Charlie Vernon

Charlie Vernon

Biography

Charlie Vernon began his orchestral career in September 1971 as bass trombonist with the Baltimore Symphony. In 1980 he performed one season with the San Francisco Symphony, before being chosen by Riccardo Muti to play bass trombone with the Philadelphia Orchestra, where he played for five seasons. Charlie joined the legendary brass section of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in 1986.   A native of Asheville, North Carolina, Charlie attended Brevard College and Georgia State University, where he studied with Bill Hill as well as Gail Wilson, professor of trombone at Arizona State University. His mentor/teachers were Arnold Jacobs and Edward Kleinhammer, respectively former tuba and bass trombone of the Chicago Symphony.   Charlie Vernon makes many solo and teaching appearances throughout the world and has served on the faculties of Catholic University, Brevard Music Center, Philadelphia College of Performing Arts, Roosevelt University, the Curtis Institute, and Northwestern University. Currently, he is Professor of Trombone at DePaul University in Chicago.   In April 1991, with the Chicago Symphony under Daniel Barenboim, he gave the world premiere of Ellen Taaffe Zwilich’s Concerto for Bass Trombone, which was commissioned by the Orchestra for its centennial. In September 2006, he and the CSO premiered Chick a’ Bone Checkout, a virtuoso concerto for the alto, tenor and bass trombones and orchestra, written by composer-trombonist Christian Lindberg.   Charlie and his talented wife, Alison, have performed together for many Euopean and American audiences and have commissioned several song cycles for soprano, trombone and piano by the American composer Eric Ewazen. Charlie and Alison have two sons – Mark, who is a professional video game designer, and Gary, who is a college student.   As a part-time athlete, Charlie is an avid swimmer and a member of the Evanston Masters Swim Team. He comments, “As time passes, I realize that I must keep doing it, so that I can KEEP doing it!”

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