Associate Professor, Director of Jazz Studies
Aric Schneller, D.M.A. is now into his eleventh year as Director of Jazz Studies at Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, Texas. Aric's duties include directing the Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Lab Band, teaching jazz improvisation, jazz keyboard skills, and jazz arranging, teaching summer jazz camps, directing the annual SHSU Bill Watrous Jazz Festival, recording and producing large jazz ensemble CDs, and coordinating the jazz studies program. Before coming to SHSU, Aric taught at Idaho State University, the University of North Texas, and in the public schools of Justin, Texas.
A confirmed member of the Houston Jazz Orchestra as 3rd trombonist, jazz soloist, vocalist, composer and arranger, Aric is in constant demand regionally and nationally as an expert clinician, dynamic soloist and conductor, master teacher, producer, and as an inventive composer and arranger. He has had frequent invitations and appearances at the Texas Music Educators Association and Texas Bandmasters Association Conventions, American Band College Convention, California Music Educators Association Convention, Arizona Music Educators Association Convention, and most notably at the Midwest Clinic International Band and Orchestra Convention. As a committed and enthusiastic jazz educator, Aric has served as President and on the Board of Directors for The Texas Jazz Educators Association.
Aric is a former member of the Grammy Nominated University of North Texas One O’Clock Lab Band, directed by Neil Slater. Aric can be heard on the One O’Clock Lab Band CD, “Live In Portugal - 1993” as well as other Down Beat Magazine winning recordings with the UNT Two O’Clock Lab Band such as “The Transparent Two – 1992” which featured Aric as trombone soloist and jazz arranger. Aric’s singing can also be heard on the UNT Jazz Singers CD, “Scrap Book” directed by Paris Rutherford. Aric has worked and performed with such jazz greats as John Allred, Wayne Bergeron, Randy Brecker, Lena Burke, Pete Christlieb, John Fedchock, Chuck Findley, Andy Firth, Clay Jenkins, Ingrid Jensen, Will Kennedy, Andy Martin, Rich Matteson, Bob Mintzer, Danilo Pérez, Diane Reeves, Arturo Sandoval, Lynn Seaton, Bobby Shew, Ed Soph, Marvin Stamm, Ross Tompkins, Allen Vizzutti, Bill Watrous and Phil Woods, amongst many others.
As a jazz arranger, Aric’s solo trombone feature with big band arrangement, “Invitation” was launched into the international jazz scene in November 2006 with the HGM Jazz Orchestra at the Zagreb Jazz Festival in Zagreb, Croatia. These performances were broadcast on Croatian and Austrian radio and television. Also in June of 2006, Aric was a jazz trombone finalist with the West Point Academy, Jazz Knights Premier Jazz Band.
Aric is an artist of many talents with the ability to sing, play, compose, and teach music at the highest levels. Being a former operatic tenor, Aric has sung professionally with the Ohio Light Opera Co., the Boston Lyric Opera Co., and the del’ Arte Opera Ensemble of New York City. While living and working in New York City from 2000-2005, Aric toured the U.S. with his trade mark clinic, “The Art of Singing the Trombone” garnering critical acclaim at the 2005 Eastern Trombone Workshop in Washington, DC and the 2005 International Trombone Festival in New Orleans.
Originally from Missoula, Montana, Aric holds a DMA in Trombone Performance from the University of North Texas, a MM in Vocal and Operatic Performance from Boston University, a MM in Jazz Studies from the University of North Texas, and a BM in Trombone Performance from the University of Montana. Aric is the creator and Artistic Director of the SHSU Bill Watrous Jazz Festival, a composer and arranger for Alfred Music Company and Belwin Jazz, a music reviewer for the International Trumpet Guild, a Yamaha Performing Artist, a member of ASCAP, and a voting member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences Grammy Awards.