Boston Symphony trombonist to join ASU School of Music faculty

November 1, 2011

Boston Symphony Orchestra bass trombonist Douglas Yeo will join Arizona State University School of Music faculty, Kimberly Marshall, director of ASU School of Music, recently announced.

Yeo, who has played with the Boston Symphony since 1985 and who is on the faculty of the New England Conservatory of Music, will begin teaching at ASU during the 2012 Fall semester. Douglas Yeo, here with Yo Yo Ma, will begin teaching at ASU Fall 2012. Photo by Toby Oft Download Full Image

“The School of Music is honored to have a musician of Yeo’s versatility and experience on our faculty,’’ Marshall said.

“His background with one of the finest American orchestras and his research into many types of brass instruments, including early instruments such as the serpent, make him a marvelous resource for our students,’’ she said.

Yeo’s prestigious career includes not only playing for 26 years with the Boston Symphony, but also serving as bass trombonist of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, a high school band director in Edison, N.J., and a freelance musician in New York City where he played for numerous Broadway shows, symphony orchestras and a four-year tenure with the Goldman Band.

He began playing the trombone in grade school and by the time he was in high school he wrote in his yearbook that he wanted to play in the Boston Symphony.

His career has not only included nearly three decades with the BSO but also mastery of playing ancient instruments such as the serpent and ophicleide, teaching residencies around the world, authorship of numerous articles about the trombone, historical brasses and music and co-authorship of "Mastering the Trombone" with Edward Kleinhammer.

Yeo has been a frequent soloist with the Boston Pops Orchestra and was the first bass trombonist to perform John Williams’ Tuba Concerto on bass trombone with Williams conducting.

In 1996, Yeo launched the first website devoted to trombone,, that has more than 10,000 daily visitors and is considered by many as the premiere spot for comprehensive, up to date information about the trombone.

“He is three professors in one,’’ said Sam Pilafian, ASU School of Music professor and founder of the Empire Brass Quintet. “It would be enough that he is one of the world’s leading performers and pedagogues on this instrument, but Doug is also one of the world’s authorities on the history of our low brass instruments, and he can perform on these historical instruments so well that they come back to life as vivid musical sounds from long ago,’’ Pilafian said.

Yeo expects to be in the Valley in February auditioning prospective students. “My decades in the Boston Symphony Orchestra will continue to inform my teaching as I work to encourage and challenge the next generation of young musicians, some of whom may already have written in their high school yearbooks that one of their goals in life is to play in the Boston Symphony Orchestra,’’ Yeo said.

Public Contact: 
Susan Felt
Coordinator of Communications and Marketing
Herberger Institute

Media Contact:
Susan Felt
Coordinator Communications and Marketing
Herberger Institute

ASU provides student the whole college experience – and more

November 1, 2011

Curiosity about college life turned into a quest for the complete college experience for Priya Nathan.  She wanted the whole enchilada – football games, dorms, meals in the dining hall, a big campus with unlimited opportunities to meet people.

“I wanted all of that, the whole thing,” says the Arizona State University marketing senior from Pleasanton, Calif. “I just didn’t realize I’d get so much more.” Download Full Image

ASU wasn’t at the top of her list, but she realized she’d fit in once she visited the campus in her senior year at Amador Valley High School, toured the W.P. Carey School of Business and met other students. The culture was similar to California, she says, and people were friendly.

She didn’t realize at that point that she would one day co-found a non-profit organization with another ASU student, and be recognized for it in a national magazine. She didn’t know she’d be a success as an event planner, leading other students as a peer programmer and orientation leader, eventually becoming a guru for a special event center.

Nathan and Nicollette Lewis, both Tillman Scholars in the Leadership Through Action program, founded a personal development program for teenagers in the foster care system, pairing them with college mentors who can share their experiences and help them prepare for adulthood. They knew that foster children who “age out” of the system at 18 lack family guidance and stability, and a high number become homeless or are incarcerated.

Their pilot program, Partnered for Success, offers personal growth workshops including college preparation, community service and mentoring. Nathan and Lewis won $1,000 for their idea from the ASU Innovation Challenge, which awards money for ideas that will help the local and global community.

In May they also were featured as Arizona’s best young innovators by Fast Company magazine, which recognized “bold ideas that promise to enrich our cities and economies.”

“President Crow even sent us a letter afterwards,” says Nathan. “I’ve done so many wonderful things here, things I didn’t think I would have the guts to do. Coming to ASU is the best decision I ever made. ASU doesn’t just award you a degree, they prepare you for how you’ll use it.”

Internships and networking through the business school have been key, she says. She interned at an event center in Phoenix last spring, then was quickly hired as an event coordinator, working mainly on weddings. She makes sure everything runs smoothly, organizing details of the ceremonies, working with nervous brides on the big day.

Eventually she’d like to run her own business, though she wants to keep working with her own nonprofit organization after graduation in May. She also may put in a couple of years with Teach for America.

And though she’s still active in the Tillman Scholars program and the Alpha Gamma Delta sorority, she’s had to put on hold her duties as a Devil’s Advocate, giving guided tours of the campus to prospective ASU students.

Busy or not, there’s one thing she’ll never give up: going to football games. She was a princess in this year’s Homecoming Court.

“I love that ASU is in a college town, and you can see people walking to the games, wearing their gold shirts,” she says. “I like the school pride, and I like hanging out before games and going out with friends afterwards. This is just the best place for me.”

Written by Sarah Auffret