Charles Vernon began his orchestral career as bass trombonist with the Baltimore Symphony, starting in September 1971. In 1980 he went to the San Francisco Symphony for one season. He was then chosen by Riccardo Muti to play bass trombone with the Philadelphia Orchestra, where he played for five years until coming to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in 1986.
Why did you choose your instrument?
Because my mother would not allow me to play the snare drum
Offstage, I like to:
Swim on the Evanston Masters Swim Team, study tae kwon do at Connelly’s Academy and eat.
What work are you most looking forward to performing this season, and why?
I look forward to performing any and everything conducted by our incredible music director, Maestro Muti. He is so knowledgeable and every piece, even if I’ve played it many times, is new and exciting with him.
Describe an unforgettable musical moment (as a performer or as a listener) you had as a young musician?
As a student, the first live performance of the CSO I ever saw included the overture to Tannhäuser. It was the most exciting, beautiful, and inspiring performance I had ever heard and literally caused me to weep.
What is your most memorable CSO performance?
The most memorable CSO performance for me was premiering the trombone concerto Chick’a’Bone Checkout by Christian Lindberg with the composer in the audience and Miguel Harth-Bedoya conducting. We received lengthy standing ovations every night we performed that amazing and exciting piece.
Favorite food or meal:
Anything my wife cooks (she told me to say that!!).