tuition to pursue brass studies at the highest levels.
For more information on what their recent students have done, check out the alumni page of the Northwestern University trombones website.