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Boston Symphony trombonist to join ASU School of Music faculty

Douglas Yeo, here with Yo Yo Ma, will begin teaching at ASU Fall 2012.

Photo by Toby Oft

November 01, 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.

“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