Third Coast Trombone Retreat

June 2-9, 2019 - Montague, MI


June 2-9, 2019 (arrive June 2, depart June 10)

Application Material Deadline: April 1, 2019 (Apply Now) Save with early application!


Montague, Michigan

The Retreat uses facilities all around the  town including the Montague United Methodist Church, The Book Nook & Java Shop, the White Lake Senior Center, and the Montague Band Shell.

Free shuttle service will be provided from Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids or Muskegon County Airport.



The Third Coast Trombone Retreat is an 8-day trombone intensive welcoming talented college, high school, and amateur trombonists from across the country to the beautiful shores of Lake Michigan.  

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The Retreat takes place in the charming small town of Montague, MI. Truly an escape from the distractions of everyday life, the festival is nestled in a dense forest along the coast where happening across roaming deer is a common occurrence. The Retreat utilizes facilities all over the town from churches to coffee houses to historic barns to the beach.  We will perform not only for ourselves, but for the community.

A fulfilling life of being a musician does not simply begin and end with winning an orchestral or teaching position. Mastering the instrument is only the first step.  Being an artist in the 21st century requires discovering one's unique voice and finding new ways to present the art-form to communicate and contribute to society.  

Core to the retreat will be guest artist and faculty recitals, topical master classes, private lessons, orchestral section seminar, ensemble coachings, a trombone choir, a mock orchestral audition, participant solo recital and much more. In addition to the performance elements, the curriculum is expanded to include a music business forum, faculty bonfire Q&A, discussions on the mental approach to auditions and performances, wellness, meditation, and more.

There are two levels of enrollment including Participants and Auditors.  Enrollment for the Participant level is highly selective and limited to ensure ideal faculty/student ratio.  See below for more details:


A select number of advanced players will be selected into the Participant level.  This intensive program entitles participants to two lessons with TCTR Faculty members as well as a performance in two Faculty masterclasses as well as at least one Guest Artist masterclass. Participants will also have an opportunity to perform a solo work on the "Collage" Concert and will be placed in a chamber group that will also perform.  A limited number of lessons with Guest Artists will be made available. Participants will perform in the Anthony P. Hopkins Memorial Trombone Choir which will perform the final afternoon. Participant tuition is $650 with free housing included. Limited scholarships will be available!


Anyone with an interest watching and attending any master classes, coachings or rehearsals can as an auditor. Whether you are a trombonist of any level, teacher, parent or simply love the trombone, you are welcome to observe. Auditors do not need to submit an application or audition recording.  Simply register for prior to the day(s) you plan to audit by contacting  Daily rates for Auditors will be $35/day or $25/day for 3 days or more.

Average day at the retreat


10-12 Group warm up and trombone choir rehearsal

12-1 Lunch

1-4 Master class

4-6 Breakout sessions (coached quartet rehearsals, lessons, individual down time/practice time)

6-7 Dinner

7-8:30 Recital or concert

830-10 Receptions, bonfires, jam sessions, general letting down of hair

Other special events will include a mock audition, music business lecture/forum, collage concert, faculty round table Q&A,, meditation, and discussions on mental approaches to performance.


Free home-stays in the upscale communities of Whitehall and Montague will be made available to accepted Participants and a possible limited number of auditors.  There are also many affordable area hotels and bed and breakfasts.

Living room view from the high school participant home-stay last summer.

Lake Michigan view from Duck Lake State Park - June 2014.

This program is supported by the George E Hilt and Betty J. Hilt Donor Advised Fund of the Community Foundation for Muskegon County. 

Special thanks to the generous support of the Arts Council of White Lake