Robert Trowers has been appointed director of the jazz studies program in North Carolina Central University’s (NCCU) College of Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities, effective April 26, 2023. He will report to Lenora Helm Hammonds, D.M.A., interim music department chair and director of graduate programs/jazz studies.
In his new role, Trowers will lead the award-winning music program, which includes the NCCU Jazz Ensemble, and continue teaching graduate and undergraduate courses, such as jazz improvisation, jazz combo 1, applied trombone instruction, jazz history and jazz styles and analysis.
Trowers joined NCCU in 2004 as a visiting assistant professor in the department of music and previously served as interim jazz ensemble director. With his guidance, the NCCU Jazz Ensemble won first place at the 2023 Jack Rudin Collegiate Jazz Championship in New York City. NCCU was the only historically Black college or university in the competition.
“We are fortunate to have Robert Trowers in leadership of our jazz studies program,” said Helm Hammonds. “His membership as a trombonist in the top jazz bands, and experience as a jazz pedagogue affords NCCU the opportunity to continue our trajectory of excellence and service. Our students love him and the faculty have deep respect for him. We are thrilled about his new role.”
With more than 40 years of experience in the international jazz circuit, Trowers’ performance credits include the Lionel Hampton Band; Illinois Jacquet Big Band; Count Basie Orchestra; Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra under Wynton Marsalis; Carnegie Hall Jazz Band under Jon Faddis; the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra; and Chico O’Farrill’s Afro Cuban Orchestra. He was also the last regular trombonist with Randy Weston's African Rhythms and recorded two CDs under his own name for Concord Records, “Synopsis” (1993) and “Point of View” (1995). Additionally, Trowers was awarded the Scholarly Creative Productivity grant by the office of the NCCU Provost in 2011.
Trowers holds a bachelor’s degree in Black studies from City College of New York and a master’s degree in education (learning technology) from Mercy College.
Please congratulate Robert Trowers on his new role at NCCU!