Denson Paul Pollard


Denson Paul Pollard was appointed bass/tenor trombonist with the New York Metropolitan Opera Orchestra in September, 2007. He gained his Master of Musical Arts and Doctorate of Musical Arts in performance and pedagogy from the University of Iowa, where he served as a teaching assistant in the areas of musicology, jazz, and applied trombone. Dr. Pollard holds a Bachelor of Science degree in music education from Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, Alabama. His teachers have included Dr. Jim Roberts, Dr. David Gier, George Krem, Charles Vernon, and Joseph Alessi.

Before joining the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Dr. Pollard performed with the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Houston Symphony, and Los Angeles Philharmonic. He had also been the bass trombonist with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra and taught at the Hong Kong Academy for the Performing Arts, Hong Kong Baptist University, and Hong Kong Chinese University. Prior to HKPO, he was bass trombonist with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Cedar Rapids and Illinois Symphony Orchestras, and Des Moines Metro Opera Orchestra and principal trombonist with the Waterloo/Cedar Falls Symphony Orchestra. Dr. Pollard was selected as a tenor trombonist at the 1995 Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan, and was bass trombonist at the 1999 Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival in Germany, 2000 National Orchestral Institute in Baltimore, Maryland, and the 2001 National Repertory Orchestra in Breckenridge, Colorado.

As a commercial musician, Dr. Pollard has played with numerous shows. He was the tuba/bass trombonist with tours of the revival of “Showboat” and the Off-Broadway touring production of “Annie.” He played bass trombone for an 18-month tour with Andrew Lloyd Weber’s “Music of the Night” and the Barry Manilow Concert Tour.

Dr. Pollard is very active as a soloist. He was a prize winner and the only brass player finalist at the 1997 St. Louis Symphony Concerto Competition and was first prize winner at the 1998 Eastern Trombone Workshop Bass Trombone Solo Competition in Washington, D.C. He was the first bass trombone player to be invited to compete in the Houston Symphony Orchestra-Ima Hogg Concerto Competition in 2000, where he was a prize winner and performed as soloist with the Houston Symphony in July, 2000. He has been a guest soloist with the Hong Kong Academy for the Performing Arts Wind Ensemble, Jacksonville State University Wind Ensemble, University of Iowa Chamber Orchestra, Des Moines Community Orchestra, and numerous community bands across Iowa. During the summer of 2001, Dr. Pollard appeared as guest soloist with the West Point Military Academy Band at the Alessi Seminar in Nyack, New York. He was the featured soloist with the Hong Kong Philharmonic in 2002, performed a solo recital as a featured artist at the 2008 Eastern Trombone Workshop in Washington, D.C., and was a featured soloist at the 2009 Asia Trombone Festival in Taipei, Taiwan.

Dr. Pollard’s solo CDs “Up From Below,” “Point in Time,” and “Listening” are available at and

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