Phil Smith came to the New York Philharmonic in 1978 as co-Principal Trumpet, taking over the position completely in 1988. Since those early days in the NY Philharmonic, he has established himself as one of the world's elite performers. His career has been marked by thousands of performances, both as the Principal Trumpet of the NY Phil and as a soloist throughout the world. After this final performance on June 5th, Mr. Smith will retire to the University of Georgia (Jason's alma mater!), where he will serve as Professor of Trumpet.
For more information on this event, visit the New York Philharmonic's website.
Jason made his Carnegie Hall debut on April 8th, 2009, performing as part of the New York City Wind Band Festival. In that performance, he gave the North American premiere of Bert Appermont's concerto "Cantiphonia" to a standing ovation.
The New York Wind Symphony is now in its 25th season, under the baton of the very capable Mr. Richard F. Regan, and is excelling under his leadership. Last night's performance was the NYWS's debut performance at Carnegie Hall, and the group left little doubt about its legitimacy as a force in the wind band world, especially in the New York City area.
About this performance, Jason said that "it was nice to perform here again. Without question, it's one of the best acoustic environments I've ever gotten to play in, and when I walked off stage back in 2009, I only hoped I'd have the chance to play here again. I am totally honored to share this stage with a great ensemble, and I hope that the audience had as much fun listening to UFO Concerto as I did playing it."
For more information on this performance, visit Jason's pages at Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook.
This coming October, Jason will become the first euphonium specialist to teach at tthe Julliard School in New York City.
More coming soon...
Today, Jason is recognized as one of the instrument's most visibile proponents. Although the majority of his work has remains in the United States, he also has taken the euphonium to numerous other countries throughout the world (Argentina - 2007; Bulgaria - 2005; Canada - 1998; 2007; China - 2004, 2012; Colombia - 2013; Finland - 2001; France - 2003; Hungary - 2004, 2005; Macedonia - 2005). In the USA, Jason mainly makes visits to college and university campuses throughout the nation, and to this end, has visited more than 100 different schools in his decade as a soloist. Consistently in demand as a clinician and soloist, his travel schedule often finds him on tour at various times throughout the year.
As a teacher, Jason does the majority of his teaching through the John J. Cali School of Music at Montclair State University in Montclair, New Jersey. His roles there include teaching the euphonium majors, teaching a practicum class for the Tuba and Euphonium Majors, conducting the Brass Band, and conducting the Tuba-Euphonium Ensemble. Now entering his fifth year on faculty there, Jason first taught at MSU from 2008-2011, departing after the birth of his son that spring. He returned in the fall of 2013 and remains there today. Accomplishments as a teacher include sending two tuba-euphonium quartets to compete in two different International Tuba-Euphonium Conferences (2010 - Tucson, AZ; 2014 - Bloomington, IN) as well as hosting the Northeastern Regional Tuba-Euphonium Conference in 2011.
Jason stays very busy commissioning composers to write for the Euphonium and to this end, has had some truly outstanding works written for the instrument. Past commissions include works by Stephen Anderson, Johan de Meij, David Gillingham, Amanda Harberg, Pete Meechan, Joseph Turrin. Current collaborations are in the works with Patrick Burns and Ben McMillan.
Jason's most recent accomplishments include his second solo performance at Carnegie Hall on June 9, 2014. In that performance, Jason soloed with the New York Wind Symphony, performing to great acclaim. His prior perfmorance had taken place in April 2009, soloing as a guest of the New York City Wind Band Festival.
Jason Ham is a Yamaha Performing Artist, and performs exclusively on the YEP-842 Euphonium.
If you've read the bio page and looked at the rest of the site, then you've read some pretty cool stuff about how I came to do what I do on the euphonium. But, in truth, you've not heard the whole story until you read this page.
I simply cannot separate who I am or any success that I've had apart from God - no, not the God that everyone thanks at the Academy Awards or the one that we use in vain when we're mad. No, I'm talking about Yahweh God...you know, that one that is in that really big and sometimes confusing book called the Bible. The one who sent that Jesus dude and that weird Holy Spirit guy...
Whoops! I said Bible and Jesus! I know you might want to take off from this page, but leave your mouse alone for another minute or two...
Let me explain to you that I have no earthly idea how I get to do what I do daily with the euphonium apart from God in my life; I simply cannot explain how this came about apart from Him. Most people don't even know what the euphonium is, but I get to make a living playing this great instrument each and every day. If you look back across the success I've had, you cannot separate out the fact that there's something much bigger than just Jason Ham at work here...
Seriously, how does a guy from South Carolina win his first-ever audition for a band in New York, (where the girl of his dreams was waiting on him), establish a solo career that takes him to places like Asia, Europe, and South America, putting him before audiences in Carnegie Hall and the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic - how does all this happen by about 30 years of age? That's crazy talk...until you read something like this:
I can do all things through Him who strengthens me..." Philippians 4:13
All things. That's a pretty big claim...then again, God is a pretty big God.
The truth of my life is that God is a faithful, loving God, and He wants nothing more than His own glory from what I do on the euphonium. "Sounds like a pretty vain dude", you say. Well...consider this:
If you knew that you only wanted the best for someone, and that that person giving their time, their talents, and their treasures - in short, their life - to you ultimately would bring about the very best for them, wouldn't you want them to do that, if you really cared for them? That's real love, and that's pretty cool...
God wants the best for you and me, and He loves you!...yeah, that sounds pretty cheesy and pretty churchy, but regardless of how things sound, it doesn't change the reality that something is still a fact. God loves you and only wants the best for you.
But, we humans tend to get off track in life, and we do some dumb things, even when we hear that God loves us. So what do we do with this? Hearing that "God loves us" is like getting the coolest present ever but getting that gift without the instruction manual. The truth is that God did give you an instruction manual, and He even gave you an instructor...and then he gave you a tutor! God gave you the Bible, and He sent His Son, Jesus, as a guide. When you start to get what Jesus says in the Bible, then you realize that he sent another dude...that weird one called the Holy Spirit to live inside you...yeah...it does sound wacky, but it's 100% true...to give you daily guidance on how to live according to what Jesus talked about.
The truth of the matter is that this whole Jesus thing has worked in my life, and though I know you're not me and you may have your "own thing" going, let me simply encourage you to give Jesus a chance with you. It worked for me, and I think it will work for you...
Oh, and by the way, I'm not talking about "Christianity" here, because Christianity tends to be only religion, which stinks and just tends to foul things up pretty hard...
No, I'm talking about this Jesus guy...a real dude who came to earth, lived here for a while, and then thought enough of you to die on a cross for you (and get this - come back to life, too!), even though you wouldn't be here on His earth until about 2000 years after He physically left it.
Interested in how you start this whole Jesus thing? Email me on the contact page, and I can help get you pointed in the right direction...
Thanks for visiting this page...
I've had the great pleasure of getting to know Jason Ham's playing as both conductor and composer. Jason is a truly outstanding musician. Besides his wonderful flowing technique and glowing warm rich sound he has a great sense of musicality. He is also a sincere musician with a great sense of purpose. I have found him to be dedicated to his craft along with the humanity and respect of all things which in my opinion is truly the mark of an artist
The tuba and euphonium students at ISU were completely blown away with your approach to making music. Thanks to your recital, I now have at least two students that have gone out and found the tunes that you played so that they too can attempt to replicate your amazing performance...You are truly inspiring as a musician and I am proud to call you a friend. Thanks for inspiring my students (and myself as well) to hit the practice rooms with renewed enthusiasm.
Jason embodies all the very best attributes of both an outstanding musician as well as a consummate gentleman. His solo recital was exceptional - he tackled an amazing array of repertoire with ease, technical prowess, and deep musical sensitivity. Jason's teaching during his master class showed immediate and dramatic improvements in each and every one of my students. Throughout his visit he demonstrated great cooperation, respect, responsibility, and camaraderie to every person he came in contact with.
During the concert, Jason Ham's solos were highlighted by his blazing technique and brilliant sound...
The first time I heard Jason Ham's euphonium artistry was when I listened to a rehearsal tape of my concerto for wind ensemble, "Cantus Laetus", then being rehearsed by the University of Georgia Wind Symphony under the direction of H. Dwight Satterwhite. In this piece, there are two exposed euphonium solos which require a great deal of expression and, above all, euphonium "sound". Upon hearing Jason's rendition on the tape, I backed up the tape and listened to it several times. I had never heard such a beautiful sound on this instrument! I immediately called Dwight Satterwhite to find out who the player was. Since this time, I have heard Jason perform on many occasions and have watched his career with great interest. He is most definitely at the top of the field among the great euphonium players of the world.
Congratulations Jason on the website. You are doing great things for the euphonium in the US and I always watch your progress with interest as we have met many times over the years at festivals and competitions. You make a beautiful big warm sound; one I hope many many people will get to hear. Your passion for the euphonium is remarkable and unshakable and the instrument needs people like you. Hope you get a lot of visitors to your site and let the world know what you are up to!
If you haven't heard Jason Ham play, then it's a must. The first word that comes to mind is refreshing. He sounds like no one else, and clearly has the most appealing sound that I have heard in a very long time. Sprinkle in his down home mixture of pure passion, a wonderful sound, and more than dash of great musicianship, and you have a winner...a pure original
...the instrument is beautiful, and Mr. Ham is a virtuoso artist on his instrument. He produces brilliant sound, astonishing scale work, and a tender lyricism that has a touch of melancholy...One would have to fall back on the name of the great horn player Denis Brain to find an artist of comparable brilliance...
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