Featured Artists

There’s something for everyone this year! We listened to last year’s feedback and have taken care to select a balanced group of trombonists representing classical, jazz, music education, and styles in between. Click on the names or links below to learn more about each of our guest artists.

Trombonist Christopher Bill

FEATURED ARTIST :: Christopher Bill has a Bachelor of Music for classical trombone performance from the SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Music in New York. While at the conservatory he studied with critically acclaimed trombonists Weston Sprott (Metropolitan Opera), Denson Paul-Pollard (Metropolitan Opera), John Fedchock (Grammy Nominated Jazz Trombonist), and the absolutely incomparable Timothy Albright.

Christopher is best known for his all-trombone arrangements of popular songs. His YouTube Channel has been gaining popularity since the spring of 2014 when a cover of Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” where Christopher uses a looping station to compose the song on the spot went viral. His videos have amassed over 23 million views and a following of over 140,000 subscribers. In April of 2014, Christopher independently released his first cover album, Breakthrough, which was followed by his Christmas album, Smiling’s My Favorite. More recently, Christopher released an original pop album called Half Man, Half Machine which mixes acoustic sounds with electronic instruments.

Since graduating from the Purchase Conservatory, Christopher enjoys a busy schedule of performances, clinics, and masterclasses. In addition to producing a new video every Saturday for his YouTube Channel, he often performs at festivals such as the American Trombone Workshop, Midwest Clinic, Texas Bandmasters Association, Con Brio Festivals, Conn-Selmer Institute, Western International Band Clinic, and the International Trombone Festival.

Christopher is a Conn-Selmer performing artist and clinician.


Dr. Dave Lambert, TromboneDave Lambert :: Dr. David Lambert is Assistant Professor of Trombone at Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, Alabama. He teaches the trombone studio, directs one of JSU’s four jazz ensembles, teaches courses in improvisation, jazz pedagogy, and jazz history, and directs the JSU Trombone Ensemble and trombone chamber ensembles.

A native of the Washington D.C. area, Dr. Lambert received his Bachelor of Music Education from James Madison University in Virginia, his Masters of Music Performance from Western Michigan University, and his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Jazz Studies from the University of Miami.

Dr. Lambert has given presentations at the American Trombone Workshop in Washington D.C., the Georgia Music Educators Association Conference, performed at the Alabama Music Educators Association Conference, served as a panelist at the University of Georgia Trombone Summit, and has been active as a performer, clinician, conductor, and adjudicator throughout the Southeast.

Dr. Lambert is a past member of the Sioux City Symphony and the Bismarck-Mandan Symphony orchestras. He was a 1999 Downbeat Award winner, past winner of the Eastern Trombone Workshop Jazz Division, and a two-year participant in the Betty Carter Jazz Ahead program at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. His writings on jazz trombone techniques have been published in the Instrumentalist magazine.

Dr. Lambert is also an active composer and arranger. His “Concerto for Trombone and Wind Ensemble” has been performed by ensembles at Jacksonville State University, the University of West Georgia, the University of Alabama-Hunstville, the University of Georgia, and the University of Miami.

In addition to his position at JSU, Dr. Lambert has held faculty positions at Morningside College in Sioux City, IA, the University of Mary in Bismarck, ND, and the University of Georgia in Athens, GA. Dr. Lambert is an active member of the International Trombone Association.  ::

Jay Crone ::Jay Crone Jay Crone, professor of music, joined the Virginia Tech faculty in 1994. Mr. Crone is currently the Principal Trombone of the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra, Opera Roanoke, the Wintergreen Festival Orchestra, the Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival Orchestra, and also performs regularly with the Richmond Symphony (VA). Crone has appeared as a soloist and chamber musician in the United Kingdom, China, and Ecuador, and has performed as a soloist and chamber musician at many conferences and festivals, including the American Trombone Workshop, Southeast Regional Horn and Tuba/Euphonium Workshops, Wintergreen Performing Arts Festival, and the Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival.

A unique aspect of Mr. Crone’s career has been his role as both a trombonist/euphoniumist and pianist. He has been a collaborative pianist in voice and instrumental recitals throughout the United States, including performances with members of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Florida Orchestra, the Louisville Orchestra, Delaware Symphony Orchestra, and the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra. Originally from California, Crone received degrees from the University of Southern California, Yale University, and California State University at Fresno.

As a trombonist, he has studied with Terry Cravens, John Swallow, Larry Sutherland, Byron Peebles, Ralph Sauer, and David Taylor. His piano teachers included Kevin FitzGerald, Elizabeth Sawyer-Parisot, and Philip Lorenz. Before coming to Virginia Tech Crone was a visiting assistant professor of music at Humboldt State University in Arcata, California.

Mr. Jefferson's Bones phographned on 8/19/15. Photo copyright Pat Jarrett, all rights reserved.

Photo © 2015 Pat Jarrett

Festival co-Host Mr. Jefferson’s Bones :: Central Virginia’s Premier Trombone Ensemble :: Mr. Jefferson’s Bones has entertained thousands since its inception in 2001. The ensemble is comprised of some of the Shenandoah Valley’s most experienced and talented trombonists and enjoys performing a wide variety of classical, sacred, popular and jazz repertoire. :: READ MJB’S BIO ::