Symphony NH’s Jude Morris: New voice, classic performance

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Jude Morris in Ink Link Arts and Culture – New Voices. New Creators.

A 21st Century Approach to 19th Century Music.

First in a multi-part series.

Meet Jude Morris

Jude Morris photo by Keith Spiro
Jude Morris, principal Trombone at Game Over(ture) concert. Photo | Keith Spiro

Meet Jude Morris, Principal Trombonist with Symphony New Hampshire. We had a chance to see him in action recently at a performance of Game Over(ture). He fit right in with the more than 50 musicians on stage. The Symphony’s approach to video game music is a story for another day but it confirmed for me that they continue to experiment and engage the audience in new ways.

Symphony New Hampshire’s 21st-century approach to classical performance is entrepreneurial in its push beyond traditional boundaries. Ink Link Arts believes the excitement they’ve created is best told through the voices and experiences of young music professionals. Jude Morris earned his position through a blind audition. His outstanding skill set opened the door. His age held no relevance in the decision to hire.

Morris made his debut with the symphony back in January at the performance of Brass to the Max. We asked him right after that concert to tell us about that first experience. What was it like to join as principal trombonist at such a young age while still finishing his education at Yale?  What was the most exciting moment? What was the scariest? What follows is his response.

Jude Morris, Principal Trombonist Responds

“To answer your questions, this was an absolutely amazing first concert with the orchestra. I love doing stuff like this and it was great to get a feel for the group in an all-brass setting. Usually, a concert will have maybe a couple minutes of total trombone playing on it, but this was a terrific full program.

“Obviously, as it was my first official concert with the group, it was a bit nerve-wracking to meet and play with everyone, as well as play alongside and for many of the people who were on the panel who decided to hire me (sometimes this kinda thing can feel like judgment day, but everyone is so amazing and supportive this wasn’t past the back of my mind…).

“I did actually do a quintet show previously alongside the brass quintet and was able to play with Richard (Watson) and Taka (Takatsugu Hagiwara) as well as Andy (Andrew Sorg) who played second trumpet on this concert, so that was another great introduction to the group and environment. For me this was super relaxed and I felt really comfortable with the rest of the brass.

“I had met quite a few of the members at my audition including Roger (Kalia) as well. I got a chance to talk with everyone at this (Brass to the Max) concert. It was great to get to know and officially meet everyone outside of the ball of nerves and excitement I was after I won the audition for the position.”

Supportive Organization with a sense of humor

“I would really like to thank everyone in the orchestra for being so supportive and kind to me, getting to meet everyone and talk to everyone has been incredible. I love sitting in groups like this where everyone is terrific players, great personalities, and lots of little jokes keeping everyone in full spirits.”

Scariest Moment

“Another thing, as you mentioned the “scariest moment,” I would say when I start playing a concert (especially when it’s the first show with an ensemble) something goes off in my head and I get in this zone for the first minute or so that I just start thinking “I cannot mess up,” but once I start playing that thought just goes away and I relax. I am sure most people have that same thing.

“It’s another thing when the first piece is Fanfare for a Common Man, and I hear this terrific and perfect trumpet line from a foot over from me, and at some point I have to join in with them. I always end up just listening to the terrific musicianship around me and get in my own world as a listener, then realize I have to play as well, myself.”

Exciting Experience

“It is always a treat to do Brass Ensemble concerts, and it’s also always a treat to do community concerts with local groups like the Spartans. I remember my first experience with a professional orchestra was back in Texas with the Dallas Symphony in my sophomore year of high school, not too dissimilar to what the members of the Spartans experienced during this concert.

“In that concert we did a couple full orchestra pieces sitting and playing alongside the members of the orchestra, and one of the things that got me hooked on classical music as a career. That might be the most exciting bit for me from this experience, is maybe one of the Spartans will be in a similar position to me in a couple years!”

Working with Maestro Kalia

Jude Morris with conductor Roger Kalia photo.
Jude Morris, left, with Symphony NH conductor Roger Kalia at Brass to the Max.  Courtesy Photo

“Roger is such a great guy as well. It was terrific to play under him. He is full of spirit and obviously as a brass player himself, I feel like he gets us pretty well. As a bit of an anecdote, on one of the charts we did, he exaggerated this phrase and did a subito piano and crescendo through the phrase, and the whole group just followed it so well. He gave us a good smirk and there were a few kicks from the players as a way of saying “nice” and it just sounded terrific.

“That’s something I also love, it just felt like the whole group was one in that moment. He was a lot of fun to play under, and the repertory he chose was quite fun and honestly a great way for me to get off my holiday break.”

A Shared interest in Photography

“The photo thing is awesome, I would love to chat with you in the future. If you want to check out some of my stills work, I made a bit of a portfolio website at

“I actually realized that the preparation for the audition and (what followed)  left me in a bit of a photo rut! I had stopped shooting as much when I moved to Connecticut from NYC. I started spending almost all of my time in the practice room (with) intensive rehearsal schedules while I’m in grad school at Yale. So, I haven’t had as much time to spend on that craft as I would like.

“On a side note, most of my work is film, and over the last five or so years I have become a bit of an Olympus collector as well as a trombone collector.”

PS – Authenticity at work

“Hope this answers everything, I didn’t really proofread much of this so I’m sure it is more true to my experience. Ha! Reach out if you need anything else!



To the Future

Symphony New Hampshire and Ink Link News Arts and Culture thrive on building community. Their 21st-century approach to classical performance matches our uniquely digital hyper-local focus that shares what matters locally to an audience that exists globally. More to follow. Stay tuned New Hampshire.

Next Concert – Saturday April 20, 2024 7:30 p.m. Keefe Center for the Arts (Nashua)

New World concert promotion graphic
Click on the graphic or the link for more information or to purchase tickets.

Two new world premieres are featured in this exciting musical fusion of past and present.

Opens with the world premiere of New Hampshire Concerto, Symphony NH’s first collaborative commission with college composers from Dartmouth College, Keene State, Plymouth State, and the University of New Hampshire.

Followed by the world premiere of composer D.J. Sparr’s dynamic Extraordinary Motion: Concerto for Electric Harp with poet/co-creator Janine Joseph and harpist Rosanna Moore.