Jonathan M. Holtfreter (also the inventor of Trombone SpineSaver™ Performance Stand), began trombone studies in the 5th grade in the Ann Arbor Public Schools and, under the private instruction of Charles J. Gabrion, rose to the top of his section in both junior high school and high school band and orchestra. He auditioned for the University of Michigan School of Music and was admitted immediately following his audition.

Mr. Holtfreter played in the Concert Band and Symphony Band and was a member of the Michigan Marching Band for all four years of his undergraduate degree, including a trip to the Rose Bowl with the marching band. He graduated with high distinction and was elected a member of the Society of Pi Kappa Lambda, Chi Chapter. Upon graduating, he became a member of The Galliard Brass Ensemble brass quintet out of Ann Arbor, Michigan. The quintet gave concerts around the state and was invited to the Southeast Council for the Arts concert series in Vermont as well as the Brunch with Bach series at the Detroit Institute of Arts. He recorded three albums of brass quintet literature arranged by Richard Price with the Galliard Brass Ensemble, the third album of which included guest artists Armando Ghitalla of the Boston Symphony, Corbin Wagner of the Detroit Symphony, Catherine Leach, Professor of Trumpet at the University of Tennessee, and George Troia of the Michigan Opera Theatre. The albums have been played extensively on WUOM, WKAR, WDET, and more recently WRCJ in Michigan, as well as CBC Radio Canada for the past forty years.

Carols for Brass” Volume 1 is available on iTunes listed under “The Galliard Brass Ensemble.”

Mr. Holtfreter provided private instruction on trombone, euphonium, and tuba for fifty years. His students have won more than twenty concerto competitions on trombone, euphonium, and tuba, and have ranked at the top of all state-wide trombone soloists nine times in the last eleven years. They were consistent leaders in the Ann Arbor Huron, Skyline, and Pioneer High School bands and orchestras, the Michigan Youth Band, Youth Orchestra, the Detroit Civic Orchestra, Michigan School Band and Orchestra All-State Band, Orchestra, and Jazz Band, as well as the Michigan Youth Arts Festival Band, Orchestra, and Jazz Band. In his final year of studio teaching, his trombone students won the top seven chairs in the state across high school orchestra, high school band, high school jazz band and middle school band. Mr. Holtfreter founded The Ann Arbor Trombone Choir in 2005 and was its music director for twelve years. This ensemble performed in joint recitals with the Western Michigan Trombone Choir, directed by Dr. Steve Wolfinbarger, the University of Michigan Trombone Ensemble, directed by Prof. David Jackson, and the Oberlin Trombone Choir, directed by Prof. Lee Allen. The Ann Arbor Trombone Choir was selected as the only high school trombone choir to perform at the 2013 American Trombone Workshop hosted by Pershing’s Own Army Band in Arlington, VA.

Mr. Holtfreter has had a first-place winner in the Eastern Trombone Workshop National Solo Competition and a finalist in the International Trombone Association Solo competition held in Arhus, Denmark. His students have won, collectively, over $200,000 in scholarships and have been accepted as music majors at The Julliard School, Eastman School of Music, New England Conservatory of Music, the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre, and Dance, Indiana University School of Music, Wooster College Symphony Orchestra, Michigan State University School of Music,
Central Michigan University School of Music, and have matriculated to the Cleveland Institute of Music, the Manhatten School of Music, and the University of Texas School of Music. Each of Mr. Holtfreter’s studio students were trained using Music Study Cycles.

After serving as a band, jazz band and orchestra director in various public and private school districts for thirty-two years, as founder and director of The Ann Arbor Trombone Choir for twelve years, and as a studio teacher of trombone, euphonium, and tuba for fifty years, Mr. Holtfreter retired to write the text central to the curriculum, entitled, Music Study Cycles Handbook, Music Algorithms for Independent Student Learning. He is currently pursuing publication of this instructional text for the studio music teacher, band director, orchestra director, and music students in general.