Matt Tuggle

Dallas, TX

Class of 2020

Life is a lot like jazz, it’s best when you improvise.
— George Gershwin

My name is Matt Tuggle, and I'm will be a junior bass trombone performance major here at Vanderbilt. Even as a freshman, I've been able to become involved in many different musical ensembles, including the orchestra, wind ensemble, and big band, and I also frequently arrange music for trombone ensembles. I try to pursue a well-rounded musical education, and Vanderbilt certainly gives me the tools I need to be a versatile musician.

I took a gap year before coming to Vanderbilt, and I spent that time teaching lessons at middle schools and high schools. I also regularly worked with my mentors Jay Cook, Noel Wallace, & Jan Kagarice, as well as my friend and colleague Hiram Rodriguez, who also took a gap year. Hiram and I auditioned for multiple trombone competitions and together we prepared a dual recital in the spring of 2016. 

I am an Eagle Scout, and for my service project I collected and purchased used and new instruments to donate to an underprivileged band program in Dallas. I enjoy almost all genres of music, I love movies, and I am a big fan of Star Wars, DC & Marvel comics,  and Game of Thrones. 

In 2017, I was elected as an Recruitment Chair for the Pi Delta chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and I will be overseeing new member education for the upcoming 2018-19 year. I also became a member of Vanderbilt Off-Broadway and was in the ensemble for their production of Little Shop of Horrors. I will also be vocal director for VOB’s main stage production of Pippin in the upcoming school year. 



During the spring of 2018, I held a special event called “Slide and Screen: An Evening of Film Music”. This was a unique recital which consisted entirely of my own arrangements of film scores, and performed by trombone ensembles of various sizes. The recital also included an integral visual component, which involved projections and animations accompanying the music being played. The recital was a huge success, and will be an experience I will cherish for all of my career. 

I have also been fortunate enough to travel abroad frequently in my time at Vanderbilt, with music-related trips to Colombia and Austria in the last semester. The Colombia trip, led by wind symphony director Thomas Verrier, was part of the ¡BLAIR! Initiative, a cultural exchange program which aims to expose Vanderbilt students to the music and culture of Latin American countries (and vice-versa) through trips and performance opportunities. The Austria trip was led by our trombone professor Jeremy Wilson, and was intended as a 2-week stay in Vienna, Austria and Bern, Switzerland. Here, we were exposed to wonderful concerts, amazing history, and fantastic musicians.

My performance of Steven Verhelst's "Capriccio" from our dual recital, "Posaune Royale".

The Blair Big Band's recording of Radiohead's "Kid A".