Jay Heltzer

Trombone Bass Trombone

Jay Heltzer headshotWhat city are you living in now? Alexandria, VA

Where did you study? California State University Northridge (BM) and Indiana University (MM)

What is your favorite piece of music? Depends on the day. Ottorino Respighi’s Roman Festivals is still one of my favorites from the classical repertoire, with the works of Brahms, Mahler, and Nielsen tied for second. Outside of symphonic music, I enjoy progressive rock, blues, and jazz.

What do you enjoy in your spare time? I immensely enjoy writing, and I am editing my first novel and have begun drafting a second one. I also write for various online publications and support the #5amWritersClub online. In addition, I enjoy reading, urban sketching, and studying rock and roll history.

What is your fondest Annapolis Symphony memory? It is rare for a bass trombone to stand in front of the symphony unless they’re trying to get to the back of the stage. As part of the 2021-2022 season, we performed Jennifer Higdon’s Concerto for Low Brass and Orchestra with my back row, low note colleagues. It was one of those “once in a career” opportunities and it was exciting from first rehearsal to the final bow.


Jay Heltzer is the bass trombonist with the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, joining the orchestra in 2009, and has served in the same musical role with the United States Air Force Band since 2004. Jay has also been a featured performer at the Eastern Trombone Workshop, and has performed with the National Symphony Orchestra, Washington National Opera, and the McLean Symphony.

Before he arrived in Washington, D.C., Jay taught privately at various schools, including Harper College in Palatine, IL, and freelanced in the Chicago area, performing frequently with the Milwaukee Symphony, Milwaukee Ballet, Lyric Opera of Chicago, and the Civic Orchestra of Chicago.

Jay received a Bachelor of Music degree in Trombone Performance from California State University, Northridge in 1994. Upon graduation he was unanimously nominated by the faculty as the Most Outstanding Baccalaureate Candidate. He then attended Indiana University, earning a Master of Music degree in Trombone Performance in 1998. His former teachers include Ed Anderson, Bill Booth, Floyd Cooley, Jeff Reynolds, Phil Teele, and Charles Vernon.

In addition to music, Jay is a writer of fiction and micro-fiction, and his work can be found on various online platforms; he is also a faithful member of the #5amWritersClub. He is currently editing his first novel.