Faculty
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Faculty/Co-Founder

Acting Bass Trombone, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra

Bass Trombone, Santa Fe Opera

Currently serving as Acting Bass Trombonist of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, Christopher Bassett has been the Bass Trombonist with the Jacksonville Symphony and the Santa Fe Opera since 2017. Winner of the Zellmer Trombone Competition (2017), ATW Solo Competition (2016), and the Edward Kleinhammer and ITA Trombone Quartet Competitions (2017), and a Fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center (2016) he has performed with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, The Cleveland Orchestra, Detroit Symphony, Boston Pops, and the Indianapolis Symphony. Christopher can be heard on the Santa Fe Trombones’ debut album of trombone trios entitled “Tres Amigos” released in 2021. Passionate about working with students of all ages, his students have won leadership positions in NYO2 USA, All State Ensembles, and earn scholarships to study at top university music programs. Christopher studied with James Markey at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, MA, where he received his Bachelor of Music degree in 2016.

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Faculty/Co-Founder

Associate Professor of Trombone, University of New Mexico  Former Lead Trombonist, US Army Jazz Ambassadors

Chris Buckholz is a virtuoso crossover artist in both classical music and jazz. He is Associate Professor of Trombone at the University of New Mexico. Buckholz has three solo CDs to his credit, including the groundbreaking 2015 double album Versatility. From 1997 to 2005, Buckholz was the lead trombonist for the Army Jazz Ambassadors in Washington, D.C.. As a principal soloist with the Jazz Ambassadors, Buckholz was featured in concerts with the Boston Pops at Tanglewood and on the Esplanade, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and the Cincinnati Pops at Carnegie Hall. Buckholz is featured as a soloist on four Jazz Ambassadors CDs. Dr. Buckholz received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Wake Forest University, his Masters of Music from Yale University, and the Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Michigan. His principal teachers in classical music include Arnold Jacobs, H. Dennis Smith, John Swallow, and Christopher Dudley. He has studied jazz trombone with Conrad Herwig, Curtis Fuller, Steve Davis, Steve Turre, and Jim McFalls.

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Faculty/Co-Founder

Associate Principal Trombone, North Carolina Symphony

Acting Principal Trombone, Santa Fe Opera

In October of 2010, Jonathan Randazzo was appointed Assistant Principal Trombone of the North Carolina Symphony while in pursuit of his Bachelor of Music Degree at the New England Conservatory of Music. In August of 2017, Jonathan was appointed Second Trombone of the Santa Fe Opera. For the 2021 and 2022 seasons, Jonathan served as Acting-Principal Trombone. As an avid teacher, Jonathan held the position of Adjunct Trombone Professor at NC State University from 2015-2022 and is currently in high demand as a private trombone instructor.  Over the past several years, Jonathan has been hired as guest artist-clinician at DePaul University, UNC School of the Arts, East Carolina, Gardner-Webb and Appalachian State Universities. Jonathan’s trombone teachers and mentors include Norman Bolter, former Second Trombonist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Joseph Alessi of the New York Philharmonic, James Markey of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and Willard Sprague, a local pedagogue on Long Island. While in high school, Jonathan attended The Juilliard School Pre-College division program.

Guest Artists
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2023 Guest Artist

Principal Trombone, The Cleveland Orchestra

Brian Wendel joined The Cleveland Orchestra as Principal Trombone in August of 2022, appointed by Franz Welser-Möst. Brian previously served as Principal Trombone of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (VSO) for five seasons, beginning in 2017. Enjoying the thrill of solo performances and competitions, he has appeared as a soloist with the Vancouver and Prince George Symphonies, Denver University Brass Ensemble, and the Juilliard Trombone Choir, and was winner of the Music International Grand Prix—Winds and Brass category (2021), Online Trombone Competition (2020), Alessi Seminar Asia Competition (2018) and two International Trombone Association competitions (2014 and 2016). He has also performed with the Seattle Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, and the New York Philharmonic Brass Ensemble. Brian received his bachelor’s degree from The Juilliard School under the mentorship of Joseph Alessi. 

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2020 Guest Artist

Gerry Pagano

Bass Trombone,

St. Louis Symphony