Randy Pingrey

Assistant Professor
Affiliated Departments
Faculty Bio E-Mail

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Career Highlights
  • Trombone player
  • Leader of The Olson Pingrey Quartet
  • Member of East Coast Soul, Beantown Swing Orchestra, Evan Ziporyn’s Critical Band, Ayn Inserto Jazz Orchestra, and the John Stevens Band
  • Performances with Bon Iver, Bryce and Aaron Dessner (from The National), Kelley Deal (from The Pixies), Shara Worden (from My Brightest Diamond), Akron Family, MegaFaun, Arnold Dreyblatt, Anthony Coleman, Tom Plsek, The Makanda Project, the Aardvark Jazz Orchestra, and either/orchestra
  • Recordings include The Olson Pingrey Quartet's Low Contrast, Bon Iver's For Emma (Jagjaguwar), Land of Talk's Some Are Lakes (Saddle Creek), Anthony Coleman's The End of Summer (Tzadik), Norman Bolter's Phoenix (Air-Ev), Nicholas Urie Large Ensemble's Excerpts (Red Piano), and many more
  • Music theory faculty member, New England Conservatory Preparatory School
  • B.S., University of Wisconsin, music
  • M.M., New England Conservatory of Music, jazz performance
In Their Own Words

"Harmony is one of the basic building blocks of music, and I love it because it helps me think about music in systematic, concrete ways. Even if you are just beginning with a few concepts in your wheelhouse, you can go beyond being a fan and you can start thinking like a professional. For my money, nothing is more interesting than that, and in my classes, this is always the goal."

"There’s this apprehension that when you study music, the experience of listening to it loses its wonder and magic. Actually, I’ve found the opposite to be true. It’s like The Wizard of Oz; before, you’re in the black and white everyday grind, and after you’ve studied how things work, you’re in the Technicolor world of Oz. It’s fun, it’s exciting, and it’ll change your life…for the better!"

"We’re going to learn the inner mechanics of music using the music that you already know. Harmony isn’t a type of musical Sudoku puzzle; it’s a living, breathing thing that you can build a career and a life around."

"I play a lot of gigs in New England and beyond, and I use this stuff all the time. It doesn’t matter if I’m recording with Bon Iver, writing a tune for my band to play, or playing Motown tunes at a wedding; I use these concepts every day and I think they’re going to help you, too."