Eruptions Deuce Artist Bios

Learn more about the talented artists who perform on this recording of low brass orchestral excerpts.

Jessica Buzbee, Principal Trombone

Jessica Buzbee has enjoyed an exciting career as a trombonist and international performing artist. She was the winner of the first prize in the international solo trombone competitions Concours Branimir Slokar 2000 in Switzerland and Lieksa Trombone Competition 1998 in Finland, where she amazed the judges with her beautiful tone and crystal clear articulations. She was also awarded third prize at the Concorso Internazionale Giovani Concertisti 2000 in Porcia,

Italy. In 2002, Jessica received the Swedish honor Kristallenden fina (Crystal Prize) with the following citation: “With engagement and success she has made valuable achievements in contemporary music. Her artistic personality is characterized by a strong presence and an intense, warm sound; distinctive, like the crystal itself, reflecting warmth, force, luminosity and long resonance.”

​Jessica is a member of the trombone sextet Trombone Unit 2000, a group hand- picked and directed by Christian Lindberg. After the group performed at the 1998 International Trombone Conference in Denton, Texas, the reviewer of the performance wrote: “One of the absolute highlights of the concert was the Carmen Suite featuring Jessica Buzbee. Her alto trombone playing was simply tremendous.” She also performed as a soloist at the 2003 International Trombone Conference in Helsinki, Finland and the 2010 International Trombone Conference in Austin, Texas.

Jessica’s playing has been recorded on many occasions, including a duet with Christian Lindberg on his CD Christian Lindberg and Friends Play, a duet with Tim Buzbee on his solo CD BUZZED and the low brass orchestral excerpt CD Eruptions.

As a member of the orchestra, Jessica has performed with all the major orchestras of Sweden and many others throughout Europe, USA and Australia including the Munich Philharmonic where she also performed George Crumb’s Starchild for Solo Trombone and Soprano. She has held positions with the Gävle, Malmö and Iceland Symphony Orchestras and the Malmö Opera Orchestra. Jessica is a Thein clinician, performer and teacher based in Melbourne, Australia.

Richard Shirley, Second Trombone

Richard Shirley is a New Zealand born trombonist. He grew up in brass bands and spent his formative years in the Westport Municipal Band before joining the New Zealand Army Band straight out of school. After six years with the Army, Richard went to the New Zealand School of Music in Wellington to study Performance Trombone under Dr. Rodger Fox and David Bremner’s guidance. After graduation, Richard crossed the ditch to study towards his Masters of Performance at the University of Melbourne under Michael Bertoncello.

Prior to securing his job in the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra in 2016, Richard held positions with the New Zealand Army Band, Central Band of the Royal New Zealand Airforce, Orchestra Wellington and New South Wales Police Band. Richard has also appeared as a guest musician with Orchestra Victoria, Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and the Malaysian Philharmonic.

Zachary Bond, Bass Trombone

A native Texan, Zachary Bond was accepted to Philadelphia’s Curtis Institute of Music when he was 16 years old. Zachary’s teachers include Jon Bohls, Keith Meek, Blair Bollinger, Scott Hartman, Mark Lawrence, John Rojak, and Steve Norrell.

Zachary has performed with some of the world’s leading ensembles such as The Philadelphia Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, Melbourne Symphony, Canadian Brass, San Diego Symphony, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Houston Symphony, Malaysian Philharmonic, Macau Orchestra, Qatar Philharmonic, and the Singapore Symphony. As a soloist, Zachary was the first prize winner of both the 2003 Donald Yaxley Bass Trombone Competition in Helsinki, Finland and the 2006 Edward Kleinhammer Orchestral Bass Trombone Competition in Birmingham, England.

Zachary is a former member of the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, and the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He was also on the faculty of the National University of Singapore’s Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music. Zachary is the Artistic Director of the Thailand International Trombone, a founding member of the Festival of Trombones, and the Artistic Director of the Singapore International Low Brass Academy. Zachary resides in Hong Kong and is currently the Lecturer of Brass and Concert Band conductor at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. Zachary performs on his own model “Bond Universal” Bass Trombone by Thein Brass Instruments of Bremen, Germany and his own signature Mouthpiece “Bond007” by Willie’s Mouthpieces of Yamanashi, Japan.

Michael Szabo, Bass & Contrabass Trombone

Michael Szabo joined the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra as Principal Bass Trombone in 2014. He has previously held positions as Bass Trombonist with the Sjællands Symfoniorkester in Copenhagen, Denmark and the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Michael has given recitals, master classes, made guest soloist appearances, and performed with chamber music ensembles such as the Royal Danish Brass, Aventa Ensemble, and the Honolulu Brass Quintet. He has performed with many Orchestras and Music Festivals worldwide, including the Danish National Symphony, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Danish Royal Orchestra, Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony, Sonderjyllands Symfoniorkester, Opera North, Orchestra Victoria, Dayton Philharmonic, Naples Philharmonic, Pacific Music Festival, Music Academy of the West, National Repertory Orchestra, and the Cascade Festival of Music. Michael has also recorded for several movie scores, most notably performing on the soundtrack to the 2013 movie The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.

Michael grew up in rural Washington State, USA, where he began his studies on the trombone at the age of ten. Michael attended the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music where he received both a bachelors and masters degree in bass trombone performance. His teachers have included Raymond Premru, Tony Chipurn, and Kadie Nichols.

Matthew van Emmerik, Euphonium

Born in Bendigo, Victoria Australia, Matthew holds a unique position in the low brass community as a world-class leader in his field, specializing on the euphonium. He has toured extensively as an international soloist and clinician for the Shires and Eastman Musical instrument companies and has won many awards and achievements locally and internationally. Matthew has developed a successful performing and teaching career which has culminated in many performance opportunities on the euphonium, bass trumpet and tuba with many of the leading orchestras in Australia, Asia and other parts of the world, including performances with the legendary Chicago Symphony Orchestra.  

Matthew’s research output has included compilation books by Australian composers which have gained international awards and recognition. He has recorded 4 solo CDs on the Potenza and Summit Brass labels and continues to work extensively on new solo repertoire and commissioning, highlighting new and quality repertoire for the euphonium. Matthew works on many recording projects in Producer and Executive Producer roles, he is extremely pleased with the opportunity to work on this latest CD project alongside his Melbourne low brass colleagues, as the producer and euphonium specialist on this important and world-class CD release.

Tim Buzbee, Tuba

Tim Buzbee “is a fine musician who can make his tuba variously sing like a violin and bark like an angered dog, and touch all those bases in between. His sense of phrasing is as astonishing as his sense of his instrument’s tone coloring” raved Fanfare Magazine about Tim’s debut solo CD, BUZZED. In 2011, Tim joined the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra as principal tuba. Besides the Melbourne Symphony Tim has held the same position with many orchestras including Louisville Orchestra, Iceland Symphony, Malmo Symphony, Galve Symphony, Singapore Symphony, Civic Orchestra of Chicago, and the Acapulco Philharmonic. Tim has won jobs in 8 different countries! Buzbee has been invited to perform as guest tubist with many other orchestras including the Chicago Symphony, Danish Radio Orchestra, Swedish Radio Orchestra, Sydney Symphony, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Western Australia Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Wind Symphony, Malaysia Philharmonic and the Helsingborg Symphony among others.

As a soloist he has performed concerts and masterclasses around the world including the most prestigious universities and conservatories. Currently Tim has three solo CDs on the Albany Record label including Raw Emotions, consisting of 4 concertos from North America with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra. Buzbee also recorded a CD entitled Eruptions, consisting of standard excerpts for low brass section for the Albany Record label. He has been soloist with the Melbourne Symphony, Iceland Symphony, Singapore Symphony, Acapulco Symphony, Marshall Symphony, and the “Pershing Own” Army Band in Washington D.C. Buzbee recently was asked to be a featured artist at the Texas Music Association Conference in San Antonio, Texas. Buzbee was also recently featured on the front cover of the International Tuba Euphonium Association Journal, and has been featured in several other magazines in the past. Tim is Tuba/Euph Lecturer at The University of Melbourne Conservatorium of Music.

Buzbee knows he would probably be flipping burgers if not for the help of teachers Ed Jones, Gene Pokorny, and Matt Good. Tim enjoys spending any free time with his wife Jessica, their five kids, and the two family dogs which thinks they are children number 6 and 7!!!

Lai Tak Chun, Second Tuba

Tak Chun Lai from Hong Kong, joined the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra as Principal tuba player in 2015. He has appeared with many orchestras including the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, Iceland Symphony Orchestra and New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. He completed his Bachelor of Music (Honours) at the University of Melbourne with Tim Buzbee, and his Diploma at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts with Paul Luxenberg. Lai is an Eastman Tuba Performing Artist and Ultimate Brass Artist plays exclusively on his signature mouthpieces L TC-C and L TC-F.

Don Immel, Second Trombone (Alpine Symphony only)

Don Immel is dedicated to performing, composing and recording music that showcases the trombone, with a focus on engaging modern day audiences. Don’s two solo albums Long Way Home and Together Alone present his own jazz-based compositions, and he is a featured performer on ABC Classical FM through recent releases including Return Journey: Three Sonatas by Stuart Greenbaum (ABC Classics) Punch: the Brass Music of Katy Abbott (ABC Classics) and Three: Midnight Songs (Tall Poppies). Don currently serves as Associate Director (Music Performance) for the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, and has held posts as Solo/Principal Trombone with the Danish Philharmonic (Denmark), the Honolulu Symphony Orchestras (USA), and from 1999 to 2006 was Associate Professor of Trombone and Jazz Studies at the University of Washington in Seattle. Don frequently performs as guest principal trombonist with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, and can be heard on dozens of movie and television soundtracks.

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