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School of Music

Trombone Studio

Graduate Student
Jacob Hardy
Graduate Teaching Assistant

BM Eastern Illinois University
Bass and Tenor Trombone

 

Jacob Hardy is a Masters of Music student and the Trombone Teaching Assistant at the University of Florida.

Undergraduate Student
Jacob Armstrong

Tenor Trombone
Gainesville, Florida
BME Music Education

Jacob grew up in Gainesville, Florida and is active in many musical ensembles here such as the Wind Symphony, Symphony Orchestra, Jazz Band, Gator Marching Band, Volleyball Pep Band, and Basketball Pep Band. He is also active in Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity of America here at UF and is also a member of the National Association for Music Educators. He has spent the summer of 2015 and 2016 on the road with The Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps where he plays baritone and bass trombone.

Jacob loves UF sports as well as being in the outdoors. He is an Eagle Scout and loves to go hiking and kayaking in his free time.

“The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people.”

- Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture

Undergraduate Student
Matthew Bell

Northwest Florida State College A.A.
Tenor Trombone
Ft. Walton, Florida
BME Music Education
Minor: Family, Youth, and Community Sciences

I am the youngest of four children, born Nov. 21st, 1996, coming from a family of musicians. My brother, James, played the flute; my oldest sister, Stephanie, played the French horn; and my other sister, Christine, played trumpet. My father, Dover, plays the electric bass as well as the guitar. He is a very unique musician in that he also plays the musical saw and the trombone. With his encouragement as well as my desire to be like dad, I chose to play the trombone beginning when I was 10 years old. My mother, Laurie, played clarinet and also encouraged me to delve into the world of music to eventually find my calling and it was destined to be a passion in music. 


Beginning under the direction of Hank Phillips at Longwood Elementary School, I began to work on producing a sound and learning how to tune the trombone (which was not easy as a beginner even though we, as trombonists, play a tuning slide). I soon moved under the direction of Paul Harris Jr. at Meigs Middle School in Okaloosa County, Florida. At Meigs, I began to learn the basics of trombone playing and started to play band repertoire. Ranging from the Nathan Hale Trilogy to Orpheus Overture to African Noel, I still actively listen to these pieces today.


The next part of my musical career was set in the high school band program at Choctawhatchee High School. As a member of the Choctawhatchee Style Marchers, I further developed as a musician and had the pleasure of studying under Kelly Deklinski, Chad Hannah, Bradley Parks, and John McArthur. These four directors each had their own perspective of music, which gave me four views to understanding musical effects and areas of importance during my high school career. I was also selected as a member of the Okaloosa All-County Honor Band twice including my senior year in which the ensemble premiered Expedition by Timothy Mahr. The feat of being selected for the band goes with credit to Mr. Timothy Van Dam, my private instructor on trombone. Mr. Van Dam was very crucial in my development of good tone and technique on trombone. During the high school stage of my career, I studied more band repertoire including: On a Hymnsong of Philip Bliss, Festivo, American Riversongs, Chester, and Black Granite. 

With all of the sources of inspiration, I aspire to be a music educator. I am currently a sophomore in the 2016-2017 academic year at the University of Florida, studying Music Education in the College of the Arts. I am studying under Dr. Erik Shinn on trombone. I plan to graduate in 2019. I would like to one day return to my hometown of Shalimar, Florida to find a job as a music educator. Okaloosa County has a strong music program that inspired me to become more involved, and I look forward to being able to give back to the program.

Undergraduate Student
Carli Castillón

Tenor Trombone
Port Orange, Florida
BM in Combination with an Outside Field: Spanish

Carli is a first year student at the University of Florida. She was previously the band captain of Spruce Creek High School and toured with her wind ensemble in Ireland and London. In addition, she competed at the Savannah Swing Central Jazz Competition with her school’s top jazz band. Carli also held the position of principal trombone of the Philharmonia Orchestra with the FSYO. Outside of band, she was a competitive figure skater for 13 years.

Undergraduate Student
Nicholas Dufresne

Bass Trombone
Orlando, Florida
BM Trombone Performance

I have been a trombonist for 9 years and a bass trombonist for 5. I have played in several ensembles, bands and orchestras including FSYO, Winter Park Trombone Ensemble and All-State and All-county Bands. I enjoy writing and arranging for small Trombone ensembles for fun as well as outdoor activities.

Undergraduate Student
Christian Franco

Tenor Trombone
Oviedo, Florida
BS in Computer Science
Minor: Music Performance

I've been playing the trombone for 9 years now. My passion actually started in high school and grew even more at UF. The people and the level of musicianship here ultimately led me to further pursue my passion. I am now studying music in combination with computer science. I attended Hagerty High School in Oviedo, FL and also participated in the All-County band. I had the pleasure of studying with Joseph Vascik for a few years. I'm now in the UF Trombone Choir, Wind Symphony, Gator Marching Band, and Basketball Pep Band. Aside from school, I also enjoy playing intramural sports here at UF.

Undergraduate Student
Sofia Hernandez

Tenor Trombone
Kissimmee, Florida
BS Biology: Animal Science
Minor: Music Peformance

I was born in Long Beach, California and was raised in Kissimmee, Florida practically my entire life. I have been exposed to instrumental ever since I can remember and have been playing trombone for the past nine years. I love music, however, it is not what I plan to pursue as a career in the future. I am primarily an animal science major with hopes of one day becoming an aquatic veterinarian. I want to focus on the rehabilitation and conservation of marine life, preserving the beauty of the underwater world for future generations. I also want to pass on the beauty of classical music. These past few years during the summer, I am a camp counselor back in Kissimmee for a camp that teaches elementary school students about instrumental music. I spend a lot of my time participating in marching band and also volunteering at various animal clinics/organizations, such as the local animal shelter,Newberry Animal Hospital, and HOPE For Horses.

Undergraduate Student
Jackson Jeffares

Bass Trombone
Lakeland, Florida
Major: Civil Engineering
Minor: Music Performance

Undergraduate Student
Donnie Johnson

Tenor Trombone
Orlando, Florida
BM in Combination with Outside Field: Biology

Donnie Johnson is a first year music in combination with bio student at the University of Florida. Throughout high school he has made numerous honor bands and was apart of the Visual Performing Arts magnet program at his high school. In his free time Donnie enjoys to make music whether it is on trombone, piano or any other instrument. His goal for life after college is to attend medical school and become a nuerologist.

Undergraduate Student
Christian Jose

Tenor Trombone
Naples, Florida
BM in Combination with an Outside Field: Information Systems

Undergraduate Student
Clay Keel

Bass Trombone
Shalimar, Florida
BME Music Education

Clay Keel is from Shalimar, Florida and attended Choctawhatchee High School.  After graduating he spent a season on tour with the Spriit of Atlanta Drum and Bugle corps for their 2015 season.  Following that summer Clay began his degree at Northwest Florida State College, where he began as a vocalist, and was given the opportunity to perform in the winter production of "A Christmas Carol."  Clay transfered to the University of Florida in the Spring of 2017 after graduating with his associates degree.

As a bass trombonist, Clay has performed as a member of the Chocatawhatchee stylemarchers, the Choctawhatchee jazz band, and symphonic band, Northwest Florida State College jazz band, UF Symphonic Band, Gator Band, Volleyball Pep Band, and the UF Trombone Choir.

Undergraduate Student
Benjamin Kimutis

Tenor Trombone
Clermont, Florida
BME Music Education

Benjamin Kimutis is a third-year student at the University of Florida, and is studying music education.  He has been playing trombone for eight years, and has played music for ten years.  He is involved in multiple ensembles at the University of Florida, such as the symphonic band, the concert bands, as well as several athletic bands, such as the Univesrity of Florida Figtin' Gator Band, where he currently holds the position of trombone section leader, the Volleyball Pep Band, and the Basketball Pep Band.  Ben is an avid hiker, and plans to hike the Appalachian Trail following graduation.  Following that, Ben plans to teach at the high school level for several years, and would like to return to school for graduate studies.

Undergraduate Student
Zachary Landress

Bass Trombone
Wellington, Florida
BS Mechancial Engineering
Minor: Jazz Studies

I have always had a passion for music. Several years ago, I picked up a trombone for the first time in junior high, and have been playing it ever since. Playing trombone led me to teach myself piano, and also led me to choral singing and eventually musical theatre and composition. Now, I am extremely thankful to be studying composition at the University of Florida. 

Undergraduate Student
Erin Machmiller

BME Music Education
Saint Augustine, FL
Tenor Trombone

Undergraduate Student
Jacob Massena

Tenor Trombone
BME Music Education

Undergraduate Student
Karina Tamayo

Tenor Trombone
Naples, Florida
BM in Combination with an Outside Field: English

Karina began her musical journey at six years old, when she asked her parents if she could take piano lessons. Now thirteen years later, she continues with her piano playing, and was even the pianist for the Naples Youth Jazz Orchestra for a year. 
However, her true trombone endeavors began when she entered the sixth grade. Following her older brothers footsteps, she chose to take band as one of her electives, and somehow ended up playing the trombone. It has been one of the best decisions of her life. 
Once in high school, Karina joined the Naples High School marching band, where she became section leader her junior year and brass captain her senior year of high school. In her senior year, she was awarded the John Philip Sousa Band Award by her band director for being recognized as having superior musicianship, dependability, loyalty, and cooperation. 
When not on the field, Karina performed with her friends in a trombone trio, as well as in a trombone quartet. Both groups went on to perform at Solo and Ensemble, and receive Superiors. 
Outside of the high school ensembles, Karina also was a two year trombone performer in the Naples Youth Jazz Orchestra, an organization which any high schooler in the area could audition for and play jazz music. Here she performed in outside venues at Cambier Park in front of hundreds of audience members, and was able to play with the Naples Jazz Orchestra, which consisted of some of the top jazz musicians in South West Florida. 
Since then, Karina has been a part of the University of Florida Symphonic Band, where last Spring the ensemble had a tour through Savannah, Georgia; and played at  the College Band Directors National Association Conference in Charleston, South Carolina. 
Karina has also maintained her love for marching band by being a returning member to the Pride of the Sunshine Gator Marching Band. Through the band, Karina became a sister of Tau Beta Sigma, a national honorary band service sorority, and is an active member of the Beta Xi chapter here at the University of Florida. 
Besides music, Karina enjoys cats, reading classic literature, and taking pictures of trees. 
One of her main motto's is, "If you love life, life will love you back".  

Undergraduate Student
Collin Ulmer

Tenor Trombone
Gainesville, FL
BM in Combination with an Outside Field: Criminology

Collin was the Drum Major of the 2015 State Championship Gainesville High School Marching Hurricanes. In addition, Collin was a member of the Alachua All-County Band in 2014 and 2015, as well as in the Alachua County Youth Orchestra from 2014 to 2016. After graduating, Collin plans to be a high school band director and to continue establishing the importance of music for future generations.

Undergraduate Student
Martin Vivas-Gonzalez

Tenor Trombone
Weston, Florida
​BM in Combination with an Outside Field: Material Science and Engineering

Music has been present in my life for a very long time. I began playing piano at the age of 5 and the trombone in 6th grade when my brothers encouraged me to do so. Ever since then, I have been a part of several All County bands while participating in the school band as well. In addition, I've been swimming competitively for seven years where I competed in several regional and state level meets as well as the YMCA national swim meet. I currently swim for the Gator Swim Club here in Gainsville where I plan to continue my career as a gator. My interest in science has always influenced my classes in school and has led me to become a materials engineer. I hope to develop  my interest in chemistry and physics so that I can apply it to the real world. I have wanted to be a gator for as long as I remember but the real reason why this school is perfect for me is because it allows me to  pursue all of my passions without having to give one up. My plan is to continue balancing my time between music, swimming, and engineering so that I can enjoy and progress them. 

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