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Trombone professor wins prestigious music award

March 17, 2009

KALAMAZOO--A Western Michigan University music professor has been recognized by a major association for his accomplishments.

Dr. Stephen Wolfinbarger, professor of music and chair of the brass/percussion area in the WMU School of Music, has won the 2009 International Trombone Association Award. The award recognizes the highest level of creative and artistic output in such areas as performance, composition, arranging, teaching, conducting, research and service. Recipients also are considered to have made important and outstanding contributions to the trombone community and demonstrated dedication to their professions.

Along with the Humfeld Award for Teaching Excellence, the ITA Award is one of the two highest honors presented by the International Trombone Association each year. Wolfinbarger will travel to Denmark to receive the award at the International Trombone Festival in June. In addition to receiving a plaque, he'll also receive a cash prize of $500.

In winning the award, Wolfinbarger joins a "who's who" list of major figures in the trombone world. Previous ITA Award winners include Ron Barron, principal trombonist with the Boston Symphony, Jay Friedman, principal trombonist with the Chicago Symphony, and Joseph Alessi, principal trombonist with the New York Philharmonic.

A WMU faculty member since 1986, Wolfinbarger earned his bachelor's degree from Evangel University, his master's degree from North Texas State University and his doctoral degree from the University of North Texas. He is past president of ITA and now serves as chair of that organization's governance committee.

Media contact: Mark Schwerin, (269) 387-8400, mark.schwerin@wmich.edu

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