B i o g r a p h y
Dr. Chris Combest serves as assistant professor of music at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, TN, where he leads an active career as a performer and educator. In addition to teaching applied tuba, he conducts the MTSU euphonium-tuba ensemble and instructs brass chamber music. A faculty fellow and a member of the graduate faculty, Dr. Combest is also co-director of the Stones River Chamber Players, the music faculty ensemble-in-residence at MTSU, and performs with the MTSU Faculty Brass. Prior to joining the music faculty at MTSU, he served on the faculties of the University of Texas-San Antonio, Southern Illinois University, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and is former Principal Tuba with the Louisville Orchestra in Louisville, KY.
As a performer, Dr. Combest is Principal Tuba with the Nashville Opera and has also appeared with the Indianapolis Symphony, San Antonio Symphony, Lexington Philharmonic, Illinois Symphony, Orchestra Kentucky, the Victoria Symphony (TX), the Dallas Wind Symphony, the Tone Road Ramblers and various artists including film composer John Williams, the Canadian Brass, and Audra McDonald. In addition to his work in Nashville, he can be heard on broadcasts for National Public Radio, the B.B.C., and on hundreds of recording credits for Sony, Disney, and Hal Leonard publishing. A few of his commercial recording credits include "Andres Cardenas - Violin Concertos of Barber, Stock, and Copland" (Albany), "Brass Masters: Vol. XI" with the Lexington Brass Band (Polyphonic), and "Live from St. Louis" with the Saxton's Cornet Band. His latest solo recording titled "Under Tennessee Skies" features new music for the tuba inspired by Tennessee and was recognized with a Silver Medal for Outstanding Achievement by the Global Music Awards and a nomination for the Roger Bobo Award for Excellence in Recording by the International Tuba Euphonium Association in 2021.
As a teacher, Dr. Combest's students are active throughout the United States, both as professional performers and music educators. His students have won ITEA Competitions, placed in the artist and young artist divisions of the Leonard Falcone International Solo Competition, are members of U.S. professional orchestras and military bands, and occupy college teaching positions. Dr. Combest has adjudicated various international solo competitions including the Leonard Falcone Competition, the Asociación Española de Tubas y Bombardinos (AETYB) Competitions, the International Tuba Euphonium Association Competitions and has performed at many national and international conferences, festivals, and workshops, including the International Tuba Euphonium Conference, the Burgos Chamber Music Festival and the U.S. Army Band Tuba-Euphonium Workshop in Washington, D.C.
As a dynamic supporter of new music, Dr. Combest has commissioned dozens of new works for the tuba and euphonium in collaboration with such composers as Barbara York, John Stevens, Rodney Newton, Robert Litton, James Grant, James Stephenson, and Ethan Wickman. He is a member of the Board of Directors for the Leonard Falcone International Euphonium Tuba Competition, where he serves as the Tuba Competitions Music Chair and is a Life Member of the International Tuba Euphonium Association (ITEA). Dr. Combest holds a B.M. from Eastern Kentucky University, an M.M. from the University of Louisville, a D.M.A. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and his teachers include Roger Bobo, Mark Moore, John Jones, and Jim Willett.
Dr. Combest is a Performing Artist and Clinician for Melton Meinl Weston and B&S instruments.