The TexiCali Trio is an ongoing collaboration between Dr. Karen Marston, Professor of Music at Mt San Antonio College (California) and Dr. Deb Scott, Professor of Trombone at Stephen F Austin State University (Texas). The group is a natural extension of the long standing friendship between Deb and Karen, who met on a gig in Houston, Texas, in 1999. Knowing at that time that were the only two professional female trombonists in the area, they formed a close bond, which has endured many years and many miles. TexiCali was officially named in 2021, after Deb and Karen had already formed a habit of sharing recitals and working together on commissions of new music. Since that time, TexiCali has performed at the International Trombone Festival and the International Womens Brass Conference, and has given recitals at numerous universities, including Ohio University, Northern Kentucky University, and Wright State University. In 2021, together with pianist Dr. Jason Lo, TexiCali commissioned and premiered Justin Writer’s Spectrums, for two trombones and piano.
Dr. Deb Scott is the Professor of Trombone and Bass Trombone as well as the Associate Director of Publicity and Communications for the School of Music at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas. She is a performing artist for Rath Trombones and is active world-wide as a soloist and clinician. She also conducted jazz bands for over 30 years and was formerly the Director of Jazz Studies at SFA.
She is an active teacher and performer internationally including the University of Music in Trossingen, Germany, and the Janacek Academy in Brno, Czech Republic. In 2022 and 2016 she was a featured soloist and faculty member in Santa Fe, Argentina at Trombonanza. Most recently, she became a member of Monarch Brass, known as the very best women brass players in the world. Scott’s solo CD, Playing Favorites, was released in 2017 by Navona Records. She has been described as “one of the premiere soloists for her instrument” (Cinemusical 2017). She was part of Christopher Bill’s YouTube sensation featuring 28 trombonists from throughout the world performing Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”. She is also regularly featured in radio broadcasts throughout North America.
Under her leadership, the SFA Trombone Octet has been featured twice at the International Trombone Festival, in 2022 and in 2010. She and the SFA trombone choir were described as playing a “fantastic performance…of some of the most challenging works in the trombone choir repertoire”. She has performed several times as a soloist and within groups at the International Trombone Festival.
Dr. Scott joined the administration of the International Trombone Festival in 2019 as the Director of the Composers Workshop. She finds it very rewarding to help promote new music for the trombone and coordinates all aspects of the workshop including performances of the new music selected to be featured at each festival. For a dozen years, she reviewed solos for the U.I.L. prescribed music list for trombone and bass trombone in the state of Texas. Over twenty jazz etudes composed by Dr. Scott have been accepted as audition material for the Texas All-State jazz trombone and bass trombone auditions; she also regularly selects all-state band and orchestra audition material for trombone. She is active as a clinician and performer for All-Region jazz ensembles and jazz festivals. For twenty years, she reviewed CDs for the International Trombone Association Journal. As a conductor, Scott has twice directed the Texas All-State Community College Jazz Ensemble at the Texas Music Educators Association Conference.
Scott has been a member of the Shreveport Symphony, Shreveport Opera, Longview Symphony, the Twentieth Century Unlimited Orchestra in Santa Fe, the New Mexico Music Festival Orchestra in Taos, the Orchestra of the Pines, the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra (Texas), the Greeley Philharmonic (Colorado), as well as the Barnum and Bailey Greatest Show on Earth Circus Band.
As a jazz artist, Dr. Scott performed frequently in the Houston area as the lead trombonist for the Ronnie Renfrow Big Band where she also free-lanced often. She has performed with such artists as J.J. Johnson, Louis Bellson, Diane Reeves, Frank Mantooth, Phil Woods, Lee Greenwood, Kay Starr, the Mills Brothers, and the Ink Spots.
She graduated with top honors from Texas Tech University and received the dean’s award for her master’s degree at the University of Northern Colorado. She was the first woman to complete a doctorate in trombone performance from the University of North Texas as well as the first doctoral trombone performance candidate at UNT to earn a 4.0 GPA. She was also the first woman to direct a university jazz band in the state of Texas.
Joining the Mt San Antonio College Music Department in 2016, trombonist and educator Dr. Karen Marston currently works with brass players in both applied and chamber settings, and teaches academic music courses. This appointment follows a fifteen-year tenure as an applied teacher and ensemble director at San Jacinto College in Pasadena, TX. Karen holds degrees in trombone performance from the University of North Texas and Rice University, and both a masters and doctorate in music education from Columbia University, where she was the recipient of the Elin B. Stein Graduate Fellowship. Her teachers include Jan Kagarice, Dr. Vern Kagarice, Dr. Royce Lumpkin, and David Waters.
Karen’s career as a performer has centered on chamber music, and she is the founder of many successful ensembles, including Omni Brass, Prism Brass, the Resonance Brass Choir, the Empress Trombone Quartet and Octet, and the TexiCali Trio. As a member of these ensembles, Dr. Marston has given numerous master classes and recitals at venues across the country, including Ohio University, Northern Kentucky University, Wright State University, the University of Texas at Tyler, Baylor University, Lamar University, Texas A&M University Corpus Christi, Texas Christian University, Cal State Los Angeles, the Mammoth City Schools, Texas A&M Kingsville, Murray State University, and many more. In 2021, she was the founder and organizer of the International Womens Trombone Choir, a ground-breaking ensemble which brought together over 30 female trombonists from across the US to perform together at the International Trombone Festival in Columbus, GA. Both Karen’s playing and arrangements can be heard on the recordings The Red Album (2014) and Omnify (2016), with the cutting-edge, genre-bending brass and percussion ensemble, Omni Brass. As a freelancer, Karen has also performed with the Millennial Choirs and Orchestra, the Houston Symphony, the San Antonio Symphony, the Ebony Opera Guild, Orchestra X (Houston), the American Radio Chamber Orchestra, the Composers Orchestra of Houston, and the west-coast tour of Alliance Brass. In 2020, she was a guest artist for the Pacific Symphony’s Youth Wind Ensemble, performing John Mackey’s Concerto, Harvest.
Having had numerous articles published in the Journal of the International Trombone Festival, and having completed a substantial dissertation project on trombone pedagogy, and its relationship to the development of dystonia in brass players, Karen’s work as a researcher is well-known to the trombone community. She has also served as Director of the International Trombone Festival since 2017.
Karen is an artist for Rath Trombones, England.
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