High Note: UT Alumnus and Trombonist Goes to Vienna

KNOXVILLE — Jeremy Wilson’s budding career as a trombonist has hit a high note with an invitation to join the world-renowned Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.

Jeremy Wilson
Jeremy Wilson
Wilson, who is from McMinnville, earned his bachelor’s degree in music education and trombone performance in 2005. He won an audition in Vienna and was chosen to play second trombone as one of a few Americans to ever be in the orchestra. He will join the orchestra in September.

“Obviously, I am shocked, stunned, elated, overwhelmed and unbelievably overjoyed that I was chosen,” Wilson said. “I don’t know when it will sink in, but the fact is that come September I will have the honor and privilege to perform with one of the greatest orchestras in the world.”

Don Hough, Wilson’s trombone instructor at UT, said his former student’s achievement is very impressive.

“It’s huge. It just doesn’t happen,” said Hough, who retired in December. “People have waited 20 to 30 years to get into this orchestra.”

At UT, Wilson played in the Pride of the Southland Marching Band and several ensembles, including the Trombone Choir and the Tennessee Trombonery.

After graduation, the 24-year-old Wilson went to the University of North Texas to pursue a master’s degree in trombone performance. He has not yet finished the degree.

Hough said Wilson distinguishes himself by his expressive play and work ethic.

“To reach this level — best in the world — takes an incredible amount of work,” Hough said.

With a series of lucky breaks, Wilson nearly stumbled into his new job.

The principal trombone for the Vienna orchestra, Ian Bousfield, heard a CD recording Wilson sent in for an International Trombone Association competition in December. Bousfield invited Wilson to try out in Vienna, where he was coached by both Bousfield and bass trombonist Hans Stroecker.

“They seemed to really like the way I played so much so that they allowed me to skip the preliminary round of auditions,” Wilson said.

Wilson was among 17 trombonists who tried out for the position in the orchestra. A committee of 26 people picked Wilson after several rounds of auditions that ended May 7.

Upon his return to the U.S., Wilson also won the individual competition he entered with the International Trombone Association.


Contacts:

Leah Garton, School of Music, 865-974-8935, lgarton1@utk.edu

Elizabeth Davis, media relations, 865-974-5179, elizabeth.davis@tennessee.edu


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