Considered one of the finest trombonists of his generation, Tony Baker is currently a faculty member at the University of North Texas College of Music. Previously, Mr. Baker served as assistant professor of trombone at Ohio University and as visiting assistant professor of trombone and euphonium at Kent State University. A native of Little Rock, Arkansas, he is an alumnus of the University of Minnesota and the University of Central Arkansas. Mr. Baker's professional experience is as varied as it is substantial. Currently a member of the Dallas Opera Orchestra, he has performed with ensembles such as the ProMusica Chamber Orchestra, the Minnesota Opera Orchestra, the New Hampshire Music Festival Orchestra, and the Dallas, Richardson, Columbus, Akron, Arkansas, and Duluth-Superior symphony orchestras.
As a soloist, Mr. Baker has established an international reputation. Mr. Baker was a soloist at the 2007 International Trombone Festival in Birmingham, UK and was a guest recitalist that same year at the Wey Valley International Concert Series in Weymouth, UK. In 2000 Mr. Baker was a soloist at the Grindavik Cultural Festival in Iceland, an event held in conjunction with the Reykjavik Cultural Festival. He was also a soloist at the 2000 Festival International D'Art Lyrique, held in Aix-en-Provence, France. This is an annual music festival hosted by the Academie Europeénne de Musique in conjunction with the Ensemble Intercontemporain. Ensembles with which Mr. Baker has performed as a soloist include the United States Army Band “Pershing’s Own”, the Ohio Valley Symphony, the University of Minnesota Symphony Orchestra, the Ohio University Wind Ensemble, the University of Central Arkansas Wind Ensemble, the trombone choirs of the University of North Texas, the University of Central Arkansas and Morehead State University (KY), the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Wind Symphony, and the Ouachita Baptist University Wind Ensemble (AR). Mr. Baker has given guest recitals and/or master classes at schools such as the Federal University of São João (Brazil), The Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, UK, Trinity College of Music in London, University of Arkansas, Humboldt State University (CA), the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, the University of Kentucky, the University of Central Arkansas, Murray State University (KY), the University of Texas at San Antonio, the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, Ohio State University, Ohio University, and Ouachita Baptist University. In February 1996, Professor Baker was invited to perform Luciano Berio'sSequenza V at the 1996 Music of Luciano Berio Symposium at the University of North Texas. He was also one of eight invited participants at the 1994 Christian Lindberg Solo Workshop. He has appeared as a clinician and performer at the 1998 University of Illinois Trombone Camp, the 1998 International Tuba/Euphonium Conference and most recently at the 2003 regional International Tuba/Euphonium Conference. In 2001 Baker was a guest artist at the International Trombone Festival in Nashville, Tennessee and was a guest clinician at the 2003 International Trombone Festival in Helsinki, Finland. In May 2002, Mr. Baker hosted the 2002 International Trombone Festival at the University of North Texas. This festival has been widely recognized as the largest and most successful in the history of this event.
Mr. Baker’s chamber music experience includes past memberships of professional ensembles such as the Kent Brass Quintet and OhioBrass, of which he was a founding member. He was also a member of the Appalachian Trombone Quartet. Mr. Baker performed with this ensemble on two tours of the Midwestern United States and on a 2001 tour of the United Kingdom. Mr. Baker currently is a member of the University of North Texas Faculty Brass.
As a jazz musician Mr. Baker has performed with groups such as the Woody Herman Band and the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra. He has also performed on stage with artists such as Wynton Marsalis, Steve Turre, Terry Gibbs, John Fedchock, Chris Vadala, and Jiggs Whigham. As a jazz clinician, Mr. Baker is on the faculty of summer jazz workshops at the University of North Texas and Northwest College in Cody, Wyoming. Mr. Baker is a regular faculty member of the University of North Texas Trumpet and Trombone Workshop, the University of North Texas Combo Workshop, and the Yellowstone Jazz Camps. He was also a guest artist at the 2002 Redbud Jazz Festival, and the 1999 Capital University Jazz Week. Mr. Baker served as the All-State Conductor of the 2004-2005 Minnesota All-State Jazz Ensemble. Mr. Baker has recorded with the Sounds of Blackness and can be heard with this group on their Grammy-nominated compact disc, Time for Healing. From October 1997 to April 2000 Baker was lead trombonist of the Columbus-based professional big band Jazz-to-Go. The recipient of many prizes and awards, Mr. Baker's honors include a First Place in Brass Performance in the 1991 Music Teachers National Association Wurlitzer Collegiate Artist National Competition.