Trombonist John Gruber Appointed to Oberlin Conservatory Brass Faculty

April 2, 2019
By Erich Burnett
trombonist John Gruber
Photo credit: courtesy John Gruber

Active orchestral performer and teacher to begin in fall 2019.

John Gruber, an avid performer and teacher of trombone, has been named Visiting Assistant Professor of Trombone at Oberlin Conservatory. He will begin in fall 2019.

Gruber arrives in Oberlin after most recently serving as trombone lecturer at Ohio State University. His decade-plus teaching career has also included stints with Siena Heights University, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s Civic Youth Ensembles, and the public school system in Barnesville, Ohio, where he served as band director. He is also a faculty member of the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp.

In addition to teaching, Gruber maintains an active performing career as principal trombonist in the Akron Symphony Orchestra and the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra, as well as second trombone in the Lansing Symphony Orchestra. Other orchestra engagements have included the Toledo Symphony, Ann Arbor Symphony, Adrian Symphony, Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings, the Galliard Brass, and the Brass Band of Battle Creek.

A trombonist for more than 20 years, Gruber was the National First Prize winner in the Brass Division of the 2010 Music Teachers National Association Young Artist Competition. Born and raised in Bowling Green, Ohio, he earned a BME in instrumental music education from Bowling Green State University. He added an MM and DMA in trombone performance from the University of Michigan, where he also completed a cognate in wind conducting.

Gruber’s teachers have included David Jackson, William Mathis, Dan Saygers, Michael Haithcock, and Garth Simmons.

“It is an honor to welcome John Gruber to the Oberlin Conservatory family,” says William Quillen, acting dean of the conservatory. “John’s musicianship and passion for teaching will serve as a source of inspiration to his students, and we are delighted that he has joined the faculty."

Since childhood, Gruber says, he had known of Oberlin’s standout reputation for music and liberal arts. He even considered attending Oberlin Conservatory, though having two parents who worked for Bowling Green ultimately led him to undergraduate studies there.

Now he is honored to experience Oberlin’s commitment to young musicians firsthand.

“I have been struck not just by Oberlin’s wonderful reputation for the conservatory and the college, and that it is a place of truly high standards and a nurturing place for students,” he says. “Now I am getting to actually meet people for the first time and find out how warm and welcoming everyone in this community is. That has really moved me.”

John Gruber is an Edwards Artist.

You may also like…