Isrea Butler has been appointed Head of the Department of Music at Valdosta State University.
Dr. Butler has obtained multiple degrees in trombone performance from the Eastman School of Music (BM and MM) and Rutgers University (DMA). As well as being a founding member of the Gateways Brass Collective, he has also played all four chairs in the world-famous Count Basie Orchestra and with many of NYC’s top jazz ensembles. In addition to orchestras and jazz ensembles, he has played trombone and tuba for eight NYC Broadway productions. Currently, he is the Music Department Head at Valdosta State University. He was the Music Department Chair at North Carolina Central University and Professor of Trombone from 2017-2021. He served as the Director of Bands and music program coordinator at The University of Maryland Eastern Shore and Director of Jazz Studies and Low Brass at the University of Mary. Dr. Butler was a Visiting Assistant Professor of Trombone at Jackson State University where he taught trombone, conducted the University Brass Ensemble, Jazz Combo, and taught Graduate Music History. He has also taught at the Eastman School of Music, Juilliard School of Music MAP, and Rutgers University. His students have gone on to perform, teach and study at graduate schools such as Indiana University, Berklee, UNI, Rutgers, Eastman, University of Memphis, Towson University, and Montclair State.
As a conductor, Dr. Butler has been the conductor of the UMES Wind Ensemble, HBCU Trombone Choir, Associate Conductor of the Brighton Symphony, and Eastman Trombone Choir and Brass Guild. While in NYC, he was a frequent performer on numerous Broadway shows and many other prestigious musical performances. He has toured, recorded, and performed with many of the country’s leading jazz orchestras including Cab Calloway, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Lionel Hampton, Mingus Big Band, Glenn Miller, Birdland Big Band, Chico O’Farrill Afro Cuban Jazz Orchestra, and the Jimmy Heath Orchestra. Dr. Butler is a Conn-Selmer clinician and performing artist.