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Equally at home on the stage, in the classroom, and behind the scenes, the “brilliantly talented” (Business & Arts NL) Tristan Whalen-Hughes is an active performer, teacher, and arts administrator in Canada’s National Capital Region.


Tristan has appeared on stage with a variety of ensembles. He plays trombone in the award-winning dance band The Wailin’ Hues, tuba with The Ottawa Brass Initiative (TOBI), and has played freelance gigs with a number of other organizations such as the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra and Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra. Tristan’s wind ensemble experience includes having served six years as a member of the Canadian Armed Forces Reserves. In this capacity, he performed with the bands of The Ceremonial Guard, The Royal Newfoundland Regiment, and The Governor General’s Foot Guards.


Tristan has teaching experience in many different settings including private lessons, clinics, and lectures at the post-secondary level. He operates his own private music studio where he teaches lessons on multiple instruments including piano, trumpet, French horn, trombone, euphonium, and tuba. As a clinician, Tristan has led a number of brass and band clinics for intermediate and secondary school students in the Ottawa area. He has also been a sessional instructor of music theory at Memorial University of Newfoundland.


Behind the scenes, Tristan is the founder and director of TOBI and produces its concert series. In addition, he handles the contracting of TOBI and its members for engagements with other organizations. This has included working with the Ponticello Concert Series, Ottawa Chamberfest, and the Music and Beyond festival.


Tristan graduated summa cum laude from the University of Ottawa’s Bachelor of Music program where he studied under Martin Labrosse. He is a Fellow of the School of Graduate Studies of Memorial University of Newfoundland where he completed the Master of Music Performance program under the guidance of Doctors Karen Bulmer (tuba) and Dale Sorensen (trombone). Tristan has also attended the Domaine Forget Summer Music Academy where he studied with Norwegian tuba virtuoso Øystein Baadsvik.

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