Samuel Chen

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Samuel Chen > Trombone & Euphonium

samuel-chenSamuel S. Chen is from Huntington, Indiana, and was raised in a musical family. First studying cello, Sam started playing the euphonium in the 6th grade band and later began studying trombone at 16. He is grateful for the opportunity to serve as professional musician, and is thankful for his parents, teachers, and colleagues for their many contributions.

Sam attended Huntington North High School and the Interlochen Arts Academy. In 1992 Sam was a winner of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic Young Artist Solo Competition, attended the Interlochen Arts Camp, and won first place in the Leonard Falcone International Euphonium Competition.

Graduating from the Interlochen Arts Academy in 1993, Sam received the award for Excellent Performance in euphonium and toured Belgium and Germany as the euphonium soloist for the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp International Symphonic Band, conducted by world renowned Euphoniumist, Dr. Earle Louder.

In 1997 Sam earned the Bachelor’s in Music in Trombone Performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music, studying with Cleveland Orchestra trombonist Steven Witser. While a student there he became the only trombonist to have been a solo winner in the CIM concerto competition, resulting in a performance of the Grondahl Concerto for Trombone and Orchestra with the CIM orchestra, conducted by current New York Philharmonic Music Director, Alan Gilbert.

Continuing his education at Indiana University, Sam studied with former principal trombonist of the Bayerische Staatsoper and Bamburger Symphoniker, Carl Lenthe, as well as former Philadelphia Orchestra trombonist and master pedagogue, M. Dee Stewart, and was awarded the Artist Diploma in 2004. Additionally, Sam has studied with Scott Hartman, formerly of the Empire Brass and current Professor of Trombone at Yale University; Ed Zadrozny, former Philadelphia Orchestra and Cleveland Orchestra trombonist, and current Professor of Trombone at the University of Akron; as well as Jay Friedman and Michael Mulcahy of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

Since joining the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra as principal trombone in the fall of 2000, Sam has maintained a busy schedule as an orchestral trombonist, also performing as the Oak Ridge Symphony Orchestra’s second trombonist, as well as being the bass trombonist for both the Symphony of the Mountains, Kingsport, TN; and the Lakeside Symphony Orchestra, Lakeside, OH, a position he has held since 1995. Sam has previously held the position of principal trombone with the Missouri Chamber Orchestra, and has performed with the New World Symphony under Michael Tilson Thomas, the IU Festival Orchestra under Leif Segerstam, in addition to the orchestras of Fort Wayne, IN; Kalamazoo, MI; Akron, OH; and Evansville, IN.

Sam has served as trombone soloist with the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra under conductors Kirk Trevor, Daniel Meyer, Cornelia Laemli, Keith Brion and James Fellenbaum. Sam has also appeared as soloist with the Oak Ridge Symphony Orchestra under Serge Fournier, the Fort Wayne Philharmonic under Ronald Ondrejka and David Crowe, and the Missouri Chamber Orchestra under Kirk Trevor. Additional solo engagements have been with the Cleveland Institute of Music Symphony Orchestra, 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.

As an educator, Sam teaches privates lessons for the Maryville City Schools, is on faculty at Music Arts in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and the New York Summer Music Festival in Oneonta, NY, and has also appeared as a clinician at the East Tennessee Music Educator’s Association’s Clinic in Nashville, TN. Locally, his precollege students have been invited to perform at the Mid West Band Clinic and many have found success competing at the East Tennessee State Band and Orchestra Association’s Junior and Senior Clinics, often earning high placement scores. On the collegiate level, Sam’s students have gone on to attend the University of Tennessee School of Music , the Cleveland Institute of Music, Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, and the Manhattan School of Music.

Sam is a member of the Knox Brass WorX Co, a five piece professional brass ensemble, based in Knoxville, Tennessee. They have performed locally in Market Square, and the Rossini Festival, as well as in the recital series of Immaculate Conception Church, and St. John’s Cathedral. They have been clinicians at the 2010 New York Summer Music Festival in Oneonta, NY and at the 2011 Tennessee Music Educator’s Association’s Clinic. The “Brass Worx” can be extensively viewed on, and are currently working on material for their CD debut.