Dr. Justin Isenhour, Ouachita Baptist University assistant professor of music, has been named second trombonist for the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra after several rounds of auditioning. He also is scheduled to perform a faculty recital at Ouachita on Sept. 20.
“I actually had to audition twice for the symphony,” Isenhour said. “The first time in August of 2012, there were about 35 candidates from all over the country.” All of those auditioning played in a preliminary blind audition for the audition committee. “Then, five musicians advanced to a second round and two moved on to the final round where the orchestra’s music director, Philip Mann, joined the committee to make a final decision,” Isenhour explained.
After the committee decided not to fill the position at that time, Isenhour was invited to play with the orchestra as a freelance musician several times that season until later reauditioning and becoming a regular member of the symphony. “I was offered an auto-advance to the final round for this year’s audition,” he noted. “Two candidates and myself advanced into the finals; I was offered the job based on that audition.”
“I am very proud of Dr. Isenhour for his successful audition,” said Dr. Craig Hamilton, the Lena Goodwin Trimble Professor of Music and director of bands. “We are fortunate to have such talented faculty at Ouachita.”
Isenhour holds music degrees from Appalachian State University, the University of Northern Colorado and the University of South Carolina. He teaches Fundamentals of Music Theory, Brass Methods, Applied Trombone/Euphonium/Tuba, Trombone Choir and other music courses at Ouachita.
Isenhour’s faculty recital on Friday, Sept. 20, will be held at 7:30 p.m. in McBeth Recital Hall. He will be performing a Vivaldi cello sonata, Frank Gulino’s “The Hero’s Horn,” Ferdinand David’s Concertino for Trombone and an arrangement of Gustav Mahler’s “Songs of a Wayfarer.” Isenhour will be collaborating with pianist Dr. Elizabeth Wallace from Howard Payne University.
“I met Frank Gulino last march when Dr. Ryan Lewis and I performed in Washington, D.C. at the Eastern Trombone Workshop, “ Isenhour explained. “His piece is highly influenced by movie and video game soundtracks; it’s a real gem.” He said the Gustav Mahler piece also is unique in that it was written for voice, but has been adapted for performance on trombone.
Isenhour and Wallace will also host a Creative Motion workshop on Saturday, Sept. 21,from 2:30 to 5 p.m. “Creative Motion is a kinesthetic pedagogy for learning and experiencing music,” Isenhour explained.
For more information on the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, faculty recital or Creative Motion workshop, contact Dr. Justin Isenhour at firstname.lastname@example.org or the School of Fine Arts at (870) 245-5129.
By Jessica Stewart