Big 12 Trombone Conference Recap

The Fifteenth Annual Big 12 Area Trombone Conference was held January 12th – 14th at Texas Tech University. The Conference’s Featured Guest Artist was Charles Vernon, Bass Trombonist of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

Mr. Vernon’s guest artist recital and master class were both inspiring. His playing was resonant, sensitive and virtuosic. Works or Sachse, Gillingham, Spillman and Steven Frank rounded out this fabulous program. The master class was a intriguing discussion on the elements of great trombone playing, followed up by many interesting questions from attendees.

In addition, Mr. Vernon performed the world premiere of Benjamin Horne’s
‘Gladiator’ with the Texas Tech Trombone Choir on the opening night performance. Mr. Horne’s composition, a technically demanding work performed brilliantly by Mr. Vernon, was the winning composition of the recent TTU Trombone Ensemble Composition Contest.

Additional highlights included the Yamaha/Xeno Tenor Trombone Solo Competition, the Bach Bass Trombone Solo Competition, an exciting faculty showcase recital, great choir performances and many inspiring clinics and presentations.

The Solo Competitions finals featured fine student musicians from all over the world, including Yale University, the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, The University of Texas – Austin, and Texas Christian University. After prolonged deliberations from our adjudication panel, the winners were: Bach Bass Trombone Solo Competition: Zachary Haas, Yale University; Yamaha/Xeno Tenor Trombone Solo Competition: Timothy Maines, University of Texas-Austin. Congratulations to all finalists and their professors.

Featured performers and clinicians included Dr. Jeffrey Cottrell of Hardin Simmons University, Dr. Michael Davidson of the University of Kansas, Timothy Burt of Lubbock, Dr. Bruce Faske of Arkansas State University, Dr. William Haugeberg of the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley, Dr. Jason Hausback of Missouri State University, Dr. Timothy Howe of the University of Missouri, Dr. Li Kuang of Southwestern University, Dr. Jeremy Marks of the University of Louisiana-Monroe, Dr. Pedro Martinez of the University of Texas – Rio Grande Valley, Adam Johnson of Louisiana Tech University, Anthony Triplett of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Dr. J. Mark Thompson of Northwestern State University, Dr. Alex Van Duuren of the University of Tennessee and Dr. Nat Wickham of the University of Northern Colorado. Attendees were enthused by the performances and presentations by these well renowned educators.

Great choir performances took place during the conference. Congratulations to the University of Louisiana-Monroe Trombone Choir, led by Dr. Jeremy Marks, The Walsh Middle School Trombone Choir, led by Joshua Stover, the UT-Rio Grande Valley Trombone Choir, directed by Dr. Pedro Martinez, the Missouri State University Trombone Octet, led by Dr. Jason Hausback, and the University of Tennessee Trombone Choir, under the direction of Dr. Alex Van Duuren, for their exciting performances.

Other great ensembles performed at the conference as well. Audiences were treated to the fine performances of the Drei Bones Trombone Trio, the Bulldog Trombone Quartet from Texas Lutheran University, the Texas A&M Corpus Christi Trombone Quartet and the University of Northern Colorado Graduate Trombone Quartet.

Overall, the conference was a stirring assembly of fine students, performers and educators. Many thanks to all who attended, presented and performed so well, and our principal sponsors: Yamaha International Corporation, Conn-Selmer Corporation the Music of Ken Friedrich, Houghton Horns, Tarpley Music Company, and Iota Tau Alpha, the Trombone Service Fraternity of Texas Tech University.

Next year’s conference is scheduled for January 18th – 20th, 2019. More details will be forthcoming. Please visit the website  for updates.