Kelly Thomas, Professor of Tuba/Euphonium at the University of Tennessee

About Kelly Thomas

Dr. Thomas was appointed tuba/euphonium instructor at the University of Tennessee in 2014.  Prior to his appointment at UT, Dr. Thomas was the tuba/euphonium professor at the University of Arizona for thirteen years.  A native of Flagstaff, Arizona, he began his studies with R. Winston Morris at Tennessee Technological University.  There he earned a Bachelor of Music degree in music education.  He also holds a Master of Music degree in music education from Arizona State University where he studied with Sam Pilafian.  Kelly completed a Doctor of Musical arts degree at Arizona State University in 2006. 

Professor Thomas participated in the famed Tennessee Tech Tuba Ensemble (TTTE), under the direction of R. Winston Morris, while at TTU.   Kelly has appeared as a soloist as well as an ensemble member on the following recording’s affiliated with the TTTE:  Euphoniums Unlimited (Mark Records 2004), The Kings of Brass (Mark Records 2001), Tubalogy 601(Mark Records 2000), and Unleash the Beast (Mark Records 1995).  In 1995 and 2007 Kelly performed at Carnegie Hall as a soloist and ensemble member with the TTTE.  Dr. Thomas has collaborated with Gunther Schuller, Adam Gorb, James Grant, Greg Danner, and David Maslanka in recent years.    

Professor Thomas has also performed at the International Tuba Euphonium Association (ITEA) Conferences in Linz, Austria; Las Vegas, NV; Conway, Arkansas; Cincinnati, OH; Tucson, AZ and Regina, Canada.  He has also performed at the United States Army Band Tuba-Euphonium Conference in Washington D.C.  In 2010 Dr. Thomas hosted the ITEA International Conference at the University of Arizona with over 100 performers and 600 participants. In 2003 and 2007 he hosted the ITEA Regional Conference in Tucson, AZ on the campus of the University of Arizona and in 2010 hosted the International Conference of ITEA with over 600 participants.  In 2005, Kelly conducted the University of Arizona Brass Choir and performed at the International Trumpet Guild Conference in Bangkok, Thailand. 

Kelly is a founding member and tubist for the Original Wildcat Jass Band, a traditional New Orleans and Chicago jazz band.  This touring ensemble has been featured throughout the southwest and Mexico as well as New Mexico, California, ad Colorado.  They released their debut recording entitled Introducing…The Original Wildcat Jass Band in 2004.  Their second recording, I’ll Be Glad When You’re Dead, was released in 2007. Their third recording, Two Deuces, was released in 2008.  Their fourth recording, The Original Wildcat Jass Band: Live! was released in 2010.  Their fifth recording, Minor Drag, was released in 2012.  Kelly also was featured on a recording of the rhythm section of the Jass Band, Rhythm Street, released in 2008. 

Kelly Thomas also founded and is a featured member of an exciting new chamber ensemble Eufonix.  This unique quartet released their debut recording in 2010 and their second recording Brink! in 2012.  Dr. Thomas is an artist and clinician for Besson/Buffet Crampon.

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