Published: March 23, 2023 By

Assistant Professor of Trombone Sterling TannerThe College of Music is pleased to announce the appointment of Sterling Tanner who will join our faculty this fall as assistant professor of trombone.

A performer, educator and clinician, Tanner is currently trombone assistant professor of practice at Ohio State University. In addition to leading trombone activities at Ohio State, Tanner coaches chamber music and serves as the faculty advisor for the Buckeye Trombone Association.  

“I’m looking forward to building on the positive culture among trombonists at the CU Boulder College of Music with a hyperfocus on the trombone ensemble,” says Tanner, an S.E. Shires Performing Artist who has appeared as a soloist throughout the United States and abroad including performances in Hong Kong and Valencia, Spain. “My goal is to lead our students to realize we are more than a collection of trombonists—we’re a family. 

“It’s important to me to hold students to the highest level of professionalism while inspiring them to think beyond sheet music—becoming not only proficient artists and educators but great citizens for the betterment of our world.”  

Tanner was named the winner of the 2016 and 2018 American Trombone Workshop Division III Bass Trombone Solo Competition, as well as the 2015 Southeastern Trombone Symposium S.E. Shires Solo Competition; he was a finalist in the 2016 International Trombone Festival’s Donald Yaxley Solo Competition.

He adds, “The University of Colorado Boulder College of Music has a long-standing reputation as one of the leading music institutions globally. Since I began teaching music, it’s been my dream to join an institution of this caliber as a faculty member. 

“The College of Music’s rich history of academic and artistic excellence, esteemed faculty and a vibrant student population of over 500 music majors are among the many attractive aspects that drew me to CU Boulder.”

A native of Birmingham, Alabama, Tanner earned a bachelor’s in music education from Columbus State University. He also holds both MM and DMA degrees in trombone performance from the University of Texas at Austin; his primary teachers include Bradley Palmer and Nathaniel Brickens.  

“Innovation is one of the first words that comes to mind when I think about the College of Music—for example, the college’s commitment to inclusive excellence in teaching, research, performance and creative activity through groups such as the Diverse Musicians’ Alliance,” concludes Tanner. “I also recall during the COVID-19 pandemic, most music programs across the country were following CU Boulder’s recommendations regarding safe music making.

“I’m elated to have the opportunity to contribute and take part in such innovative ideas and activities that help shape our musical communities and, ultimately, society as a whole.”

Welcome, Sterling Tanner!