Meet the Artists
Amy Bowers is an active freelance musician in California and tenured member of Santa Rosa Symphony, beginning in 2002.
Miss Bowers is a highly sought after orchestral musician performing with a variety of orchestras including Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Los Angeles Opera, Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Pacific Symphony, Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra, Pasadena Symphony, among many others.
Amy currently teaches at Orange County School of the Arts and she maintains a large private studio with students throughout Los Angeles, Orange, and Riverside Counties. Her students have gone on to prestigious music schools including Juilliard, Eastman, San Francisco Conservatory, Vanderbilt University, Rice, University of Southern California (USC), University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), among others.
Amy graduated from USC with an undergraduate and graduate degree in trombone performance, going on to be an adjunct professor from 2002-2016.
She has won many solo competitions including Pasadena Solo Competition, Sigma Alpha Iota Young Artist Competition, USC Concerto Competition, YMF Debut Orchestra Concerto Competition, and the Pasadena Young Artist Solo Competition. She has also been a featured soloist with the Colburn Zipper Orchestra, Idyllwild Wind Ensemble, Fullerton College Wind Ensemble, and was the recipient of the Robert Marsteller Outstanding Brass Player Award from the Thornton School of Music.
Amy has also performed with a wide variety of artists such as Andrea Bocelli, Kanye West, Seth McFarlane, Merv Griffin, Kenny G, Michael Feinstein, Marvin Hamlisch, David Foster, John Williams, and Katherine McPhee.
Kyle Gordon is the bass trombonist in The U.S. Army Band “Pershing’s Own” Concert Band. Prior to this position, he was the bass trombonist of the Houston Grand Opera, a position he held for 3 seasons. Kyle received his Master of Music in trombone performance from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music where he was awarded the Performer’s Certificate recognizing his outstanding work as a solo performer and was the winner of the brass concerto competition. His teachers included M. Dee Stewart, Dr. Graydon McGrannahan, and Jared Rodin. Prior to his studies at Indiana University, Kyle received a bachelor’s degree in K-12 Instrumental and Vocal Music Education from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. He has additional studies in early music and bass sackbut. Kyle has served as a freelance educator and has taught as adjunct faculty at both Drake University and Lonestar Community College. He can be heard on recordings with the U.S. Army Band, as well as Drake University’s Wind Symphony. He is a member of Pi Kappa Lambda, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and was the recipient of the James M. Cox Memorial Scholarship for young music educators.
Justin Isenhour grew up in Fort Mill, SC and picked up a trombone in his public school's sixth grade band. He now performs in a wide variety of genres including classical, jazz and commercial music. He currently performs with the Rock Hill Symphony and Opera Carolina Orchestra. He is a former member of the Arkansas Symphony and previously performed with the Charlotte Symphony, Augusta Symphony, The Blumenthal Theater, Greeley Philharmonic, and the South Carolina Philharmonic.
As a teacher, Dr. Isenhour works with students of all ages, but spends the bulk of his time with his collegiate trombone studio at Winthrop University where he also teaches Music Theory courses. His research interests include a music pedagogy system known as Creative Motion. Creative Motion utilizes kinesthetic principles for the authentic conveyance of artistic ideas. In 2009, at the Windswept Music Conference, he received certification as a Level II Creative Motion instructor.
Dr. Isenhour's article on approaching ornamentation in Johann Georg Albrechtsberger's Concerto in B-flat for Trombone (1769) appeared in the April 2006 International Trombone Association Journal (Volume 35, Number 2). His app Click Pitch is currently one of the only orchestral excerpt training apps in the AppStore, and he recently presented at the 2017 International Trombone Festival.
He pursued a degree in music at Appalachian State University under Dr. Harold McKinney, earning a Bachelors in Music in 2003. After completing his undergraduate degree, he served as the Trombone/Euphonium Teaching Assistant at the University of Northern Colorado studying with Dr. Nathaniel Wickham and graduating with a Masters in Music in 2005. He was awarded a Doctorate in Musical Arts from the University of South Carolina in 2012 working with Dr. Brad Edwards. He has also studied with and performed for: Nitzan Haroz, Toby Oft, Dave Taylor, Colin Williams, Haim Avitsur, Larry Zalkind, Carl Lenthe, Gene Pokorny, Rick Simerly and Wycliffe Gordon.
He again resides in Fort Mill, SC with his beautiful wife, Jennifer, their wonderful sons Owen and William.
Jose Leonardo Leon
Dr. Jose Leonardo Leon is one of South Florida’s most active and versatile Bass and Tenor Trombonists and educators. Leon has worked with professional organizations and artists such as the Bilbao Symphony Orchestra (Spain), the Orquesta Filarmonica UNAM (Mexico City), the Jalisco Philharmonic (Mexico), the New World Symphony (Miami), Andrea Bocelli, The Manhattan Transfer, Wicked and Frozen super star Idina Menzel, Arturo Sandoval, Wycliffe Gordon, Bob Mintzer, Paquito D’ Rivera, Eddie Daniels, 2015 Latin Grammy winner recording album Dr. Ed Calle presents Mamblue, and most recently with the Disney’s Star Wars In Concert Franchise, David Foster and the Kravis Center Pops Orchestra.
In 2018, he released his first album entitled Journey utilizing the Bass Trombone as both a solo and chamber instrument, receiving the 2018 Global Music Award Outstanding Achievement medal for Instrumentalist and Original Compositions by American and Latin American composers.
Some of Dr. Leon’s international festivals, conferences, performances, and residencies include visits to institutions and countries such as the University of Arkansas, University of Costa Rica School of the Arts, the Alabama Bandmasters Association Low Brass Day, the 2016 URUBRASS Summit Uruguay, the 2015 ITF in Spain, the 2012 and 2013 editions of the International Trombone Week at the Universities of Oaxaca and Aguascalientes, Mexico, the 2011 JEN Conference in New Orleans, and the Carlos Chavez National Youth Orchestra’ Academic Week in Mexico City (Mexico) 2010. Dr. Leon’s career started at the internationally acclaimed “Simon Bolivar” Symphony Orchestras of Venezuela known as “El Sistema”.
Dr. Leon is the Adjunct Professor of Trombone at Florida Atlantic University, an Adjunct Professor of Music Appreciation at Broward College, and a Trombone Artist-in-Residence at the Dreyfoos School of the Arts.
Dr. Leon received his Bachelor of Music at Florida International University, a Master at the University of Miami Frost School of Music, and most recently his Doctor of Musical Arts in Trombone Performance and Pedagogy at the University of Colorado Boulder College of Music. Currently, Jose L. Leon plays tenor and bass trombones with the Florida Grand Opera, the Palm Beach Symphony, and the Symphony of the Americas. Dr. Leon is a Bach Brass & Conn-Selmer Artist. For more information, visit http://www.joseleonardoleon.com
Rachel Schwab is a graduate teaching assistant, pursuing her M.M in trombone performance at the University of Delaware, class of 2021. This year, Schwab is excited to be a leading member of the inaugural UD Graduate Brass Quintet. Previously, she piloted a new curriculum of methods classes to collegiate music education students, taught lessons to non-major trombone students, and co-conducted the UD Trombone Choir and the First State Middle School Trombone Choir. In 2018, Schwab graduated with a bachelor’s in music education from UD, where she performed with local and university orchestras, wind bands, chamber groups, and jazz ensembles. In addition to teaching and performing through the university and community, Schwab spent the last year teaching K-5 elementary general music in the northern Delaware region, taught private lessons, and freelanced in the tri-state area. Grants and scholarship awards for undergraduate research and study, such as the Edward G. and Naomi L. Jefferson award (2016, 2020) and the Arts and Humanities and Social Sciences Summer Scholar award (2017) have allowed Schwab to attend the Southeast Trombone Symposium (Participant Class and Artist Class), the Atlantic Brass Quintet Seminar, as well as create Schwabcone! a pedagogical resource for trombonists and educators. Schwab looks forward to continuing her research as a trombonist and educator.
Kenneth Thompkins was appointed Principal Trombone of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in 1997 by Neeme Jarvi. Prior to this appointment he held positions in the Buffalo Philharmonic and The Florida Orchestra. He has also performed with the New World Symphony under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas.
Thompkins received his bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University and a Master of Music degree from Temple University. His primary teachers were Eric Carlson of the Philadelphia Orchestra and the late Frank Crisafulli, formerly of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
Thompkins enjoys working with young musicians and has taught at Wayne State University as well as having a private teaching studio. He has performed masterclasses and recitals at many universities including the University of Michigan and Michigan State University. As a chamber musician, Thompkins performs with the Detroit Chamber Winds and can be heard on their recording of music by Stravinsky. Thompkins has performed as a soloist and chamber musician in the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival. He has performed as a soloist with the New World Symphony and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. He can also be heard on recordings with the New World Symphony and the Detroit Symphony. In 2017 Thompkins recorded Sonatas, Songs and Spirituals featuring the music of Alec Wilder, William Grant Still and Philip Wharton. Sonatas, Songs and Spirituals was the winner of The American Prize in Instrumental Performance for 2018-2019.
Dr. Bruce Tychinski is Professor of Trombone at the University of Delaware where he teaches applied lessons, directs the trombone choir and UD Slides jazz trombone ensemble and hosts an annual Trombone Day event. Dr. Tychinski is a member of the Washington Trombone Ensemble, the Nittany Trombone Quartet, Principal Trombonist of the Johnstown Symphony and Second Trombonist of the Lancaster Symphony. He is also co-founder of the First State Middle School Trombone Choir, an ensemble comprised of middle school trombonists from northern Delaware.
During his career, Dr. Tychinski has performed with orchestras, chamber groups, and jazz ensembles throughout the United States and also with many well-known popular artists including Rosemary Clooney, the Four Tops, Little Anthony and the Imperials, the Drifters, Leslie Gore, Lou Christie and Connie Francis. In recent years, he has appeared at the International Trombone Festival, the International Tuba and Euphonium Conference, International Horn Symposium, and the American Trombone Workshop. Dr. Tychinski spearheaded the Stamp Trombone Commission Consortium that resulted in the composition Divertimento for Trombone and Band by Jack Stamp which he premiered at the 2013 Eastern Trombone Workshop with the United States Army Band. Dr. Tychinski was named a 2016 Delaware Division of the Arts Fellow and released his first solo compact disc recording, Interplay: New Music for Trombone and Band on the Arts Laureate label in 2017.
Dr. Tychinski holds Bachelor and Master of Music in Trombone Performance degrees from Penn State University and the Doctor of Musical Arts in Trombone Performance degree from the University of Kansas. Prior to his appointment at the University of Delaware, Dr. Tychinski taught at the University of Southern Mississippi, St. Norbert College and the University of Northern Iowa.
Dr. Tychinski is an Artist for the S.E. Shires Company.
David Wilborn is Associate Professor of Music at Texas A&M University in College Station, where he teaches the low brass studio and coordinates small ensembles. Wilborn studied composition with Donald Grantham and trombone with Donald Knaub and John Marcellus. He holds the Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Texas at Austin, the Master of Music degree from the Eastman School of Music, and the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Texas. Wilborn is the composer of several award-winning works for brass instruments. His Excursions for Six Trombones was selected as the winner of the 2003 Allen E. Ostrander Trombone Choir Composition Prize; his brass quintet entitled Escapades was selected as one of the winning compositions at the Appalachian State 2004 Brass Chamber Music Festival Composition Contest; and his Three Movements for Brass Sextet won second place at the 2005 Humboldt Composition Contest for Brass Chamber Music. In February 2008, Wilborn performed the solo bass trombone part in the New York premiere of Concertante Caprice with the Texas A&M University Wind Symphony in Carnegie Hall. Rorianne Schrade, music critic for the New York Concert Review, praised the work for its “freshness and excitement.” Wilborn’s compositions are published by the International Trombone Association Press, C. Alan Publications, Warwick Music, Kagarice Brass Editions, Grand Mesa Music, Cherry Classics Music, and Wehr Music House. Wilborn has served as a conductor, trombonist, lecturer, and clinician throughout the United States, Europe, and Puerto Rico. He is the author of numerous articles dealing with low brass and band pedagogy. His professional affiliations include the International Trombone Association, College Music Society, National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors, Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Bandmasters Association, and American Society of Composers Authors, and Publishers.