Carl Fontana Jazz Trombone Competition


sponsored by XO Professional Brass

XO logo

For trombonists ages 22 and under (birth date of January 1, 1998 or later)

First Prize – XO Professional Tenor Trombone (.500” or .508” bore)

General Requirements

Recording Guidelines

  • Applicants must strictly follow the Recording Guidelines for the 2021 ITA Solo and Ensemble Competitions.

Competition Rules

  • Live collaboration with rhythm section is preferred. Where restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic make live collaboration impossible, pre-recording rhythm section performances is allowed. In such a case, the video may include only the trombonist (a split screen with the rhythm section is also acceptable). The trombonist must be continuously visible in the video throughout, and no editing of the trombone part (audio or video) is allowed. Overall mixing of separately recorded audio tracks is not considered a violation of the editing rule. Computer generated accompaniment is still not allowed.
  • Required repertoire should be uploaded as two separate video files. The video must be shot from a single, uninterrupted camera angle. Accepted file formats include: MP4, MPEG, MPG, MOV, AVI, WMV, M4V, FLV, WEBM, M2V
  • No written signs, name tags or other written material is to be visible in the video.
  • All performers should be continuously visible in the submitted video, with the trombonist as the focal point. In the event social distancing makes this impractical, the trombonist must be fully visible in the frame for the entirety of the performance, with as much of the rhythm section as possible.
  • Individual microphone placements for the trombonist and each rhythm section member are allowed.
  • No edits of either the audio or video may be made within each track.
  • The submitted files must not contain any identifying information. The video file should be named: “FontanaTrack1.mp4” and “FontanaTrack2.mp4” (.mov, etc.)
  • An audible count-off is allowed for this competition, but any other spoken dialogue will violate the spoken dialogue rule and are grounds for disqualification. Caution members of the ensemble to avoid talking until the take has been completed. A good rule of thumb would be to hold silence for 5 seconds after any take, allowing for a clean recording.
  • Recordings must be made with a live rhythm section (minimum 2 members) in the key of the entrant’s choice. (see exception above)
  • Choruses must be improvised and not read.
  • Entrants must perform exclusively on the slide trombone (e.g. no valve trombone, bass trumpet, etc.)
  • It is the performer’s choice to play one or two choruses of the melody on each selection. The maximum number of choruses, including the melody, must not be exceeded.
  • Applicants are discouraged from including rhythm section solos on preliminary round recordings; any such solos will count against the maximum number of choruses allowed.
  • Recordings taken from a Jazz band performance are not allowed.
  • Past winners of the Carl Fontana Jazz Trombone Competition are not eligible in the 2021 Fontana competition.
  • Co-Winners of the 2020 Carl Fontana Jazz Trombone Competition are eligible as long as age and other requirements are still met.

Repertoire Requirements

Preliminary Round Repertoire:

  • Six to eight (6-8) choruses of a Blues (including the melody.)
  • Three to four (3-4) choruses of one of the following tunes: Beautiful Friendship, Emily, If I only had a Brain, Polka Dots and Moonbeams, It Might as Well be Spring, or I Thought About You.

Final Round Repertoire:

  • Blues
  • Medium- or Up-tempo tune from the list above
  • Ballad of the applicant’s choice

*It is the performer’s choice to play one or two choruses of the melody on each selection. For the preliminary round, the maximum number of choruses, including the melody, must not be exceeded.

**Finalists will be required to present their final round program within a time limit and may deviate from the prescribed number of choruses required in the preliminary round recording.

Past Winners

Year Winner School
2007 Joe McDonough Temple University
2008 Robbie Harvey Guildhall School of Music
2009 Eric Bowman Western Michigan University
2010 Eric Miller Manhattan School of Music
2011 Javier Nero Juilliard School of Music
2012 Ido Meshulam Berklee College of Music
2013 Kyle Johnson Texas State University
2014 Nicholas Lombardelli The University of the Arts
2015 Matt Hettwer California State University
2016 Jack Courtright Eastman School of Music
2017 Thomas Voss Elder Conservatorium, University of Adelaide
2018 David Kapral The University of Texas at Austin
2019 David Mosko Rutgers University
2020 Co-Winner Jered Byford University of Miami
2020 Co-Winner Joe Giordano Manhattan School of Music
2020 Co-Winner Jack Kotze Manhattan School of Music