Kent Eshelman is Professor of Music at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, where he joined the faculty in 2009. A graduate of the University of Michigan in tuba performance and jazz piano, he earned a master’s degree in tuba performance at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he held the Prize University Fellowship, and a doctorate in tuba performance at Michigan State University, where he held the University Distinguished Fellowship. He has taught previously at Northern Arizona University, Western Kentucky University, Grand Valley State University, and the Interlochen Arts Camp.
A highly acclaimed soloist, he has won first place in numerous national and international competitions, including the Jeju (Korea) International Brass Competition, the Leonard Falcone International Euphonium and Tuba Competition (Artist and Student divisions), and the Midland-Odessa Symphony National Young Artist Competition. He was a finalist in the Philip Jones International Brass Competition (France), and a Level One awardee from the National YoungArts Foundation. He has been featured at many euphonium-tuba conferences, including as soloist with the Ventoscala Symphony Orchestra at the International Tuba-Euphonium Conference (ITEC) in Budapest, and he has premiered solo works by Bruce Broughton, Frank Lynn Payne, and Anthony Plog. His solo albums, Message in a Tuba (Soundset Recordings, 2020) and Flavors (Equilibrium Recordings, 2013), have received strong critical acclaim. Flavors won the International Tuba-Euphonium Association’s (ITEA) Roger Bobo Award for Excellence in Recording, and the American Record Guide commented, “Tubists are making fine recordings these days, but this one really stands out.”
In addition to solo performance, Dr. Eshelman is principal tubist of the Waco Symphony Orchestra and has performed as substitute or extra tubist with the Grand Rapids, San Antonio, and Toledo symphony orchestras as well as with the Sotto Voce Quartet. He is a member of Baylor’s faculty brass quintet, Baylor Brass, and with them has performed at many venues throughout the United States and released an album entitled Four American Stories (Soundset Recordings, 2015). As a jazz musician, he has won first place in the Rich Matteson International Jazz Tuba and Euphonium Competition, performed as soloist with the U.S. Army Blues Jazz Ensemble at the U.S. Army Tuba-Euphonium Workshop in Washington, D.C., and released an album entitled Life is Good (PKO Records).
An active member of the international euphonium/tuba community, Dr. Eshelman has served on the board of directors of the ITEA as the Regional Conferences Coordinator. He has frequently performed and adjudicated at ITEA conferences, and he served as organizer and host of the 2011 ITEA South-Central Regional Conference at Baylor University. He has also served as an adjudicator for the Jeju International Brass Competition in South Korea (euphonium and tuba divisions) and the Leonard Falcone International Euphonium/Tuba Competition.