James T. Decker

James T. Decker, Principal Trombone

Published: January 30, 2020


PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE: I have performed in a variety of professional ensembles, ranging from orchestras in Honolulu, New Mexico and New York to fine brass quintets, trombone quartets and various commercial groups. It’s this variety that I draw upon to give me the energy and inspiration for each performance.

BACKGROUND/EDUCATION: I hold undergraduate and graduate degrees from The Julliard School as well as a Masters Degree in Music Education from Lehman College of the City of New York. I have studied with Edward Herman, Edward Erwin, John Swallow, Joseph Alessi, Steve Norrell, Keith Underwood, Jim Pugh and Jerome Callet.

CAREER INSPIRATION: My family has loved music over many generations. This love and the constant exposure to great music through recordings and live concerts inspired me.

MUSICAL TASTES: Classical, Jazz, Rock and Roll, Latin and Music from the Far East. Trombonists Joseph Alessi, Jorgen Van Rijen, Larry Zalkind, Wycliffe Gordon, JJ Johnson and Urbie Green are some of my favorites, along with YoYo Ma, Pablo Casals, Andre Watts, John Coltrane and Oscar Peterson, to name a few.

MUSICAL INFLUENCES: Arnold Jacobs. His influence, as well as that of his protégés, was essential for my pursuit of music as a profession.

IF YOU WEREN’T A MUSICIAN: I would probably be an accountant or a counselor.

BRITT HISTORY: Orchestra member since 2000

SOUTHERN OREGON FAVORITES: Hike, visit wineries and just be with people whom I love.

FAVORITE BRITT MEMORY: The final concert of the 2008 season. My long time hostess, Liz Braislin, passed away the day before. Peter Bay dedicated that final concert to Liz. We played Copland 3. It was a bittersweet, emotional concert. I wonder what it will be like when we perform the Copland again…….