Horn and Trombone Festivals

Monday, January 16, 2017


We are excited to host the WSU Horn and Trombone Festivals again this year. Each year we bring to you world-renowned guest artists and clinicians for a day of music making, master classes and performances. We are excited to announce that this year the Trombone workshop will feature Shachar Isreal, trombone (Assistant Principal Trombone: Cleveland Orchestra; Applied Trombone Faculty: Cleveland State University; and Director: Cleveland Trombone Symposium). The Horn workshop guest artist will be announced at a later date. There will also be industry vendors on site with instruments to try and supplies to purchase. The cost to attend is $10 and will include lunch for those registered by January 9, 2017. The festival is open to high school and college students, amateurs and professionals. Advanced middle school students are welcome to participate as well.

The festivals will be host to several performance competitions including Student and Young Artists Divisions for both, Solo Trombone and Solo Horn, as well as a Composition Contest for Horn and Trombone duet with piano accompaniment. Competition rules, registration, and fees are described in the tabs below. Click for more information.

HOSTS:  Jonas Thoms and Gretchen McNamara

Registration Fee: $10

Registration fee payment is online and can be made by using:

  • Mastercard
  • Visa
  • Discover
  • webCheck

Solo Competition

Entry Fees:  $25

Entry fee payment is online and can be made by using:

  • Mastercard
  • Visa
  • Discover
  • webCheck


Preliminary Round (recorded audio): Postmarked by Sunday, December 18, 2016

Selection of Finalists: Friday, January 6, 2017

Final Round (Live): January 16, 2017, 10:00 am


Qualifications for Student Division Students must be enrolled in high school or home schooled at the high school level.

Qualifications for Young Artist Division – Students must be enrolled in college at the undergraduate level.

Information for ALL Solo Competition Applicants:

  • All competitors must perform a solo movement or movements of their choice not to exceed a total of 8 minutes
  • Tenor and Bass Trombone applicants will be considered with-in the same division
  • The Preliminary recorded round may be performed with or without piano accompaniment. Pre-recorded, unedited audio recordings must be received no later than Sunday December 18, 2016. MP3 recordings should be emailed directly to Mr. Jonas Thoms (horn applicants only: jonas.thoms@wright.edu) or Dr. Gretchen McNamara (trombone applicants only: gretchen.mcnamara@wright.edu)
  • All applicants must be available to perform in the live finals round on campus Monday, January 16, 2017.
  • The Final round will be performed live with piano accompaniment. All finalists are encouraged to bring their own accompanist, however, an accompanist will be provided if needed. Rehearsals with accompanist (if needed) will be scheduled for the morning of January 16, 2017
  • No repertoire restrictions exist, however, difficulty of repertoire will be considered when selecting finalists
  • Two or three finalists will be selected from each category to perform in the final round on January 16, 2017



Student Division 1st Place: All competition entry fees up to $200 and a performance on a recital showcasing the competition winners at the Horn and Trombone Festival January 16, 2017

Young Artist Division 1st Place: All competition entry fees up to $250 and performance on a recital showcasing the competition winners at the Horn and Trombone Festival January 16, 2017

Both Divisions: 2nd Place: $20 Gift Certificate to Mountain Peak Music and a master class performance for the Festival Guest Artists and participants.

Submitting your recording:

Recordings must be postmarked by December 18, 2016, either by mail or e-mail.  No recording will be considered without submission of the application fee.

Electronic submissions should be in MP3 format. Mailed submissions may be submitted on a CD or flash drive in MP3 format.

Please include the following information with your recording:
  • Name
  • Address
  • Phone Number
  • Email address
  • School
  • Year in School
Electronic Submission
US Mail Submission

Please mail materials postmarked no later than December 18, 2016 to Gretchen McNamara (Tenor and Bass Trombone Only) or Jonas Thoms (Horn Only) at:

Solo Competition for Horn and Trombone
Wright State University
School of Music
3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy.
Dayton, OH 45435-0001

Guest Artists & Clinicians

Jonas Thoms – Horn

Instructor, horn

thoms.jpgJonas Thoms is Instructor of Horn at Wright State University where he teaches applied horn, brass chamber music, and courses in music theory and music education. He performs in the resident faculty woodwind and brass quintets and with the WSU Chamber Orchestra. He has presented and performed at colleges throughout the country, including the University of Cincinnati-College Conservatory, Ball State University, the University of Alabama, and the University of Southern Mississippi, and is a frequent guest artist and clinician at high schools in the region. Thoms has published articles in the Triad, presented at the International Horn Symposium, and reviewed textbooks for W.W. Norton & Co. and Oxford University Press. Prior to WSU, he was on faculty at the University of Evansville and served as Principal Horn of the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra. 

Currently a member of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra and Kentucky Symphony Orchestra, Thoms has previously held positions in the Richmond (IN) Symphony Orchestra, Owensboro Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Kentucky-Bowling Green, and Glens Falls Symphony Orchestra. He regularly performs as a substitute or extra player with the Cincinnati Symphony and Pops Orchestra, Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, Louisville Orchestra, Toledo Symphony Orchestra and numerous regional orchestras, often on principal horn. Additionally, he has performed with the Atlantic Classical Orchestra, Cincinnati Ballet Orchestra, Columbus Symphony Orchestra, concert:nova, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Syracuse Symphony Orchestra/Symphony Syracuse, and Albany Symphony Orchestra. Twice he has been a finalist in the Coleman Chamber Music Competition and has performed as a soloist with the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra and the Sinfonia Gulf Coast in Destin, Florida.

Thoms is a graduate from the Eastman School of Music (B.M.) and the University of Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music (M.M), where he served as the graduate assistant to the horn studio of Randy Gardner. His primary teachers include W. Peter Kurau, Randy Gardner, Elizabeth Freimuth, Kristy Morrell, Tom Sherwood, and Roger Kaza. He is a member of the International Horn Society, National Association for Music Education, and American Federation of Musicians. He plays on horns built by Darin Sorley and Paxman.

Education History: 
  • Eastman School of Music, Bachelor of Music - Horn Performance
  • University of Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music, Master of Music - Horn Performance
Professional Affiliations/Memberships: 
  • International Horn Society
  • American Federation of Musicians, Local 1 - Cincinnati, OH, Local 101-473 - Dayton, OH

Find out more about the Wright State University School of Music and Wright State University Horn Studio!

Hear clips of live performances through SoundCloud.

Gretchen McNamara – Trombone

Applied Trombone
Director of the University Trombone Ensemble

mcnamara-small.jpgDr. Gretchen McNamara is the trombone instructor at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, a position she has held since 2007. In addition to her responsibilities with the trombone studio, she also teaches Instrumental Music Education and supervises Field Placements. Dr. McNamara has presented clinics (2012, 2013, 2015) and performed as a member of the Wright State University Faculty Brass Quintet (2009) and Wright State University Chamber Orchestra (2012) at the Ohio Music Educator's Association State Conference. She has been a featured artist/clinician at the International Trombone Festival (2014); Midwest Trombone and Euphonium Conference, Charleston, IL (2014); Big 12 Trombone Conference, Lubbock, Texas (2013); and artist in residence at the BrassChix Festival at the University of St. Thomas (2010, 2011). Recently, she has served as the guest conductor of the OMEA District 12 Honor Middle School Jazz Ensemble (2016), OMEA District 14 Honor Middle School Jazz Ensemble (2015), OMEA District 12 Honor Symphonic Band (2014), and has served as an invited guest clinician/adjudicator for the Weekend of Jazz in Beavercreek, Ohio (2014). Dr. McNamara has also been a featured soloist with the Wright State Universtiy Wind Ensemble, Kettering (Ohio) Civic Band, Wright State University Symphonic Band, Xavier University’s Symphonic Winds (Ohio) and the Shoreline Concert Band (Washington). She has also performed with the Middletown Sympohny Orchestra (OH), Lima Symphony Orchestra (OH) and the Newark-Granville Symphony Orchestra (OH).  

Outside of her position at Wright State University, Dr. McNamara serves on the Dayton Philharmonic Education Committee and writes CD Recording Reviews for the International Trombone Association. She also maintains a private trombone studio with students from the greater Dayton area. Dr. McNamara has served on the faculty of Xavier University and the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music Preparatory Department. 

A native of Seattle, Washington Dr. McNamara has earned a Doctor of Musical Arts Degree from the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music, a Master of Music degree from Kent State University, and a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Washington. Before beginning the DMA, Dr. McNamara was the director of bands at Patapsco High School and Center for the Arts in Baltimore, Maryland. Her principle instructors include David Vining, JoDee Davis, Mathew Guilford and Stuart Dempster.

Gretchen McNamara's website

Shachar Israel

Shachar Israel-small.jpgShachar Israel is cited by the New York Times as "a gifted young trombonist.” He currently serves as Assistant Principal Trombone of the Cleveland Orchestra. Born in Nahariya, Israel, he received his Bachelors of Music from The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where he studied with Nitzan Haroz, Principal Trombonist of the Philadelphia Orchestra. His primary teachers include Joseph Alessi, Mark Lawrence, Mitchell Ross, Micha Davis and Joseph Nashkes. 

Prior to joining the Cleveland Orchestra, Mr. Israel was Principal Trombone of the Hartford (CT) and the Haddonfield (NJ) Symphonies. He has also performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, the Montreal Symphony and the Detroit Symphony. He has been a member of the Verbier Festival Orchestra, the Spoleto Festival Orchestra and attended 2 summers at the Music Academy of the West.

A soloist and chamber musician, Shachar Israel performed Berio's 'Sequenza V' for solo trombone at New York's Lincoln Center for the New York Philharmonic's "Day of Berio". Mr. Israel has performed with Canadian Brass and recorded 4 albums with the group. The trombonist was the winner of the Lewis Van Haney Philharmonic Prize Competition at the 2008 International Trombone Festival. He has been a soloist with the Jupiter Symphony Players in New York City, the Cleveland Winds, and Cleveland State University's Wind Ensemble. Mr. Israel is also a founding member of the Great Lakes Trombone Ensemble, which recently performed at the 2014 International Trombone Festival, held at the Eastman School in Rochester.

In addition to a busy performance schedule, a passionate teacher, Mr. Israel is on the faculty of Cleveland State University. He also serves as founder and Director of the Cleveland Trombone Seminar (CTS), held annually in Cleveland, since 2012. CTS brings together motivated students and world-class professional musicians for 9 days of learning and great performances. Mr. Israel frequently presents masterclasses, clinics and recitals throughout the US.

Mr. Israel started his musical journey at the Kiryat-Yam Wind Band and he is a graduate of the Thelma Yellin High School in Givatyim, Israel. His studies while in Israel were made possible by the generosity of the America-Israel Cultural Foundation through its scholarship program, the Keren Sharet Competitions. Mr. Israel performs on an Edwards T350E Trombone.


Mountain Peak Music www.mountainpeakmusic.com

Hauer Music www.hauermusic.com

McCutcheon Music

Additional vendors to be announced.


Schedule of Events

WSU Horn and Trombone Festivals Schedule

Monday, January 16, 2017

Tentative Schedule of Events

10:00 am – 11:30 am:  Finals Round – Solo Competitions
11:00 am – 11:30 am: Guided Warm-up Session with Festival Hosts
11:45 am – Solo Competition Winners Announcement
12:00 pm – 12:45 pm – Festival Ensemble Rehearsals
12:45 pm – 1:15 pm – Lunch (provided for those registered by January 9, 2016)
1:15 pm – 2:00 pm – Chamber Music Performance and Presentation
2:15 pm – 2:45 pm – Solo Competition Winners Recital
2:45 pm – Guest Artist Recital
3:45 pm – 4:30 pm – Ensemble Recital (Festival Horn Choir and Trombone Ensemble, WSU Horn Choir and Trombone Studio Ensemble)
4:45 pm – 6:00 pm – Guest Master Class