Featured Musician: Robert Nelson, Trombone

SHO Member Since: Spring 2015

Current job: Veterinarian

Degree/college attended: B.S. in Biology, University of Texas El Paso; Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, Texas A&M University

At what age did you start playing trombone and when/why did you decide to pursue music as a career: I began playing trombone in 6th grade and began marching in the high school band in the 7th grade.  My love for music was augmented by the fact that my mother was a piano teacher and church choir director.  Although I did not pursue music as a career, it has been a huge part of my entire life. I was turned on to classical music in my early teens and it has remained my primary musical focus.  As a youngster, I taught myself how to play guitar and used it to accompany my voice as a solo performer with various folk, gospel, and bluegrass groups.  Singing has been a love of mine throughout my life and I have been privileged to have sung with some excellent choral ensembles.  I only returned to the trombone about 15 years ago and currently play with the Maury County Community Band, a wonderful trombone ensemble – Bone Therapy, and the SHO.

Who is your musical hero or inspiration:  Oh, I have many: the wonderful trombone players in Bone Therapy, many classical orchestral and choral composers, my mother, my wife (who plays piano and can still bring tears to my eyes), and my daughter (who just received her Masters Degree in Classical Vocal Performance from Manhattan School of Music)

A funny musical experience:  I cannot think of any such funny experiences, but there have been numerous embarrassing experiences that I would just rather forget, such as standing on the stage in the 6th grade and performing a vocal solo while playing my ukulele and coming to an abrupt halt half way through a verse because I forgot the words.  I can laugh about it now.

What was your first orchestral experience: My dad took me to see The Boston Pops directed by Arthur Fieldler at an area Community Concert program when I was in high school.  I was hooked!

Favorite composer: Many, especially Rachmaninoff, Shostakovitch, Vaughn Williams, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Handel, Debussy, Borodin, Henry Mancini, etc.

What music do you listen to in your free time: Classical – orchestral and choral, especially sacred.  I am entranced and deeply moved by the videos of the keyboard performances of Yuja Wang.

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