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Conductor of Jazz Orchestra II, Small Jazz Ensemble
Toby Whitaker is an Adjunct Instructor of Jazz at VCU, where he teaches Jazz Orchestra II and Small Jazz Ensemble. A trombonist, composer, and educator, he earned his Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies from VCU and his Master of Music in Jazz Performance from Rutgers University, where he had the privilege of studying with trombone virtuoso Conrad Herwig.
Toby toured throughout the United States with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra under the direction of Buddy Morrow and has performed internationally with the salsa ensemble Bio Ritmo, for which he also composes. With the brass quintet Trombone Paradise, Toby has traveled from San Francisco to Mexico City to London as a part of the Indie Rock group Bon Iver. He has performed at music festivals and venues in New York, Chicago, Puerto Rico, Spain, France, England, Switzerland, Poland, and the Republic of Georgia.
As a composer Toby has written for and led his own big band and orchestrated the compositions of Bio Ritmo for the Richmond Symphony Orchestra. His arrangements have been featured on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert, at the 2014 Mingus Awareness Project in Richmond, VA, on WBGO Jazz Public Radio in Newark, New Jersey, and at The Blue Note in New York City.
While at Rutgers Toby also taught Chamber Jazz Ensembles, later joining the music faculty at Christopher Newport University, where he taught Jazz Trombone, Digital Creativity in Music Technology, Aural Skills, and Jazz Ensemble Techniques.