Tim Higgins, Guest Artist

Tim Higgins, principal trombone of the San Francisco Symphony was our guest artist in residence April 6th-7th. His visit was packed with individual lessons with studio members, a recital, and master class. Higgins performance during his recital was extraordinary. Many of the students that attended felt it was some of the most musical moments they have heard live. Professor Henniger stated the performance was, “sublime” and “incredibly gorgeous.” Many others commented on Tim Higgins beautiful tone quality and clarity and ease of articulation. For the audience this was a unforgettable recital. It made a significant impact and left many feeling inspired.

The master class was equally impressive as Higgins worked with two students, Otmar Borchard and Josh Thomas-Ulrik on orchestral excerpts. One of the best comments from Higgins while working with the students was “are you speaking in music or in english?” The class ended with a low brass section performance of Hindemith’s Symphonic Metamorphosis.

UO Trombones Perform for Portland Trail Blazers

The UO Trombone Choir (aka Track Town Trombones) performed the National Anthem for the Portland Trail Blazers this past Saturday at the Moda Center. The Blazers took on the Atlanta Hawks and defeated them in a close game. This is the second time the UO Trombone choir has performed for the Blazers and it should be noted that the Blazers have won their game everytime the UO Trombones have performed for them!  After the performance studio members were then given tickets to watch the game. Two members of the studio were lucky enough to meet and snag a photo with a few of the players. Video of the event has been posted on Facebook by a few friends of the studio. The official video will be posted on Youtube soon.



UO Trombone Choir Performs for Oregon Symphony Prelude Series

On January 13, 2019 the UO trombone choir performed as part of the Oregon Symphony’s Prelude Series. The performance took place in the lobby of the Arlene Schnitzer concert hall, home of the Oregon Symphony. The choir performed beautifully to a large audience standing in front of them but also below and above them! After the prelude concert the choir stayed to hear the  Oregon Symphony’s, Rossini and Rimsky-Korsakov concert. Special shout out to Robert Taylor (2nd trombone of the Oregon Symphony) on a superbly performed solo in Russian Easter Overture. Pieces performed by the UO trombone choir were: Fanfare for 8 Trombones by Michael Terry, Lake Effects by Andrew Skaggs, O Magnum Mysterium by Morten Lauridsen, and The River Bells by Steven Verhelst.


Guest Artist Charley Reneau

On November 27th, Charley Reneau, Bass Trombonist of the Oregon Symphony visited the UO Trombone studio and gave an inspiring recital. After the recital Charley presented a master class covering topics from the book, The Inner Game of Tennis by Timothy Gallwey. A few members of the studio performed for Charley and gained valuable insight from his teaching.  Thanks Charley!

Trombone Studio Alumni Win Big!

UO alumni, John Church (2015) and Talon Smith (2017) both landed orchestra jobs this summer. Talon Smith recently auditioned for the Boise Philharmonic and was selected as runner up. Subsequently he was asked to sub for the philharmonic as 2nd trombone for their upcoming 2018-19 season. While working in Idaho this year Talon plans on teaching his studio here in Eugene and performing with the Eugene Symphony when possible.

John Church, principal trombone of the Portland Opera recently won the principal trombone of the Spokane Symphony. This is a one year substitute position with the full time audition happening later this year. John will be living in Spokane this season and has taken a years leave of absence from the Portland Opera.

Otmar Borchard and Jon Caponetto win Sunriver Young Artist Scholarship

Juniors, Otmar Borchard and Jon Caponetto were selected as scholarship winners through the Sunriver Young Artist competition this past weekend. The competition was established 22 years ago by the Sunriver Music Festival and has given over 475,000 dollars to local music students. Candidates for the competition were asked to perform multiple solo’s for their instrument throughout a variety of styles.


Otmar performed: Fantasy by Malcolm Arnold, Wagenseil Alto Trombone Concerto (1st mvmt.), and the Grondahl Concerto (1st mvmt.).

Jon performed: Sonata No. 6 by Marcello, Romance by Carl Von Weber, and Concerto in One Movement by Alex Lebedev

Talon Smith (alumni, 2017) makes finals for Boise Philharmonic

Recently graduated masters student, Talon Smith was runner up in the Boise Philharmonic, 2nd trombone audition. The Boise Philharmonic is a 80 plus member professional orchestra that performs fourteen masterworks concerts a season. Excerpts from the final round included: Bolero, Mahler 5, Russian Easter Overture, and William Tell. Since graduation Talon has been freelancing in the Northwest area and teaching privately.


Skyler Johnson shares secrets of the Gb valve and more

Skyler Johnson, bass trombonist of the Spokane Symphony and UO alumni presented a wonderful masterclass this past Thursday. Three members of the studio, Kenny Ross, Jon Caponetto, and Cory Francis performed for Skyler and worked with him on topics of musicality, tone production, and the use of the Gb valve. Works performed were, Lebedev – Concerto in One Movement, Weber – Romance, and three excerpts from Wagner’s Ring Cycle.

The day concluded with an evening recital performed by Skyler and host, Henry Henniger. The program included: Two Works of Unaccompanied trombone by Daniel Schnyder, Sonata by Paul Hindemith, Two Farewells by Jaques Ibert and Gustav Mahler, Cavatine by Saint-Saens, Devils Waltz by Verhelst, and Four Preludes by Shostakovich (Arr. Ostrander).


Jon Caponetto wins boat!

Jon Caponetto was the winner of our first “In-House” studio audition. Each member of the studio was put into two groups and required to perform five standard orchestral excerpts. The audition itself was blind and judged by the students themselves. When group one performed, group two judged and vice versa. Junior, Otmar Borchard was a finalist from last week. Today, Jon Caponetto also made it into the final round.

The final round consisted of a performance of Wagner’s, Ride of the Valkyries (Major section only) and sight reading. The sight reading was an excerpt from Bartok’s Miraculous Mandarin. It was a close round but ultimately Jon was selected as winner.

The prized boat was a donation from Michael Grose, Professor of Tuba and Undergraduate Dean of the SOMD.



Keep your eye on the prize!

The UO Trombone Studio is preparing for an in-house studio audition taking place over the next two weeks. The winner of the audition will become the new owner of this beloved, inflatable boat! The boat was a donation by Michael Grose, Professor of Tuba and Undergraduate Dean at UO. “The boat is slightly dirty, and has a small leak but ultimately sea ready,” said Professor Grose.

For the audition the trombone studio is split into two groups; performers and judges. While half the studio performs, the other half act as judge. The following week they trade roles. The audition itself is blind and contains five of the most common excerpts for both bass and tenor trombone. Check back here to see the results and pictures of the competition winner.

Pictured above: Studio Member, Alan Wood giving his best “Lewis & Clark” pose along with Prof. Grose, “looking tough with oars.”