Alumni

Below you will find information on some very distinguished graduates of Oklahoma State University. We are proud of our graduates and would therefore like to hear from you. Please keep in touch.

Recent Graduates

Caleb Ketcham graduated in 2013 with a BM in Performance. He is now pursuing his MM in Performance at Indiana University.

Drew Sutherland graduated in 2013 with a MM in Performance. He is now pursuing his DMA at the University of North Texas.

Joyce Hsu graduated in 2013 with a MM in Performance. She is now pursuing her DMA at Texas Tech University.

Steven Jessup graduated in 2012 with a BM in Performance. He is now pursuing his MM in Performance at the San Francisco Conservatory.

John Will Shaw graduated in 2012 with a BM in Performance. He is now pursuing his MM in Performance at the University of Colorado.

Isaac Washam graduated in 2011 with his BM in Performance. He is now pursuing his MM in Performance at the University of North Texas where he studies with Vern Kagarice.

Steven Warren graduated in 2011 with his BM in Performance. He is now pursuing his MM in Performance at Northwestern University where he studies with Michael Mulcahy, Peter Ellefson, Randall Hawes and Timothy Higgins.

Jason Cash graduated in 2011 with his BM in Performance. He is now a pursuing his MM in Performance at the University of Michigan where he studies with David Jackson.

Philip Flick graduated in 2010 with his MM in Performance. He is now pursuing his DMA in Performance at the University of Miami where he studies with Timothy Conner.

Shelby Kifer graduated in 2010 with his MM in Performance. He is now pursing his DMA in Performance at the University of Iowa where he studies with David Gier.

Graduates

Ted SonnierTed Sonnier graduated from OSU in the spring of 2008 and is now pursuing a MM in Performance at the Yale School of Music where he studies with Scott Hartman.  He was a member of the OSU Trombone Octet that won the 2008 ITA Remington Competition and the 2008 Down Beat Student Music Award for Classical Group.  Ted also won the 2007-2008 OSU Concerto Competition and the 2007 Down Beat Magazine Student Music Award for Outstanding College Classical Soloist.  He was also a finalist in the 2008 Big 12 Area Trombone Conference Solo Competition and he has previously received an honorable mention in the ITA Larry Wiehe Competition.  Ted spent two summers performing in the orchestra at the Chautauqua Music Festival and School.

Stephen TorbertStephen Torbert is now pursuing a MM in Performance at the University of North Texas College of Music where he studies with Vern Kagarice.  He also recently became a member of the Lawton Philharmonic Orchestra and he was hired as trombone instructor for Allen ISD.  Allen High School has the largest band program in the DFW area with more than 600 students in their marching band.  Stephen was a member of the OSU Trombone Octet that won the 2008 ITA Remington Competition and the 2008 Down Beat Student Music Award for Classical Group.  Stephen also won the OSU Concerto Competition and the Lawton Philharmonic Concerto Competition.  Stephen has been an alternate in the ITA Lewis Van Haney Competition and he has received an honorable mention in the ITA Frank Smith Competition.  He has also done summer study at the Hot Springs Music Festival and Bar Harbor Brass Week. 

Michael WaltaMichael Walta graduated from OSU in the spring of 2008 with a music education degree, and is now assistant director of bands for Alvord ISD in Alvord, TX. Michael came to OSU from Hennessey High School.  He served as section leader of the Cowboy Marching Band trombone section and as lead trombonist of the OSU Spirit Band.  He was also a member of the OSU Symphonic Band, Trombone Ensemble and Jazz Ensemble II, and was a frequent substitute trombonist with the Enid Symphony Orchestra.

Rusty HallRusty Hall graduated from OSU in the spring of 2007 with a Bachelor of Music Degree in Music Business.  After completing a very successful internship with James Jackson, one of the premiere live ambient recording engineers in the nation, Rusty started his own recording business, RR Productions.  Rusty has a growing list of clients in the DFW area. In addition to his work recording and playing trombone, Rusty has been discovered as an actor, and recently filmed a television pilot for NBC.  

Rusty is originally from Southlake, TX, and graduated from Callisburg High School.  He spent two years studying at North Central Texas College in Gainesville, TX, where he played in both jazz big bands and in the jazz combo.  While at NCTC, Rusty was selected lead trombonist of the Texas Community College Band Director’s Association All-State Jazz Ensemble, which performed at the Texas Music Educator’s Association Convention in San Antonio.  Shortly after Rusty started school at OSU in 2003, he formed the Rusty Hall Band, and the group gave numerous performances across Oklahoma.  Rusty was a member of the OSU Wind Ensemble, Symphony Orchestra, Symphonic Band, Jazz Ensemble I and the Cowboy Marching Band.

Robert Gorbet graduated from OSU in 2006, with a degree in bass trombone performance. He is presently a graduate student at the Juilliard School, where he studies with John Rojak. Robert is a member of the Juilliard School Orchestra and the New Juilliard Ensemble, and he is a recipient of the Edward J. Plotkin Trombone Scholarship and the Jerome L. Greene Fellowship Scholarship.

Robert was selected the Boh Makovsky Outstanding Senior Music Major at OSU and he also won the OSU Concerto Competition. In addition to performing the Daniel Schnyder subZERO Bass Trombone Concerto with the OSU Symphony Orchestra, Robert was also soloist with the OSU Wind Ensemble on Michael Daugherty’s Rosa Parks Boulevard. He won the Classical Soloist Category of the Down Beat Student Music Awards in 2005 and he was runner-up in the Classical Bass Trombone Competition, Division II, at the 2004 Eastern Trombone Workshop.

Robert was a member of the OSU Wind Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble I, Trombone Ensemble, Symphony Orchestra and Cowboy Marching Band. He was also a member of the OSU Trombone Quartet that advanced to the national finals of the Music Teacher’s National Association Collegiate Chamber Music Competition.

Distinguished Alumni

Ashley Alexander (1934-1988) was a favorite improvisational partner of Rich Matteson. An outstanding jazz player on euphonium and trombone, Ashley taught applied brass and conducted jazz programs at The University of Northern Iowa and Mt. San Antonio College. Walnut, CA. For many years he maintained a busy freelance schedule as a performer and clinician. He was featured at numerous jazz conferences and workshops throughout the United States and Canada. All who knew him remembers Ashley with much fondness, admiration and respect.

Robert Henry is Associate Dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts and a professor of music education in the School of Music at Texas Tech University. He is a Past-President of the Texas Music Educators Association, and previously served as Vice President of TMEA, Chair of the College Division. He is certified in both Orff and Kodaly teacher education and is actively involved in elementary music education as well as instrumental music education. He holds the Ph.D. in Music Education from the University of North Texas where he was awarded the UNT College of Music Outstanding Alumnus award in April of 2002, and received master's and bachelor's degrees in music education from the University of Missouri-Columbia, and Oklahoma State University respectively. Prior to coming to Texas Tech in 1985, Bob held university teaching positions at North Texas State University in music education and jazz studies while working toward his doctorate and at the University of Missouri-Columbia where he was the Director of Instrumental Jazz Studies, Assistant Director of Bands, and an instructor of applied low brass.

Bob is an active performer as principal bass trombonist with the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra and other regional symphony orchestras. He also performs with a number of touring artists in the Texas South Plains area. Dr. Henry continues an extremely active schedule as a jazz and commercial keyboardist, most notably on the Hammond B-3, with the Texas Tech University Faculty Jazz Quartet and has appeared with numerous artists which include Mel Torme, Clark Terry, Dizzy Gillespie, Pearl Bailey, Louie Bellson, Doc Severinson, Rita Moreno, Carol Channing, Spyro Gyra, Michael Martin Murphey, The Temptations, the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, Elvis Presley, Fats Domino, The Moody Blues, Louise Mandrell, Roy Clark, and Debbie and Pat Boone among others.

Bob is the author of The Jazz Ensemble: A Guide to Technique, published by Prentice-Hall, Inc., and has written a number of articles on music education and jazz-related topics for Music Educators Journal, Jazz Educators Journal, and IAJE Jazz Research Papers among others. He also served as a consultant on the Corporation for Public Broadcasting/Annenberg project "Jazz: Speaking of Life." His presentations at professional meetings include state, national and international forums, and he is frequently asked to be a guest conductor, clinician, and adjudicator in the Southwest and Midwest. Additionally, he has written and arranged numerous pieces for concert band, wind ensemble, marching band, band and choir, jazz band, orchestra, and various small ensembles.

Leon F. Brown (1918-2002), was the University of North Texas' first trombone professor. During his 37 years at the university, he built one of the largest and most productive trombone programs in the United States. He inaugurated the North Texas Brass Choir and the North Texas Trombone Choir. He published approximately 75 compositions for chorus and brass. He was a member of the Texas Music Educators' Association, National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors and the Texas Association of College Teachers. He began his career as a high school band director in Guymon, Oklahoma, and taught at the U.S. Navy School of Music in Washington, D.C., before joining the North Texas faculty. In 1983, he received the Distinguished Service Award from the International Trombone Association, which he helped found.