University of Connecticut University of UC Title Fallback Connecticut

School of Fine ArtsMusic Department

Sean Nelson


B.A., Sam Houston State University 
M.A., University of North Texas

Sean Nelson plays trombone in the U.S. Coast Guard Band, where he plays with the Concert Band, Dixieland Jazz Band, and works as lead staff arranger for all ensembles. In addition, he is music director and lead trombonist for the Guardians Big Band, where he has presented concerts with guests including Doc Severinsen and Lou Marini.

As an arranger and composer, Sean won the National Band Association Young Composers Jazz Composition Contest and is a two­ time winner of Downbeat Magazine’s Student Jazz Arranging Contest. He attended the BMI Jazz Composers Workshop, where he studied with Jim McNeely and Mike Holober. He currently works as the arranger for Sam Houston State University’s Bearkat Marching Band, writing new shows each season.

A native of Dallas, Texas, Sean received a Bachelor of Music degree from Sam Houston State University, studying trombone with Henry Howey, and a Master of Music degree from the University of North Texas, studying trombone with Tony Baker and jazz arranging with Paris Rutherford and Rich DeRosa. While at North Texas, he was trombonist and composer for the world renowned One O’Clock Lab Band and sang with the Jazz Singers I. Sean’s trombone quartet won the International Trombone Association Quartet Contest, and he was honorable mention in the ITA’s Frank Smith Solo Competition. He spent his summers and winter breaks playing in house bands on cruise ships for Princess Cruises and Cunard Cruises.

Outside of the Coast Guard Band, Sean is the founder and leader of the New London Big Band, a 17 piece jazz orchestra that plays monthly to sold out audiences. He is also on faculty at Connecticut College, where he teaches trombone. He lives in Quaker Hill, Connecticut, with his wife Megan and daughter Lucinda.