Stephen Fissel joined the Seattle Symphony as a trombonist in 1981 after having played in orchestras in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and New Orleans, Louisiana.
Growing up in a small town in northern Indiana, he learned his passion for music playing trombone in his school music program, and guitar in his rock-and-roll band.
After earning a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education and a Performer’s Certificate from the Indiana University School of Music, he played in the Fort Wayne Philharmonic and continued his trombone studies, commuting to Chicago for lessons. He had several great trombone teachers, but the two most influential were Keith Brown and Frank Crisafulli.
In 1992 he moved from the 2nd trombone position to bass trombone when former Seattle Symphony trombonist Harry Case retired.
In 2010 he took a short leave from the orchestra to enjoy the opportunity to return to Indiana where he had the honor of teaching trombone at his alma mater, now called the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.
When he is not at Benaroya Hall he can be found at home practicing, teaching trombone students, at the gym doing yoga or cycling, or spending time with his family. He also likes to hike and snowshoe.
photo © Larey McDaniel