Dr. Chris Oberholtzer is the Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Southern Maine. He completed his Doctor of Arts degree in Trombone Performance/Pedagogy with a Secondary Emphasis in Jazz Pedagogy at the University of Northern Colorado, Greeley. He earned his Master of Music degree in Jazz Studies with a Cognate Field of Trombone Performance from Indiana University, Bloomington, and his Bachelor of Arts in Music Education from the University of Southern Maine, Gorham.
As the director of jazz studies at USM, Chris leads a thriving jazz studies program that is recognized as being one of the leading jazz programs in northern New England. In addition to his teaching responsibilities, Chris also enjoys actively serving throughout the country as a guest director and/or guest clinician for numerous high school and university jazz ensembles and combos.
Chris maintains a busy schedule as a professional freelance trombonist. He has performed, toured and recorded throughout the country and abroad with many groups in varying classical, jazz and commercial genres. His playing experience includes touring with the Artie Shaw Orchestra (lead trombone and featured soloist), the Guy Lombardo Orchestra, Ringling Brothers Circus, Toni Tenille and numerous cruise ships. Other performing credits include working with artists such as Tony Bennett, Claudio Roditi, Conrad Herwig, Brian Lynch, Donald Harrison, Byron Stripling, Phil Wilson, Wycliff Gordon, Ronie Cuber, Frank Wess, Bob Mintzer, Harry Allen, Herb Pomeroy, Richie Cole, Dick Johnson, the Dorsey Brothers Orchestra, the Benny Goodman Orchestra, Aaron Neville, Roberta Flack and the Temptations. As a clinician for the United Musical Instrument/Selmer Corporation, Chris performs on Conn trombones.