American tubist Chris Combest resides in Nashville, Tennessee, where he leads an active career as a performer and educator as Associate Professor of tuba and Director of Graduate Studies at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU). Before joining the music faculty at MTSU, he served on the faculties of the University of Texas-San Antonio, Southern Illinois University and is the former principal tubist with the Louisville Orchestra.
As a performer, Combest is the principal tuba with the Nashville Opera, and can be heard on broadcasts for National Public Radio, the BBC, and commercial recordings for Sony and Disney. He has has appeared as a guest with the Indianapolis Symphony, San Antonio Symphony, Lexington Philharmonic, Illinois Symphony, Chattanooga Symphony, Dallas Wind Symphony, the Tone Road Ramblers, and various artists, including film composer John Williams, and Broadway star Audra McDonald. His solo recordings have been nominated for the Roger Bobo Award for Excellence in Recording (2021) by the International Tuba Euphonium Association, recognized with a Silver Medal for Outstanding Achievement by the Global Music Awards (2023), and he was recently announced as a finalist for the American Prize in Instrumental Music Performance (2023).
As a teacher, Dr. Combest’s 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. military bands, and occupy college teaching positions. He has adjudicated in various international solo competitions, such as the Leonard Falcone Euphonium-Tuba Competition, the Asociación Española de Tubas y Bombardios, and the International Tuba Euphonium Association Competition.
A supporter of new music, Dr. Combest has collaborated with composers Stephen Rush, Alvin Singleton, 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). His teachers include Roger Bobo, Mark Moore, John Jones, and Jim Willett.
Chris Combest is a Performing Artist and Clinician for Melton Meinl Weston and B&S instruments.