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John Marcellus is a trombone musician and teacher. He is Professor of Trombone at the Eastman School of Music of the University of Rochester, and past Chair of the Woodwind, Brass, and Percussion Department. In addition to his trombone teaching responsibilities at Eastman, Dr. Marcellus is the conductor of the Eastman Trombone Choir, Eastman Bionic Bones (jazz trombone ensemble), and the trombonist with the Eastman Brass. Dr. Marcellus joined the faculty of the prestigious Eastman School in 1978, and was named the Kilbourn Professor from 1982-83. He succeeded the famous trombonist and teacher, Emory Remington, who served as Professor of Trombone at Eastman for over 50 years.
John Marcellus holds a B.S. degree in Music Education from the University of Maryland and M.M. and D.M.A. degrees from The Catholic University of America. His trombone teachers have included William F. Cramer (former Professor of Trombone at Florida State University), Lewis Van Haney (Second Trombonist with the New York Philharmonic from 1946–63), Edward Herman (Principal Trombonist with the New York Philharmonic from 1956–85), Gordon Pulis (Principal Trombonist with the New York Philharmonic from 1946–56), and Armand Sarro (former trombonist with the National Symphony Orchestra). His conducting teachers have included Richard Lert of the American Symphony Orchestra League and Lloy Geisler of the National Symphony and Catholic University of America.
John Marcellus has served as the Music Director and Conductor of the Brighton Symphony Orchestra since 1980. Since 1979, he has taught at the Chautauqua Institute and served as the Principal Trombonist with the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra.
Previous to joining the faculty of the Eastman School in 1978, Dr. Marcellus served as the Principal Trombonist with the National Symphony Orchestra (Washington, DC) for 13 years, and also served as the Associate Principal Trombonist with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, soloist with the United States Navy Band, and served as the Principal Tuba with the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra at the age of 16.
Dr. Marcellus was on the faculty of the North Carolina School for the Arts from 1965 to 1968. In Washington, D.C., he served on the faculty of Catholic University from 1966 to 1978, Howard University from 1967 to 1970 and American University from 1968 to 1978. Since 1978, he has served on the faculty of the Eastman School of Music and taught at Chautauqua since 1979 and the Interlochen Arts Academy in 1982 and 1983.
He served as guest conductor at the National Music Camp in Interlochen in 1982. Other musical groups that he has played with or conducted include the Penfield Symphony, Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra in 2005, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra. He has performed as a soloist with the U.S. Navy Band in Washington D.C., the National Symphony Orchestra Brass Quintet, Washington Theatre Chamber Players, and the Contemporary Music Forum, as well as performing solo recitals in London, Paris, Cologne, Stuttgart, Birmingham, Manchester, Japan, Sweden, Finland, Austria, Holland, Poland, and Denmark.
His close association with the International Trombone Association (ITA) has included appearances in workshops since 1970 and he is a founding board member of the ITA. Other workshops in which he has performed include the 1976 International Brass Congress in Montreux, Switzerland, the U.S. Army Band's Eastern Trombone Workshop since 1973, the Eastern Music Festival, and Norfolk Chamber Orchestra. He has served as co-director of the Army Band's Eastern Trombone Workshop, which has been held at Ft. Meyer, Virginia annually since 1986.
- Several publications in the National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors (NACWPI) Journal, The Instrumentalist and Accent
- Arrangements published by Kendor and Belwin-Mills.
- Recordings on London/Decca, Nonesuch, Library of Congress, Turnabout, Opus One, Stolat, and Sine Qua Non.
- Solo CD, Songs, Dances, and Incantations: American Music for Trombone, on Albany Records (2002).
- Other CDs: Calls and Echoes with Eastman Brass, Eastman CD Series;
- Eastman Trombone Choir 60th Anniversary CD, Eastman CD Series.
- He received the International Trombone Association's Highest Award for Pedagogy, Performance and Literature in 1999.
- He was honored for his outstanding career as a musician and educator in April, 1997 by the New York Brass Conference for Scholarships at their Silver Jubilee Brass Conference in New York City.
- In 1997, he was given the Mu Phi Epsilon Musician of the Year award.
1Maria Kilbourn Eastman is the mother of George Eastman, who endowed the Eastman School of Music.