The trombone is the only brass instrument with a slide. Instead of using valves to change pitches, you move the slide to adjust the length of the instrument and play different pitches. Trombones have almost nine feet of tubing. An important member of the trombone family is the bass trombone. It is larger and can play lower pitches which is why the bass trombone player usually sits right next to the tuba player.
R. Douglas Wright
Principal Trombone, Star Tribune Chair
William C. and Corinne J. Dietrich Chair
R. Douglas Wright, the Minnesota Orchestra’s principal trombone since 1995, was featured as soloist in 2007 in Kalevi Aho’s Symphony No. 9 for Trombone and Orchestra, which he reprised during summer 2008. Wright has performed a variety of trombone concertos with the Orchestra, and in 2002 gave the world premiere performances of Kurt Schwertsik’s Trombone Concerto—a work written for him. He is active as a solo recitalist and performer in the Orchestra's chamber concert series. Highlights include his 2011 performance of James Stephenson’s Sonata for Trombone and Piano on the Orchestra’s Chamber Music at MacPhail series.
A native of Sahalahti, Finland, Kari Sundström joined the Minnesota Orchestra in 1996 after having been a member of the Helsinki Philharmonic.
Sundström graduated from the Juilliard School of Music, where he studied with Per Brevig. From 1990 to 1995 he performed as a member of the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra in Finland and served as professor of trombone at the Tampere Conservatory. In 1991 Sundström was named Finland’s brass player of the year.
Andrew Chappell joined the Minnesota Orchestra as bass trombonist in fall 2014. He previously was bass trombonist of the Rochester Philharmonic and the Santa Fe Opera as well as a fellow at the New World Symphony. He currently performs with the Burning River Brass ensemble and regularly appears with the Doohickey Seven.
Chappell, a San Francisco native, earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Oberlin College and Rice University and studied with David Waters, Ray Premru and Gerry Pagano. In between orchestra jobs, Andrew was a freelance musician in Toronto and Houston in addition to teaching many middle schoolers in Texas to stay away from the trombone.