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Bartels, Cole



A native of Moorhead, MN, Dr. Cole Bartels joined the faculty at Central Michigan University as the Assistant Professor of Trombone in 2023. He previously served as the Associate Lecturer of Trombone at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, and as the Instructor of Low Brass at Concordia University Wisconsin. Dr. Bartels also keeps an active calendar as a top-call freelancing musician performing all styles.

As the recipient of several awards and grants including the 2021 American Prize 'Earnst Bacon Award', and the 2020 MOZAIK Philanthropy ‘Future Art Award’, among other accolades, Bartels has committed himself to the intense study and performance of contemporary music. His debut solo album entitled ‘On the Brink’ was released in April 2022 by cmntx records, featuring an eclectic mix of new music for trombone. Having commissioned and premiered over 30 new works, and being an alumni of the Bang on a Can and nief-norf summer festivals, Dr. Bartels continues to seek out opportunities to expand and develop the trombone repertory. Recent collaborators include: Steve Makela, Brian Mark, Jorge Variego, Brianna Ware, and Vicki Leona Nguyen, among others. His latest creative endeavor involves an evening length concert of cutting edge electro-acoustic music written for his trombone quartet, Beltline Bones. The quartet released a studio album in March 2024 by cmntx records entitled ‘Audiogenica', featuring music by composers such as Jay Batzner, Isaac Mayhew, and Alex Ring Gray, as well as two compositions by Dr. Bartels.

He has had the distinct pleasure of performing with a wide array of ensembles and artists. Some recent highlights include touring with the NYChillharmonic and Aberdeen, performing with Bill Frisell and the Knoxville Jazz Orchestra, and an appearance with the legendary salsa band ‘Los Adolescentes.’ Dr. Bartels has also appeared with the Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra, Lansing Symphony Orchestra, Madison Symphony Orchestra, and the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, among other orchestras throughout the midwest. 

Dr. Bartels holds degrees in trombone performance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (DMA ’22), the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (MM ’19), and Concordia College (BM ’17), with additional certifications in jazz studies and music theory pedagogy. His primary teachers included Mark Hetzler, Dr. Alex van Duuren, Dr. Nat Dickey, and Dr. Ed Huttlin.

Cole is a performing artist for Long Island Brass Company mouthpieces. He plays on a Romero 600 and a Chimera 550. 

More about Cole Bartels

Solo Studio Album - On the Brink
Studio Single - "Rumination on ‘O virtus sapientiae’” - all semantics (ii) 
Studio Single - “Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free” - Brian Mark’s album Eleven to One
Doctor of Musical Arts: 2022, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Master of Music: 2019, University of Tennessee: Knoxville
Graduate Certificate in Music Theory: 2019, University of Tennessee: Knoxville 
Bachelor of Music: 2019, Concordia College (Moorhead, MN) 
- Performance
- Brass Pedagogy
- Contemporary Music
- Recording and Music Technology 

Courses Taught

- Applied Trombone Lessons
- Trombone Choir
- Jazz Bones
- Chamber Music