Russell McKinney

Bass Trombone Artist

Russell McKinney

Russell McKinney

Bass Trombonist, Utah Symphony Orchestra
Director of Low Brass Studies, Horne School of Music at Snow College
Assistant Lecturer of Bass Trombone, Brigham Young University
Music Director, First Presbyterian Church, Salt Lake City

Instrument Specs

  • Model: B454-E
  • Bell: 1023CF
  • Slide: B-DBN
  • Tuning Slide: Rose
  • Leadpipe: B3 Silver

Artist Comments

"The ease of playing my Edwards bass trombone has allowed me to focus on the music and my growth as a musician. It has the most even response and the widest range of color for me to call upon of any instrument I have ever played. Whether I am playing solos or playing in the orchestra, it is the instrument of choice for me."

Russell McKinney is the former bass trombonist of the Utah Symphony Orchestra, a position he held from 1989- 2011. During that period he was active as freelance musician in Utah including work in TV, movies, and jazz and taught at a number of Utah colleges and universities. In 2011 he left the Utah Symphony to return to his home state of North Carolina to work in church music. Currently, he substitutes regularly on bass trombone with the North Carolina Symphony and performs for Carolina Opera and Carolina Ballet. Rusty performs frequently in the Pro Cantores Orchestra at Duke University in Durham, NC and can be heard on their 2013 release of a live recording of Brahms' "Ein Deutches Requiem" recorded at Duke Chapel. Rusty remains active as a lecturer and guest clinician having recently given master classes at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.

Prior to his years in Utah, he was bass trombonist of the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra during the 1988-89 season as a sabbatical replacement, participating in all activities including tours and recordings with the Grammy Award winning orchestra. Rusty has held positions with the Chattanooga Symphony and the Eastern Philharmonic Orchestra, the faculty orchestra of the Eastern Music Festival in Greensboro, NC. He has also served as a substitute musician with the Baltimore Symphony and the National Symphony Orchestra of Washington, D.C., as well as the Kennedy Center Orchestra of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.

Rusty was the Director of Low Brass Studies of the Horne School of Music at Snow College in Ephraim, Utah (2005-2011) and Assistant Lecturer of Bass Trombone at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah (2006-2011). Previously, he has held adjunct teaching positions at The University of Utah's School of Music (1995-2005), at Southern College (1987-1988), Collegedale, TN, and at Lee University in Cleveland, TN (1987-1988). He was the bass trombone instructor and chamber music coach at the Eastern Music Festival from 1984 to 1988. Rusty's undergraduate students have gone on to pursue graduate degrees at such institutions as New England Conservatory, The Longy School in Boston, The Manhattan School of Music, the Juilliard School, and Yale School of Music. His students have gone on to positions in the President's Own Marine Band in Washington, D.C., the Gulf Coast Orchestra in Florida, The Orchestra at Temple Square, and to substitute with the Utah Symphony, The Virginia Symphony, The Jackonsville Symphony and other professional orchestras and bands across the country.

Rusty was a featured soloist at the 19th Annual 76+4 Trombones Concert at University of Nevada Las Vegas. He has also appeared as soloist with the Young Artist Chamber Players, University of Utah's Wind Symphony, the Utah Youth Symphony, the Ogden City Concert Band, the Greensboro (NC) Concert Band, and the Peabody Conservatory Wind Ensemble. He has presented solo recitals and master classes at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, Ithaca College, (Ithaca, NY), Idaho State University (Pocatello), and Snow College, (Ephraim, UT). He also appeared with the Utah Symphony Trombone Section in a master class given at the1998 International Trombone Festival in Boulder, CO and at the 2008 ITF at the University of Utah. His performances in trombone quartets can be heard on "Collage" and "Utah Trombone Authority" both released on CD and audio downloads by Tantara Records.

Rusty was Music Director and Conductor for the Westminster College Chamber Orchestra in Salt Lake City (2009-2011) where he built membership and expanded the repertoire. He was founder and Music Director of UUTE, Utah's Ultimate Trombone Ensemble which began at the University of Utah, and then became resident at First Presbyterian Church in Salt Lake City. During its ten years of activity, UUTE's membership came from area professionals as well as the top student talent from music schools in the Salt Lake Valley and foster creative compositions and arrangements for trombone ensembles from within the group's membership. This ensemble was featured at the 2008 ITF under Rusty's direction. Rusty has a number of arrangements published by Cherry Classics, Ltd.

Rusty currently serves as Director of Music at Oakland Presbyterian Church in Clayton, NC and is a Music Associate at Saint Paul's Episcopal Church in Cary, NC where he directs the Bells of Saint Paul's, Canterbury Bells, Proclamation Bells, Junior Choir, and Youth Choir. He has held the positions of Director of Music and the Arts at White Plains United Methodist Church in Cary, NC; Music Director of the historic First Presbyterian Church in downtown Salt Lake City, UT; and Music Director of Mount Tabor Lutheran Church, ELCA also in Salt Lake City.

Rusty attended the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, MD receiving several awards including Peabody's Gustav Klemm Award for exemplary work in his chosen field of study, Trombone Performance. He also received orchestral and chamber music training at the Chautauqua Institute in Chautauqua, NY, as a Bellinger Orchestra scholarship student in the Chautauqua Festival Orchestra.

Latest Blog Post

David Taylor’s Winter News

David Taylor has a few things happening this winter. First, he and his Calithumpians (Ron Stabinsky, Moppa Elliot, and Kevin Shea) will be at Roulette on December 7. This concert is presented by Interpretations and will include Dave’s Big Stories for a Small Group. Roulette is at 509 Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn. There are musicians in this […] more ››

In Their Own Words

Brian Allen

"I've been blessed with this instrument for several years and I m still discovering new things about it everyday. With this horn, I'm limited only by my own imagination and technical shortcomings. I feel like anything is possible. It inspires me to take chances and go for whatever I m hearing, no matter how extreme. I couldn t ask for a better vessel through which to communicate.

"Thanks to Christan, Ron and Cathy and all of the other wonderful people at Edwards for helping me realize my dreams."

Brian Allen
Houston Freelance Trombonist