Charlie Vernon began his orchestral career as bass trombonist with
the Baltimore Symphony, starting in September 1971. In 1980 he went to
the San Francisco Symphony for one season. He was then chosen by
Riccardo Muti to play bass trombone with the Philadelphia Orchestra,
where he played for five years until coming to 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, both
former tuba and bass trombone of the Chicago Symphony.
Mr. Vernon has been on the faculties of Catholic University, Brevard
Music Center, Philadelphia College of Performing Arts, Roosevelt
University, the Curtis Institute, and Northwestern University. Currently
he teaches trombone at DePaul University. Charlie has many solo and
teaching appearances throughout the world.
In April 1991, with the CSO 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 new concerto for the
alto, tenor and bass trombones and orchestra, written by trombonist and
composer Christian Lindberg.
Charlie and his wife, Alison, have several commissioned song cycles
for soprano, trombone and piano written by the American composer Eric
Ewazen and performed for many European and U.S. audiences. He has two
sons - Mark, who is studying Journalism at Mizzou, and Gary, who is at
New Trier High School.
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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