6. Arizona State University – Tempe, AZ
Notable Faculty: Douglas Yeo
After 27 years as bass trombonist of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, previous New England Conservatory faculty members Douglas Yeo joined the trombone faculty at Arizona State University in 2012. A remarkable trombonist, in 2014 he was recognized with the International Trombone Associations 2014 ITA award, which is among the highest and most recognized individual awards any trombonist can receive.
His influence on modern trombone performance is undoubtedly unprecedented, with students who have gone on to international positions in symphonies and professorships. Douglas Yeo is also an eccentric and varied instrumentalist; he is considered deeply proficient on unusual instruments like the bass trumpet, contrabass trombone, and the historical instruments buccin, serpent, and ophicleide. Honestly, before researching Douglas Yeo for this website, I had never even heard of those last three instruments.
One of trombone’s most versatile and welcomingly unique personalities, Douglas Yeo should be seriously considered by an aspiring young trombonist when applying for both undergraduate and graduate degrees in performance.
Listen to the Faculty: Check out Douglas Yeo’s Trombone Essentials Text
5. Colburn School – Los Angeles, CA
Notable Faculty: Mark H. Lawrence
For a unique landing spot for a classical trombonist, look no further than Los Angeles and the Colburn School, whose trombone students are taught by the prestigious musical force Mark H. Lawrence, former principal trombone player of the San Francisco Symphony in a tenure that lasted over thirty years. Mark Lawrence’s students are regularly appointed top positions in orchestras across the US and in Europe. Expect a high level of competition for entrance into his select California studio.
Listen to the Faculty: Check out Mark Lawrence on the classic trombone CD Four of a Kind
4. Curtis Institute of Music – Philadelphia, PA
Notable Faculty: Blair Bollinger
A former student of legendary trombonist and pedagogue Charles Vernon, Curtis Institute musician Blair Bollinger, bass trombonist of the Philadelphia Orchestra, leads one of the top trombone studios in the country. Author of the Valve Technique for Bass Trombone, Bollinger is a published and recorded musician in high demand by music festivals and concerts series the world over. His past and current students are regular prizewinners in the top international competitions and have performed with many of the world’s leading ensembles, including the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Canadian Brass, the Houston Symphony, and the San Diego Symphony.