Doctor of Musical Arts


The Spanish version of Jose Leonardo Leon complete analysis, Theretical, Historical,and Performance of Robert Spillman's Concerto for Bass Trombone has been published in two parts on the prestigious International Trombone online page Revista Española de Trombones.

Journey, originally conceived as the performance dissertation project requirement for Jose Leonardo Leon

to obtain his Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Colorado Boulder, Journey is a compendium of three commissioned and two unrecorded-never-performed works, demonstrates diversity in compositional styles and instrumentations, with the bass trombone as the center of sound.

One unique characteristic of the resultant product has been the opportunity for collaboration with the composers through the creative process. Thanks to these interactions, I was able to understand their musical perspectives and ideas first hand, which allowed me to find the appropriate techniques and musical approaches to translate their thoughts into sounds.

Due to the distinct styles and music creativeness presented in this CD, it ismy hope it will become a humble contribution to the trombone repertoire and make an impact on its growing recognition as a solo instrument.

In 2018, Journey received the prestigious Global Music Awards ® Silver Medal for Outstanding Achievement  for Instrumental and Compositions. 

I would like to give a heartfelt thank you to 

Warwick Music Publishing ®, Apple Music,

and RET Revisit Española de Trombones


Winds of Change is a collection of 12 new works commissioned for different levels of performers. Each solo brings something new and unique to your music stand. We challenge students, performers, and educators to diversify their stands and expand the ‘classical repertoire’. Each composer gives the performer an opportunity to explore their musical voice in this progressive trombone solo collection. This book provides accessible educational pieces by living composers for players of all skill levels. These works are appropriate for players in their first few years of study and moves progressively for more advanced players. Perfect for any trombone soloist, these works are ideal for performance in any setting to include school solo & ensembles, contests, competitions, recitals, and more!

The pieces included in this collection:
Leopard’s Pursuit, by Marcus Grant
A Castle in the Air, by HyeKyung Lee
Fancy Free, by Karen Amrhein
Evolving Landscapes, by Alonso Malik Pirio
A Crab, A Quill, by Gala Flagello
Awakening, by Rylee Short
Aiguille, by Lara Poe
Song for the Lost, by Gina Gillie
Summon Light, by Devin Clara Fanslow
Golden Trees, by Yukiko Nishimura
Largo et Andante et Allegro et Presto et cetra, by Zoe Cutler
Noctilucent, by Angela Elizabeth Slater

To learn more about the project and the composers we commissioned, visit Diversify the Stand

Der Jüngling, Das Mädchen, und der Tod (The Youth, The Maiden, and Death)for Trombone Quartet is an arrangement based on two of Franz Schubert’s songs: Der Tod und das Mädchen and Der Jüngling und der Tod (2nd version). 

This trombone quartet was originally written by Dr. Jose L. Leon as a performance/writing assignment for a Franz Schubert Seminar class at the University of Colorado Boulder, and then premiered as part of his second Doctoral Chamber Recital at Grusin Music Hall in Boulder, Colorado USA in the spring of 2017. 

The piece contextualizes two different human approaches facing imminent death. Der Tod (Death), one of the main characters in both stories, is presented, metaphorically, as an understanding and compassionate figure. Death’s lyric is written in a warm and gentle dialog musically written in the bass trombone part throughout the entire work. In the original Schubert’s songs and poems, both writers Claudius and Spaun described death as a kind and embracing character. The human characters: Der Jüngling (The Youth), and Das Mädchen (The Maiden), are both represented by the tenor trombone parts describing sorrow, romanticism, or desperation, as part of the dramatic plot of this work.

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