Samuel Chen, trombone
Samuel S. Chen, a Huntington, Indiana native, was raised in a musical family, graduating from Interlochen Arts Academy in 1993. 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, and Ed Zadrozny.
Sam joined the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra as principal trombone in the fall of 2000, and maintains a busy schedule as a symphonic trombonist, 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 under Michael Tilson Thomas, Fort Wayne Philharmonic, Kalamazoo Symphony, Akron Symphony, Evansville Philharmonic, and is currently active as a substitute for the San Diego Symphony Orchestra.
Honors and awards include solo appearances with the KSO under conductors Kirk Trevor, Daniel Meyer, Cornelia Laemli, Keith Brion, Sande MacMorran, 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 Fort Wayne Philharmonic under Ronald Ondrejka and David Crowe as a young artist. Sam is the only trombonist to have won the Cleveland Institute of Music concerto competition, a win which resulted in a performance of the Grondahl Concerto for Trombone and Orchestra conducted by Alan Gilbert. Additional solo performances include performances with the Case Western Reserve University Wind Ensemble, the University of the Cumberlands Wind Ensemble, the International Symphonic Band of Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, and the Erie Band of Huntington, IN. Sam received the award in excellent performance from the Interlochen Arts Academy and also won 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, and Eastern Kentucky University. Teaching privately in the Knoxville area, Sam is an instructor for Music Arts in Oak Ridge, and the Maryville City Schools Band program. 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, the University of North Texas and the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music.