Samuel Chen

Principal Trombone

Samuel Chen


Samuel S. Chen, a Huntington, Indiana native, was raised in a musical family, and attended the Interlochen Arts Camp and Academy. Sam earned his B.M. in Trombone Performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music in 1997, studying with Steven Witser. Continuing his education at Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, Sam studied with, Carl Lenthe, and M. Dee Stewart, earning the Artist Diploma in 2004. Other influences include James DeSano, Scott Hartman Jay Friedman, and Cristian Ganicenco.

Sam joined the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra as principal trombone in the fall of 2000, and maintains a busy schedule as a symphonic trombonist, also holding positions with Oak Ridge Symphony Orchestra, Symphony of the Mountains, and the Lakeside Symphony Orchestra. Sam has previously served as principal trombone of the Missouri Chamber Orchestra, bass trombone for the Jacksonville Symphony, and has performed as a substitute for the New World Symphony, Fort Wayne Philharmonic, Kalamazoo Symphony, Akron Symphony, Youngstown Symphony Orchestra, Evansville Philharmonic, Symphony Augusta, Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, San Diego Symphony and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.

Honors and awards include solo appearances with the KSO under conductors Kirk Trevor, Daniel Meyer, Cornelia Laemli, Keith Brion, and James Fellenbaum. Sam has also performed as soloist with Oak Ridge Symphony Orchestra under Serge Fournier, the Missouri Chamber Orchestra under Kirk Trevor; and as a young artist, with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic under Ronald Ondrejka and David Crowe. Sam is the only trombonist to have won the Cleveland Institute of Music concerto competition, which resulted in a performance of the Grondahl Concerto for Trombone and Orchestra conducted by Alan Gilbert.

Additional solo engagements include performaces with the Case Western Reserve University Wind Ensemble, the University of the Cumberlands Wind Ensemble, the Erie Band of Huntington, IN, East Tennessee Wind Symphony, and a 2015 performance of John Mackey’s Harvest: Concerto for Trombone at the New York Summer Music Festival. Sam also won First Place in the high school division of the Leonard Falcone International Euphonium Competition in 1992.

As a clinician and educator, Sam has presented masterclasses for the Tennessee Music Educator’s Association’s Clinic, The University of Memphis Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music, Eastern Kentucky University, and Wright State University. Teaching privately in the Knoxville area, Sam is an  instructor for the Maryville City Schools Band program, maintaining a studio of 30 students. Sam has also served as faculty for the New York Summer Music Festival in Oneonta NY (2006-15) and is proud to have seen students go on to attend such institutions as: Cleveland Institute of Music, Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, the Manhattan School of Music, Peabody Conservatory, the University of North Texas, and the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music.

Sam is available for private instruction and may be reached at [email protected]

* Member of the Knoxville Symphony Chamber Orchestra

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