Christopher Carson (Bass Trombone) attended West Virginia University, where he studied bass trombone performance with emphasis in traditional (classical) music. His teachers have included Murray Crewe (bass trombonist of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and professor of trombone at Carnegie Mellon and Duquesne University), Dr. Keith Jackson (trombone instructor at WVU), Ron Spang (former bass trombonist of the River CIty Brass Band), Matthew "Matty" Shiner (long-time professor of trombone at Duquesne University), and Robert Hamrick (retired second trombonist of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra). Professionally, he has performed with the Pittsburgh Symphony, West Virginia Symphony, Wheeling Symphony, Altoona Symphony, Westmoreland Symphony, River City Brass Band, Balcony Big Band, Three Rivers Jazz Orchestra, Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, Gene Krupa Orchestra, Toshiko Akiyoshi and also as a freelance musican with numerous other classical and jazz groups in the Greater Pittsburgh area. As a member of the Three Rivers Jazz Orchestra, he has recorded several CD's, most notably, the Grammy nominated "A Day Like This" with the New York Voices.
Robert mATCHETT III
As a trombonist, Mr. Matchett has performed and toured with many groups including: the Glenn Miller Orchestra, Tony Bennett, Ray Charles, Rosemary Clooney, Tosiko Akiyoshi, The Temptations, The Pittsburgh “CLO” Broadway Series, Kristin Chenoweth, Youngstown Symphony Orchestra, The Altoona Symphony, Warren Chamber Orchestra, Cleveland Jazz Orchestra, and numerous others. Mr. Matchett has also had the privilege of recording with Nancy Wilson (where he can be heard on the Grammy Award winning album, “Turned to Blue”), the New York Voices, the Three Rivers Jazz Orchestra, and the Emmy Award winning WQUED series, “Live from Studio A”. Robert is a founding member of the Pittsburgh Trombone Project and the Bone Forum. Currently, Mr. Matchett performs with the Billy Price Band, The Balcony Big Band, Three Rivers Entertainment, and Elite Showband.
In addition to his duties at Slippery Rock University, Mr. Matchett is the band director at Seneca Valley Senior High School in Harmony, Pennsylvania. At Seneca Valley, Mr. Matchett conducts the Wind Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble 1, the “Raider” Marching Band, instructs private trombone lessons, and teaches Advanced Music Theory. Since his appointment at Seneca Valley in 1999, Mr. Matchett has had three of his high school ensembles perform at the PMEA All-State Music Conference including the Seneca Valley trombone quartet and Jazz Ensemble 1. In 2001, the Seneca Valley Wind Ensemble performed at the MENC All-East Music Conference.
Mr. Matchett has also been on the faculties at Youngstown State University, Westminster College, and Thiel College.
Mr. Matchett received his BME and MM degrees from Youngstown State University and done additional studies at Ithaca College and Eastman School of Music.
Kevin M. McManus
Alto, Tenor and Bass Trombones, Bass Trumpet, Euphonium, Tuba
Kevin M. McManus holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Music Education from Penn State University, a Graduate Performer’s Certificate from SUNY Purchase Conservatory and a Masters Degree from Carnegie Mellon University. His primary teachers include: Mark L. Lusk, Robert D. Hamrick, Matty Shiner, Jim Pugh, Dick Nash, Peter Sullivan, Murray Crewe, James Markey, Ronald W. Spang, Joe Dallas and Randy Purcell. Mr. McManus has performed on Broadway in New York City and completed two First National Tours of the shows “Urinetown: the Musical” and “Little Women the Broadway Musical.” In the summer of 2009, Mr. McManus was a featured soloist in Pittsburgh’s Civic Light Opera production of Swing! Kevin was also featured along side of Dick Nash, Bill Watrous, Bill Tole, George Roberts and Harry Betts at the 2009 NAMM show in Anaheim, California. He has performed with such artists as: Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra Jr., Josh Groban, Clay Aiken, Wayne Newton, Frankie Vallie and The Four Seasons, Aretha Franklin, Pattie LaBelle, Glen Campbell, Maureen McGovern, Isaac Hayes, Lou Rawls, Gloria Gaynor, The Temptations, The Four Tops, Don Rickles, Regis Philban, Joan Rivers and The Manhattan Transfer. He has performed with the Pittsburgh and Wheeling Symphony Orchestras and the River City and Reunion Brass Bands. Mr. McManus is the founder and leader of: The Bone Forum, a jazz 10 trombone ensemble with rhythm section, The Collective Jazz Octet, a swingin’ eight piece jazz ensemble, and The Pittsburgh Trombone Project, one of America’s premier chamber music ensembles. Kevin can be seen internationally on PBS’s “My Music” and “American Soundtrack Series.” He has an active touring schedule and can frequently be heard across America with The Four Tops, The Temptations and The Latshaw Productions Pops Orchestra. In 2011, Mr. McManus gave the world premiere of Todd Goodman’s “Concert for Trombone and Piano.” The Goodman Concerto was written for Kevin and has since won first prize in The British Trombone Society’s 2012 Concerto Competition. In 2013, a new trombone sonata, “The Storr of Trotternish,” was written for Kevin by composer Dr. Daniel Perttu. As a writer and arranger, Kevin has written for many organizations including: The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, The McKeesport Symphony, The New Trombone Collective and Bo Wagner’s “Rat Pack.” Mr. McManus is currently on the faculties of Seton Hill and Frostburg State Universities, Westminster College, Westmoreland County Community College and The Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School. Kevin has also served on the faculty of Waynesburg University. In 2014, The Kevin M. McManus Excellence in Jazz Scholarship and Award was established in perpetuity at Westminster College for outstanding undergraduate students. His extensive knowledge of ensemble playing, repertoire and rehearsal techniques for groups of all ages have brought Kevin invitations to appear as guest conductor and clinician throughout America. Kevin is proud to be a member of The Pittsburgh’s Musicians’ Union, Local 60-471, where he has served as a member of The Finance Advisory and Price List Committees.
In the Fall of 2009, James Nova joined the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra as its Second/Utility Trombone. Before joining the PSO, Jim served 8 seasons as the Assistant Principal/Second Trombonist of the Utah Symphony Orchestra.
Jim began playing the trombone at age nine in his home state of Connecticut. As a child he received his early musical exposure and training from his father, Anesti Nova. During high school, Jim studied with his first private trombone teacher, Assistant Principal/Second Trombonist of the Hartford Symphony George Sanders.
After graduating high school Jim attended the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. He received his Bachelor’s Degree there studying with the Philadelphia Orchestra’s then Principal Trombonist Glenn Dodson. Jim then moved to Boston to pursue a Master’s Degree on a full scholarship at the New England Conservatory of Music, studying with then Boston Symphony Orchestra trombonist, Norman Bolter. In addition to his college education, James attended the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan and was also a member of the Tanglewood Music Center Fellowship Orchestra for three summers. After finishing his Masters degree, he freelanced in Boston for several years, substituting on a regular basis with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Boston Pops Orchestra, making several recordings and television broadcasts with both groups as both principal and second trombone. In 2001, Jim moved to Salt Lake City to join the Utah Symphony Orchestra.
From 2003 to 2007 he enjoyed playing at the Grand Teton Music Festival and recently played and taught at the Brevard Music Center in the summer of 2013. He is also the former second trombonist of the Pacific Symphony Orchestra in Orange County, California, former principal of the Rhode Island Philharmonic, former principal of the Vermont Symphony, and former assistant principal of the New Haven Symphony Orchestra.
Jim’s solo recording “Albanian Rhapsody” is a debut in both performance and composition for the father and son team, composer Anesti Nova and trombonist James Nova. All but one piece in this world premiere collection of compositions is for solo trombone and either string or chamber orchestra. The music is ethnically charged, deriving much influence and flavor from Jim and Anesti’s strong Albanian background. It is at times tragic, languid and yet uplifting as it chronicles (with the trombone as storyteller) the journey of the Nova family through hardships and eventual triumph over adversity.
In March of 2012, Jim made his solo debut with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, performing the Henri Tomasi Trombone concerto as well as his own arrangement of the famous Tommy Dorsey jazz ballad, “I’m Getting’ Sentimental Over You” which is the material Tomasi based his trombone concerto on.
Since 2012, Jim has found a new passion using recording technology to explore multitrack recording, also known as "overdubbing" and created numerous stunning recordings of challenging new arrangements he's done of a variety of exciting repertoire for trombone choir. These employ a number of trombones: contra bass, bass, tenor, small tenor, alto and even soprano trombones! To hear these, got to www. soundcloud.com/jimnova.
Jim is an SE Shires Artist and performs on Greg Black Mouthpieces.