John grew up in Hillsboro, and is an active freelance musician on the west coast. He took private lessons locally, and played with the Portland Youth Philharmonic in middle and high schools. John is second trombone with the Portland Columbia Symphony, and plays regularly with Vancouver Symphony, Newport Symphony, and other ensembles around town, as well as occasional appearances with the Portland Opera, and the Portland Festival Orchestra. John teaches privately in the Portland-Metro area. He attended Portland State University and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music where he received a degree in Music Performance. He was a member of the Marin Symphony, and regular substitute with the Dallas Wind Symphony, Texas Wind Symphony, Garland Symphony, and a founding member of the trombone quartet Slide Handlers while living in Dallas, Texas. John loves the outdoors, movies, and listening to all types of music. He has been married to his amazing wife Karen for over 30 years, and loves raising their daughter.
Story about how I came to play trombone
As a kid, I did not have the hand strength and dexterity needed to play many instruments, and my mom knew this. A few months before instrument selection in elementary school, she started playing lots of classical music with strong trombone parts; Wagner, Mahler, Respighi, Schostakovich, brass quintets, etc. This had the desired effect, as when I was choosing, I asked, “What was that instrument in that Mahler thing?” When I chose trombone, my mother breathed a sigh of relief knowing it was something I could play and stick with. Over 45 years later, I’m still with it, and love to play with PCSO and our wonderful low brass section of Greg Scholl, John Ohnstad, and James Kuzmic. Being able to play this amazing music with friends, and under the fabulous leadership of Steven Byess is both a privilege and a pleasure.
The Trombone Section is sponsored by Mardy & Hank Stevens, in memory of Dr. Milton L. Stevens, Jr.