Ava Ordman

Michigan State, University, Lansing Symphony

After twenty-four years as principal trombone with the Grand Rapids Symphony – a job she attained at the age of 19 – Ava Ordman moved to the Detroit area to work as a psychologist and continue as a freelance trombonist. While working in Grand Rapids at age 41, Ordman returned to school to pursue a degree in Counseling Psychology. Armed with her new MA, LLP, she began work at the Guidance Center in Southgate while also working as a substitute trombonist with the Detroit Symphony and Michigan Opera Theater orchestras and teaching low brass at Oakland University.

Ordman had taught at several colleges and universities in the Grand Rapids area while in the orchestra, but it had never been in her mindset to pursue a full-time position at the university level. That changed when the professorship in trombone opened at Michigan State University in 2002. Ordman decided to “go for it” with the possibility of once again making another career shift. Chosen as the Professor of Trombone at Michigan State University later that year, it didn’t take long for Ordman to know that this was where she was supposed to be.

In addition to her professorial duties, Ordman continues to pursue and enjoy a varied life as a performer. She is principal trombone of both the Lansing Symphony and the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music Orchestra. She also performs regularly with the Beaumont Brass, which is the faculty brass quintet at Michigan State University, and the Monarch Brass, which is the flagship brass ensemble of the International Women’s Brass Conference. Yet perhaps what Ordman enjoys most is performing as a soloist.