Job opening: Trombone Professor, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Job opening: Trombone Professor, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

by Douglas Yeo

Readers of The Last Trombone know that in the summer of 2022, I accepted a one-year position as Clinical Associate Professor of Trombone at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. The University’s previous trombone professor abruptly retired in late May 2022 and the School of Music did a search to hire a trombone professor for the 2022–2023 academic year while the University decided how to move ahead with the trombone professor position. I was very happy to accept that position to help out the University during this time of transition. I’ve just finished my first semester working with my students at Illinois, and I am already looking forward to the spring 2023 semester when we will continue contending in various ways to change the world with trombones in our hands.

Through my hiring interviews and regularly throughout the fall semester, I’ve made my view on the trombone professor position at UIUC very clear: In order to grow the trombone studio, the University and its students would be best served by hiring a full-time, tenure track trombone professor who would be fully committed to all that is required to operate, grow, and maintain a world-class university trombone studio. Given the financial challenges that Universities are facing these days along with recent trends in hiring, it was not a given that UIUC would commit to a tenure track trombone professor position. Happily, after many meetings and discussions between faculty and administrators, University of Illinois has just announced a search for a full-time, tenure track Assistant or Associate Professor of Trombone, effective on August 16, 2023.

This search will be chaired by Professor Jim Pugh, Professor of Jazz Trombone and Composition/Arranging at Illinois. Screening of applications will begin on January 20, 2023. I’m writing this article in an effort to help get the word out so our search will attract the most committed, talented, and inspirational pool of candidates for the position. Click HERE to see the job posting and requirements at it appears on the University of Illinois website. I’m also pasting the announcement below.

If you are reading this and are qualified and interested in the position, please consider applying. And please send this announcement to anyone you know who is a transformative teacher and performer who would be interested in working at a world-class School of Music at a premiere University (Illinois is a member of the Big 10 Conference), alongside superb faculty colleagues and with hard-working, engaged students. To get a sense of the great things happening at the University of Illinois School of Music, visit our website at

Here are a few photos (below) of my trombone teaching studio at UIUC, Music Building 3040. Since I am only teaching there for one year, the room is lightly decorated, but you can get a sense of the size (the room is well lighted with a window, and is corner room on the third floor) and some of what I have there to work with (Baldwin baby grand piano, music stands, desk and chairs, HEPA air purifier, cabinet; other office supplies can be furnished on request). You can see a poster on the wall that contains my three–part philosophy of teaching—STEWARDSHIP, EXCELLENCE, and MISSION—my three–part way of implementing this philosophy—PAY ATTENTION, ASK QUESTIONS, TRY EVERYTHING. And on the poster you’ll see the logo I had designed for our studio by my good friend, Lennie Peterson. Of course Abraham Lincoln played the trombone, and he was an Illini. You knew that, right?  Finally, my office would not be complete without a photograph on the wall of my teacher, Edward Kleinhammer, as well as many reminders of our part as members of the Illinois community. 

This is an exciting day for the University of Illinois Trombone Studio. I am committed to helping this search in any way I can  (although I am not a member of the search committee) and I look forward to supporting and cheering on the next full-time trombone professor at Illinois. Go Illini!


Music Building 3040 (Trombone Studio), University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign


Music Building 3040 (Trombone Studio), University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign


Music Building 3040 (Trombone Studio), University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign


Assistant/Associate Professor of Trombone


University of Illinois

College of Fine and Applied Arts

School of Music

Urbana, Illinois, United States | 1014474

See this job listing at:

The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign School of Music invites applications for an Assistant or Associate Professor of Trombone. This is a tenure-track position to begin August 16, 2023.

Located on the campus of one of the world’s leading research universities, the University of Illinois School of Music is a center for creativity and collaboration through performance, research, and education. Historically rich in tradition, the School of Music is a resource for music research of all kinds, and offers bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees to its nearly 700 students in many different fields of study. Hosting a diverse population of faculty, students, and staff, the School of Music embraces cutting-edge innovation and discovery while providing an array of musical and engagement opportunities within the artistic and educational communities of Urbana and Champaign. Please see for information regarding the University of Illinois School of Music.


Teach undergraduate and graduate trombone students in all degree and diploma programs, including weekly lessons for each student, a weekly trombone studio class, and graduate-level trombone literature and pedagogy classes; additional teaching responsibilities will be based on the candidate’s other area(s) of expertise. Maintain a professional career as an artist/teacher and/or pursue music research appropriate to a Research I university; pursue an active recruiting program that includes building relationships with universities, national organizations, and schools and private teachers statewide. Work with the Wind, Brass, and Percussion faculty to expand engagement opportunities in Illinois school systems to nurture young performers and assist with School recruiting efforts. Actively participate in all events and programs where the visibility of the University of Illinois faculty can serve as an asset for recruiting and/or student success and morale. Service responsibilities include committee work and other activities that benefit the School and its students. Success in teaching and recruitment, professional creative activity and/or research, and service will be evaluated as part of the tenure process.

All employees of the School of Music are also expected to embrace the following core ideals:

  • Demonstrate a commitment to building and sustaining a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment, one that reflects the entire State of Illinois.
  • Support the University of Illinois’ dedication to being a community of care.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to student success and well-being through both teaching excellence and broader mentorship.
  • Seek out opportunities for collaboration with colleagues both on and off campus, and both within and across disciplines.
  • View recruiting and retention, particularly of members of underserved communities, as fundamental to the position and to the School’s success.
  • Work as a cooperative member of the School’s community and serve as a model of integrity and collegiality.
  • Exhibit passion for your work, the School, and the role of music in our society.

Required Qualifications:

  • Artist/Teacher with an emerging or established national reputation as a performer and/or pedagogue.
  • Successful teaching experience at the university level.
  • Knowledge of pathways by which students discover the instrument and demonstrated experience attracting, recruiting, and retaining undergraduate and graduate students, particularly those from underrepresented populations.
  • Evidence of clearly defined secondary area(s) of expertise, such as music entrepreneurship, community engagement, pedagogy, musicianship, chamber music, health and wellness, or music history.
  • History of engagement with diverse audiences, collaborators, knowledges, and traditions with respect to race, gender, and class.
  • History of engagement with works by BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and women composers, including new pieces from living composers.
  • Experience performing and teaching multiple musical styles, including both classical and jazz.
  • Master’s degree in music or commensurate experience.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Orchestral experience.
  • Chamber coaching experience.
  • Classroom teaching experience at the university level.
  • Demonstrated record of student placement and success.
  • Facility with new technologies and platforms for recording, creating, and distributing music.
  • Evidence of an innovative research profile that engages with performance.
  • Doctoral degree in music.

Application Procedures:

Interested candidates should submit an online application at  Application materials should include:

  • Letter of interest, including a section that provides 3-5 hyperlinks or URLs for representative online audio or audio/video files of recent live or recorded performances (please do not include links to entire websites or collections of videos).
  • Curriculum Vitae.
  • Diversity and inclusion statement, including relevant experience reaching underserved communities and vision for the social role of music in the 21st century.
  • Names and contact information of three references.

Screening of candidate applications will begin on January 20, 2023, and will continue until suitable candidates are identified for the position. Please direct any questions to Prof. Jim Pugh, Search Committee Chair ( or Jennifer Steiling, Sr. Human Resource Associate ( Women, racial and ethnic minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply. For questions regarding the application process, please contact 217-333-2137.