Third Coast Trombone Retreat

June 9-16, 2016 - Montague, MI

 2016 guest artist

James Markey

Bass Trombone, Boston Symphony

James Markey joined the Boston Symphony Orchestra as Bass Trombone in Fall 2012 following a 15-year tenure in the New York Philharmonic as Associate Principal (1997-2007) and Bass Trombone (2007-2012), and a two-year tenure as Principal Trombone of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.

Mr. Markey has had numerous solo appearances, including with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Sun Valley Summer Symphony, United States Army Band, Hora Decima Brass Ensemble, New York Staff Band of the Salvation Army, and the Hanover Wind Symphony. A sought-after educator, Mr. Markey has been a featured artist at the International Trombone Festival, the American (formerly Eastern) Trombone Workshop and the conferences of the New Jersey Music Educators Association and the New York State School Music Association. He has also appeared as a guest recitalist and clinician at major educational institutions around the country. He currently serves on the Bass Trombone faculty of the New England Conservatory in Boston, MA, and the Trombone faculty of the Longy School of Bard College. Additionally, he has served on the faculty of the Juilliard School, Mannes College: the New School for Music, New York University, Purchase College (SUNY), Montclair State University, Sarah Lawrence College, and the Juilliard School’s Pre-College Division.

Mr. Markey has released four solo recordings: Offroad, on tenor trombone, released in 2003; On Base, a solo bass trombone recording, released in 2009; a two-disc album of orchestral and opera excerpts for bass trombone with Denson Paul Pollard, and a second solo bass trombone recording titled Psychedelia, in 2015. He is also a featured soloist on A Beatiful Noise, a compilation of solos for tenor and bass trombone produced by the Columbus State University Trombone Choir, and on the Hora Decima Brass Ensemble's recording of Janko Nilovic's Concerto for Two Trombones.  

Mr. Markey studied with Joseph Alessi at the Juilliard School, where he received his Bachelor and Master of Music Degrees in 2005 and 2006.

Detroit Symphony Low Brass

Kenneth Thompkins

Principal Trombone, Detroit Symphony Orchestra

Kenneth Thompkins was appointed Principal Trombone of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra by Neeme Järvi in 1997. Prior to this appointment, he held positions in the Buffalo Philharmonic and the Florida Orchestra and performed with the New World Symphony under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas. A former participant in the Detroit Symphony’s African American Fellowship Program, he has been a mentor to several Orchestra Fellows over the years.

Kenneth has been invited to perform and conduct master classes at many music schools, including the Curtis Institute of Music, Mannes College, the University of Michigan, and Interlochen Arts Academy. An active chamber musician, Kenneth performs frequently in recital and is a member of Detroit Chamber Winds & Strings. He has performed concertos with both the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and New World Symphony.

Kenneth has toured Europe with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and has also performed with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, New York Philharmonic, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. He can be heard on recordings by Detroit Chamber Winds, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Recently, he contributed a chapter to The Brass Player's Cookbook: Creative Recipes for a Successful Performance.

Kenneth received his bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University, where he studied with the late Frank Crisafulli of the Chicago Symphony, and a Master of Music degree from Temple University, where he studied with Eric Carlson of the Philadelphia Orchestra.

David Binder

Second Trombone, Detroit Symphony Orchestra

David Binder joined the Detroit Symphony Orchestra as Second Trombone in the autumn of 2015. He was previously the Co-Principal Trombone of the Finnish National Opera Orchestra in Helsinki, Finland for three seasons and has performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, and as guest Principal Trombone with the Tapiola Sinfonietta in concerts and on recordings.

As a soloist, David has performed recitals in Finland, Switzerland, and the US; and has won competitions at the American Trombone Workshop, International Trombone Festival, and Walgreens National Concerto Competition.

A native of Chicago, David received his Bachelor of Music with Brass Department Honors from Northwestern University, studying with Michael Mulcahy, Peter Ellefson, Timothy Higgins, and DSO Bass Trombonist Randall Hawes. While at Northwestern, he was concurrently a Regular Member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and studied additionally with Jay Friedman. During his time in Europe, he traveled extensively to study with prominent trombonists on the continent, particularly Ian Bousfield in Bern and Jamie Williams in Berlin.

Outside of the orchestra, David nurtures a keen interest in bluegrass and folk music, playing several instruments of the idiom including banjo and resonator guitar. He also enjoys playing racquetball and softball, and strongly supports the Chicago Cubs.


Randall Hawes

Bass Trombone, Detroit Symphony Orchestra


Randall Hawes has been bass trombonist with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) since winning the position in 1985. Hawes began his relationship with the Northwestern University Bienen School of Music in 2004. He has taught master classes and performed as a soloist, orchestral and chamber musician in Australia, Asia, Europe, and throughout North America. Hawes received a bachelor's degree in music education from Central Michigan University, where he studied with William Rivard.

From 1980 to 1982, after graduating, he was a member of the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, American Wind Symphony, and the New York Harlem Opera Ensemble. In 1985, after two years on the road with the Woody Herman Orchestra, Hawes was awarded a fellowship to the Tanglewood Institute for the summer, after which he won the DSO position. In addition to the DSO, he has performed with orchestras including the Pittsburgh, Boston, and Chicago Symphonies, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the Grand Teton Music Festival Orchestra. He first performed with the World Orchestra for Peace in 1995 when Sir George Solti invited him to help celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the United Nations. His association with WOP continues with Solti's successor, Valery Gergiev, and has included multiple international tours and recordings.

Chamber music groups with which Hawes performs frequently: DSO Octet, Cuttime Players, Chicago's Music of the Baroque, Chicago Chamber Musicians, and musicians of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Hawes can be heard on recordings with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra under Leonard Slatkin, Neeme Jarvi and Gunther Herbig and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under Sir George Solti. Hawes has recorded two cd's; an all Russian program titled Melodrama and a cd of American music titled Barn Burner. Pianist Kathryn Goodson collaborated with Mr. Hawes on both recordings.


Dennis Nulty

Principal Tuba, Detroit Symphony Orchestra


Dennis Nulty, born in Upstate New York, was appointed Principal Tuba of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in 2009 by Music Director Leonard Slatkin, while completing graduate studies at the New England Conservatory in Boston. Prior to his studies at the New England Conservatory, he completed his undergraduate studies at the Eastman School of Music earning a Performers Certificate—one of only a handful of tuba players to do so. After completing his bachelor’s degree he joined the New World Symphony, where he was a fellow for three years, in Miami, Florida.

He has studied with Don Harry of the Buffalo Philharmonic; Mike Roylance of the Boston Symphony; and with Chester Schmitz and Harry Shapiro—both formerly of the Boston Symphony.

An active freelance musician, Dennis has performed extensively with the Orchestras of Western New York and the Boston area, including the Boston Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, Rochester Philharmonic and the Syracuse Symphony. A varied performer, he has had played with many brass quintets, marching bands, jazz ensembles and period instrument ensembles including the New Sousa Band conducted by Keith Brion, with which he toured Florida.

Dennis has been active in the Boston area recording a CD/DVD with Chris Botti and the Boston Pops Orchestra. He has also performed frequently at historic Fenway Park, including opening ceremonies for game one of the 2007 World Series.



John Sebastian Vera, Co-Creator

Principal Trombone, Pittsburgh Opera and River City Brass

John Sebastian Vera, a native of Texas, became the Principal trombonist of the Pittsburgh Opera in 2010 and also joined the River City Brass as Principal Trombone in 2015. A dedicated chamber musician, he also was a founding member of the critically acclaimed Guidonian Hand Trombone Quartet in which he played from 2008-2014.

In addition to the Pittsburgh Opera, Mr. Vera has played with the symphonies of Dallas, Detroit, Pittsburgh, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Buffalo, Kennedy Center Opera House, New York City Opera, Vermont, Charleston, Albany, Akron, Huntsville, American Ballet Theatre, and Orquesta Sinaloa de las Artes in Mexico amongst others. 

He began his studies with Jon Bohls in Texas and continued his education at Southern Methodist University where he studied with John Kitzman of the Dallas Symphony. He then spent a year studying with Ed Zadrozny as a graduate assistant at the University of Akron, and finished his graduate work in New York City at the Mannes College of Music studying with David Finlayson and James Markey of the New York Philharmonic.    

In 2009, John was honored to be asked to play alongside the New York Philharmonic trombone section as well as members of the Metropolitan Opera to record two pieces for James Markey’s solo release, “On Base”.

In 2011, he spent the summer in Haiti volunteer teaching and performing in the Orchestre Philharmonique Sainte Trinite as well as the Ecole de Musique Dessaix Baptiste which became one of the more profound experiences of his life.  

With the quartet, John performed over 100 concerts and gave master classes all over the country. Heralded by the New York Times for their "expertly played performances" they have been recipients of numerous national grants which have enabled them to commission countless composers to create new and innovative works for four trombones.  In 2014 was the premiere of River of Fundament, a movie by film artist Matthew Barney, in which John recorded for and acted in along with the quartet. 

Mr. Vera can also be heard on euphonium on the PBS documentary Abraham and Mary Lincoln, A House Divided.

John is an Artist for Edwards Instruments and resides in New York City and Pittsburgh.  He is on the faculty at Youngstown State University and Slippery Rock University.  His favorite musicians include Sigur Ros, Radiohead, the Books, and Efterklang. When he can get away from the trombone he most enjoys basketball, traveling and psychology.  Follow John on twitter @SebastianVera.

Recorded by Patrick Lo Re, One Soul Group, NYC

Lee Rogers

Principal Trombone, Washington National Opera/Kennedy Center Orchestra

Lee Rogers, a native of Dallas, TX, currently holds the position of Principal Trombone with the Washington National Opera/Kennedy Center Orchestra, a position he has held since 2007.  He also serves as Principal Trombone of the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra.  Rogers received a Bachelors degree from Southern Methodist University where he studied with John Kitzman.  Shortly thereafter, he recorded Eric Ewazen's Concerto for Trombone with SMU's Meadows Wind Ensemble on Gasparo Records.  In 2002, Lee earned a master's degree from The Juilliard School where he studied with Joseph Alessi.  After graduating from Juilliard, Rogers traveled to Japan to represent the United States at the Kyoto International Music Students Festival where he presented a solo recital of American music, including Paul Creston's Fantasy for Trombone.

As a professional, Rogers has performed and recorded with the Dallas, Cincinnati, Grant Park, National, and Baltimore Symphony Orchestras as well as the Buffalo and Naples Philharmonic Orchestras.  Highlights include performances in Carnegie Hall and Vienna's Musikverein with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra as well as their 2000 and 2001 summer residencies at the Vail Valley Music Festival. As a member of the Cincinnati Symphony, Rogers participated in numerous tours including Japan, Europe, Carnegie Hall, China, and Singapore.  In August, 2010, Lee recorded the first ever CD devoted entirely to low brass orchestral excerpts with members of the Iceland and Melbourne Symphonies.  He has twice performed as a guest artist at the Eastern Trombone Workshop in Washington D.C.  In 2011, Lee joined the faculty of the Round Top Summer Music Festival in Round Top, Texas.

Rogers was honored to participate in the National Symphony Orchestra's South American tour in 2012. In early 2014, Lee performed several weeks with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal as guest tenor tubist and trombonist.  Works performed throughout Canada and Europe included Mahler's Symphony #7 and Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique.  Rogers has recently been engaged numerous times as a substitute with The Philadelphia Orchestra. 

Jeff Dee

Bass Trombone, Buffalo Philharmonic

Jeff Dee is bass trombonist of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, a position he has held since 2007. Prior to the BPO, he was bass trombonist with the Jacksonville Symphony and Shanghai Broadcasting Symphony Orchestras. Jeff has performed with the major orchestras in Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas, Detroit, Naples, Pittsburgh, and Rochester, in addition to the Sun Valley Summer Symphony and Classical/Pops All-Star Orchestra.

In 2012, composer Eric Ewazen dedicated his “Triple Concerto for Three Trombones” to Jeff and his BPO colleagues, Jonathan Lombardo and Timothy Smith. The premiere was given with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra under Maestro JoAnn Falletta in November 2012, and a recording has been released on the orchestra’s own Beau Fleuve label. In addition to the BPO, Jeff has been a featured soloist with the Amherst Symphony, Brooklyn Wind Symphony, Buffalo State Wind Ensemble, the Penn State Trombone Choir, the SUNY Fredonia Trombone Choir, the U.S. Army Orchestra, and World Youth Symphony.

A native of Plano, TX, Jeff earned a bachelor’s degree in performance from Southern Methodist University and a master’s degree in performance from The Juilliard School. His principal teachers have included John Kitzman, Don Harwood, and Joseph Alessi


Nicholas Schwartz, Co-Creator(returning 2017)


Principal Bass Trombone, New York City Ballet

Nick Schwartz has a diverse career performing across North America, Europe, and Asia.  Beginning his trombone studies at the Interlochen Arts Academy, he went on to study at The Juilliard School with then New York Philharmonic bass trombonist Don Harwood.  From there, he moved to San Francisco where he began freelancing throughout the bay area.  While there, he performed with the San Francisco Symphony, San Francisco Ballet, Santa Rosa Symphony, Oakland East Bay Symphony, Stockton Symphony, Monterey Symphony, Sacramento Symphony, and Opera San Jose.  He also was a member of the Sarasota Opera in Florida for two seasons and is currently still a member of the Huntsville Symphony in Alabama.  He has also performed with the Jacksonville Symphony, the New York City Opera, the New York Philharmonic, The Malaysia Philharmonic, Festival Maribor (Slovenia), and the Festival Lyrique-en-Mer in France.  He has recorded with Joe Alessi, principal trombone of the New York Philharmonic and the American Brass Quintet, and done multiple video game soundtrack recordings at George Lucas’ recording studio in Northern California, Skywalker Ranch.  He has been a member of the New York City Ballet Orchestra since January 2010.

 collaborative piano

Daniela Candillari



Daniela Candillari, from Novi Sad, Serbia, is a sought after repetiteur, conductor and composer.  In the 2014-2015 season, Ms. Candillari premieres three of her compositions; a song cycle In Time of War (poetry by W.H. Auden) with Mezzo-Soprano Samantha Malk, Fanfare commissioned for the Third Coast Trombone retreat and her realization of Rachmaninoff’s Vespers with Gravity Shift.  She will conduct, play and record with Fernando Otero and Alex Hummingson in the UK.  In August 2015 she will be conducting Paisiello’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia with dell’Arte Opera Ensemble in New York City.  Most recently she recorded Mozart’s Così fan tutte in a new production with Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and conducted a staged version of Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater at the Crypt in Harlem with chamber orchestra, Gravity Shift.  

As a repetiteur, she has collaborated with Bryn Terfel, Dame Felicity Lott, Carol Vaness, Martina Arroyo, Roger Vignoles, Dominic Argento, William Bolcom, Joan Dornemann, Denise Massé, Håkan Hagegård, Anton Nanut, Marko Letonja and Vasily Petrenko. In the 2013 - 2014 season, Ms. Candillari served as pianist for Sarasota Opera, pianist and coach for Puccini’s Tosca with Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and served as coach and assistant conductor for Mozart’s Così fan tutte with the European Opera Center in collaboration with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.  She has also served as the assistant music director for two concerts with the European Opera Center.  

In the 2012 - 2013 season, she served as pianist for a showcase presenting the music of Brett Dean with the Australian Chamber Orchestra.  During the 2009 - 2012 seasons, Ms. Candillari served at Slovenian National Opera as head coach, chorus master and assistant conductor for over twenty productions.  She has recorded for Austrian Radio Broadcast Television, Slovenian National Radio and TV, Serbian National TV and National Public Radio.  In the 2007 - 2009 seasons, Ms. Candillari was on the faculty of the Opera Department at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University Bloomington, where she coached Massenet’s Cendrillion, Bolcom’s A wedding, Floyd’s Susannah, Handel’s Giulio Cesare in Egitto, Offenbach’s Les contes d’Hoffmann, Prokofiev’s L'amour des trois oranges, Verdi’s La traviata, and also served as Carol Vaness’ Music Director for IU’s Opera Workshop; repertoire included Puccini’s Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi. In the summer of 2006, while at Brevard Music Center, she served as coach and assistant conductor for Bizet’s Carmen, Lehàr’s The Merry Widow and Mozart’s Così fan tutte under the tutelage of Maestro David Effron.   She has also served on the staff of the International Vocal Arts Institute and Lidal North in Oslo, Norway.

Ms. Candillari is the recipient of Fulbright Scholarship at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University and TED Fellowship.  She is the first musician from Slovenia to win a Fulbright Scholarship and holds a Doctorate in Musicology from the Universität für Musik und darstellende in Kunst, Wien, a Master of Music in Jazz Studies from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, a Master of Music in Piano Performance from Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst, Graz and a Bachelor in Piano Performance from Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst, Graz. 

Ms. Candillari currently resides in New York City.


music business

LANCE LADUKE is internationally known as an educator,  performer and creator. He teaches at Carnegie Mellon University as Artist Lecturer in Euphonium, Freshman Advi-sor and Coordinator of Special and Creative Projects. Lance teaches business, marketing and communications as part of the CMU Music Entrepreneurship Program, coaches and mentors a variety of chamber ensembles and is also Adjunct Professor of Euphonium at Duquesne University. Lance was a member of Boston Brass and the US Air Force Band in Washington DC, has performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra and currently plays with the River City Brass. He has taught and/or given masterclasses at some of the world’s finest conservatories, including Juilliard, the Royal Academy of Music in London and the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. Lance co-wrote and produced “Band Blast Off,”a highly successful band recruiting DVD and maintains an active speaking career, sharing his thoughts on practice, leadership, and self-development. His book, “Music Practice Coach, Five Workouts to Get the Most Out of  Your Practice Time!” is available through or in all ebook formats and his (almost) daily practice tips on twitter can be found by following @lalaladuke. Lance is an Educational Ambassador for Jupiter Band Instruments.

performance psychology

William Mann

William Mann joined the Georgia State School of Music as the Assistant Professor of Trombone and the Brass Area Coordinator in August 2013.  He teaches the trombone studio, brass chamber music, brass techniques, and oversees the brass area.  Prior to his appointment at GSU, Dr. Mann served on the faculties at Morehead State University, the University of Missouri, Prairie View A&M University, and the University of Mary-Hardin Baylor.

Dr. Mann is regularly sought after as a lecturer, clinician, and performer throughout the United States and Brazil, including the Midwest Trombone Euphonium Conference, the Big 12 Trombone Conference, the Bay View Music Festival, and the Festival Nacional de Musica in Goiania, Brazil.  In the summer of 2012, he placed second overall in the solo competition at the International Women’s Brass Conference in Kalamazoo, Michigan, competing against other brass musicians from around the world.

Dr. Mann’s orchestral experiences, includes performing with groups including the Atlanta, Chattanooga, Lexington Philharmonic, Ohio Valley, West Virginia, Quad-City, Missouri, Tuscaloosa, Meridian, Victoria, and Waco Symphonies.  He has also performed with the Austin Lyric Opera, as well as the Bay View, Victoria Bach, Texas Music, and Hot Springs Music Festivals.  He also performs regularly with the Atlanta based Bent Frequency New Music Ensemble.

Dr. Mann received his Masters of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees in Trombone Performance from the University of Texas at Austin in addition to a Bachelor of Music Education from Baylor University.  His primary teachers include David Gier, David Jackson, Donald Knaub, Allen Barnhill, John Marcellus, and Nathaniel Brickens.  


Steve Gellersen

Retreat Administrator

A native Texan, Steve Gellersen is currently living in Seattle, WA as a free-lance bass trombonist. He has performed throughout the country with ensembles such as the Vienna Chamber Orchestra, Cleveland Pops Orchestra, Blossom Festival Orchestra, Palm Beach Opera, and Steel City 5.

Mr. Gellersen’s primary teachers include Massimo La Rosa, Rick Stout, Dan Satterwhite, Murray Crewe, Ron Wilkins, and Tom Riccobono. Steve began studying trombone in San Antonio with Ron Wilkins, focusing on jazz. He then finished high school at the Interlochen Arts Academy before beginning college in Pittsburgh, PA at Duqesne University and continued on to complete his BM at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Steve then received a MM from the Lynn Conservatory of Music in Boca Raton, FL where he was a founding member of the $5 Pitcher Low Brass and Drums quintet, merging the low brass sound with popular music. He can be heard performing with them on YouTube. Steve continued his graduate studies back at the Cleveland Institute, and most recently at Carnegie Mellon University.

When away from the trombone Steve enjoys basketball and fantasy football, and considers himself an accomplished home-brewer.