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Ava Ordman

Associate Professor of Trombone and Chair of the Brass and Percussion Area

Ava Ordman has been the Associate Professor of Trombone at Michigan State University since August 2002. Shortly after joining the faculty at MSU, she was appointed to the principal trombone position of the Lansing Symphony Orchestra. Ordman is also the principal trombonist of the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music Orchestra that performs in Santa Cruz (CA) every summer and is a member of the Beaumont Brass, the faculty brass quintet at MSU. Prior to her appointment at MSU, Ordman had been principal trombone of the Grand Rapids Symphony for 24 years. She then relocated to the Detroit area where she worked as a psychotherapist at the Guidance Center in Southgate, taught low brass at Oakland University, and freelanced as a trombonist.
Ordman has been a featured soloist with many orchestras throughout the United States, including her solo debut at Carnegie Hall with the American Symphony performing Donald Erb’s “Concerto for Trombone and Orchestra”.  She has been a featured artist at four International Trombone Festivals, the International Brassfest in Bloomington (IN), the Eastern Trombone Workshop (Washington DC); and four International Women's Brass Conferences held throughout the US.  Ordman also performed the world premiers of Steven Smith's "Concerto for Trombone and Orchestra" with the Eugene (OR) Symphony Orchestra and Libby Larsen's "Mary Cassatt for Mezzo-Soprano, Trombone, and Orchestra" with the Grand Rapids Symphony. Both of these works were written for Ordman and, along with Donald Erb’s “Concerto, have been performed by her throughout the country.
Ordman was a finalist in the Concert Artist Guild Competition (NY City) in 1991, the Louise D. MacMahon International Solo Competition (Lawton, OK) in 1993, and a semi-finalist at the International Trombone Competition in Toulon, France in 1983.  She is the featured trombone soloist on a Koss Classics' CD of concertos by Donald Erb and on the CD entitled "Simple Gifts" -the Music of Frank Ticheli. In September 2016, Ordman will be releasing her first solo CD entitled “It’s About Time” works for solo trombone by women composers. She earned her B.M. and M.M. in trombone performance from the University of Michigan in 1975 and a M.A. in Counseling Psychology from Western Michigan University in 1998. Ordman’s primary teachers were Frank Crisafulli and Arnold Jacobs of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Glen Dodson of the Philadelphia Orchestra, Glenn P. Smith from the University of Michigan, and Mark McDunn from DePaul University.