Elijah Samuels is a Denver based saxophonist, composer and educator. He also performs regularly on flutes, clarinets and oboe.
During high school, Elijah studied saxophone, flute and clarinet
privately with Ernie Small. Also during this time, he began studying
music at the Santa Rosa Junior College.
Upon graduating high school, Elijah continued his musical studies at
SRJC under the guidance of Bennett Friedman. Still playing clarinet and
bari, he progressed and graduated with Dean’s Highest Honors. Before
graduating, it was suggested that he try tenor in the SRJC jazz band.
After hearing Andrew Speight as a guest artist at SRJC in 2003, he
decided that Andrew was who he wanted to study with and applied to the
School of Music and Dance at San Francisco State University.
In 2004, he was accepted and was awarded scholarships throughout his
stay. While at SFSU, he was introduced to Afro-Cuban music by Dr. John
Calloway, studied classical clarinet with Dr. Robert Busan, and jazz
saxophone with Andrew Speight. In 2007, he gave a senior recital of
classical clarinet and jazz saxophone. A couple months later, Elijah
graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Music with emphasis in Music Education.
After what seemed to be countless years of school and summer
sessions, he spent half a year playing and teaching. It was then that
he accepted a job at iTunes (Apple) and spent 18 months trying to live
two lives; one of staying up late, practicing, playing and arranging
music and the other of getting up early and working late in the
corporate sector. He realized he couldn’t live in both worlds and do
both properly, so in 2009, he bid farewell to his friends at iTunes.
In 2010, he was accepted into the Manhattan School of Music and moved
to New York City. While at MSM, Elijah studied with Jim McNeely, David
Liebman, Phil Markowitz and Steve Slagle. He then transferred to the
Lamont School of Music at the University of Denver on scholarship and as
a graduate teaching assistant. He directed the University Jazz Ensemble
and taught applied saxophone.
He’s performed throughout the Bay Area including the Independent,
Boom Boom Room, Shatuck DownLow, San Jose Jazz Festival, Dia de San Juan
Festival, Yerba Buena Gardens, Jellys, SF Ballet Gala, The Jazz School
(Berkeley) and El Rio among others. He has shared the stage with many
well established musicians such as Jerry Rivera, Ramon Sanchez, John
Calloway, Wayne Wallace, Doug Beavers, John Santos, Nelson Rangell,
Dennis DeBlasio, Brad Goode and many more. He has also arranged music
for string quartet, saxophone quartet, big band and studio orchestra.
Bron Wright has served as Principal Trombonist with the Colorado Springs Philharmonic since 2005. He has toured and performed on numerous occasions with the Boston Symphony Orchestra under Seiji Ozawa, Kurt Masur, Robert Spano, James Conlin, and Sir Neville Marriner; the Boston Pops Orchestra under John Williams and Keith Lockhart; and the New World Symphony under Michael Tilson-Thomas. He has received fellowships with such festivals as the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan; the American Russian Artists Orchestra in Russia; the AIMS Festival Orchestra in Graz, Austria; and the Tanglewood Music Center in Lenox, MA. As a soloist, Wright has toured to over 35 countries including China, South Africa, Egypt, Poland, Germany, Russia, Denmark, and Thailand. In 1993, he was selected to perform as a soloist for Queen Noor and King Hussein at the Jerash International Music Festival in Amman, Jordan. In 2005, he was invited by conductor Yutaka Sado and the Leonard Bernstein Foundation to perform in Japan for the 60th Anniversary of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings.
Wright currently teaches trombone, euphonium and tuba at the University of Colorado Denver. He also holds the Principal Trombone positions with the Boulder Philharmonic, Fort Collins Symphony, Opera Colorado orchestras, and as 2nd trombone of the Crested Butte Music Festival. In 2010, he served as 2nd trombonist of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra in New Orleans and in 2006, Principal Trombone with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra in South Carolina. He has also won auditions with the Memphis Symphony, Tucson Symphony, and Mississippi Symphony orchestras. Additionally, he can be seen throughout Colorado performing with the Colorado Symphony, the Colorado Music Festival and the Denver Brass.
An avid supporter of new music, Wright has commissioned nearly a dozen works for solo trombone, brass quintet and voice. In 2002 he premiered two works for solo trombone written by his good friend and renowned composer Daniel Pinkham. In 2003, he recorded those works for the Arsis Audio label of E.C. Schirmer Publishing. Most recently, he performed the Colorado premiere of Takemitsu's Trombone Concerto with the Colorado Springs Philharmonic. As founder of the Huntington Brass Quintet, Bron has received numerous grants from Chamber Music America, The American Composer's Forum, The National Endowment for the Arts and has been featured on National Public Radio. He has conducted master classes and seminars on such topics as Arts Management and Performance Anxiety at The New England Conservatory of Music, The University of Maryland, Longy School of Music, and The University of Texas at Austin.
Wright received his Bachelor of Arts degree in 2001 from the New England Conservatory of Music where he studied with both Norman Bolter and Douglas Yeo of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.