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.

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

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, 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 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.



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.”

Senior Kenny Ross was accepted to both University of North Texas and University of Colorado Boulder for his masters program. After a lot of thought, Kenny ultimatley decided on attending Colorado Boulder. Hailing from Sherwood Oregon, Kenny joined the trombone studio in 2014. Since starting at UO Kenny has played in almost every performance group at the university including: Marching Band, Green Garter Band, Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble, Orchestra, Trombone Choir, Tuba/Euphonium Ensemble, Oregon Jazz Band, and the Hip-Hop Ensemble. Not to mention many brass quintets, trombone quartets and even a Mariachi Band. We wish Kenny the best of luck in Colorado and thank him for all his hard work and contributions here in Eugene.

I owe everything to my teachers. —Kenny Ross