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. In 2002, she was chosen as the Professor of Trombone at Michigan State University. 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.
She has been a featured soloist with many orchestras throughout the United States, including her solo debut at Carnegie Hall with the American Symphony performing Donald Erb’s Concerto for Trombone and Orchestra. Ordman has been a featured artist at several international trombone festivals: the International Brassfest in Bloomington, IN; the American Trombone Workshop in Fort Myer, VA; and many international women's brass conferences held throughout the United States. Ordman also performed the world premieres of Steven Smith's Concerto for Trombone and Orchestra with the Eugene Symphony and Libby Larsen's Mary Cassatt for Mezzo-Soprano, Trombone, and Orchestra with the Grand Rapids Symphony. Both of these works were written for Ordman and, along with Donald Erb’s Concerto, have been performed by her throughout the United States. Ordman’s most recent venture, however, has been to form a consortium of trombonists and conductors to commission a new trombone concerto by David Biedenbender. This work “Their Eyes are Fireflies,” received its world premiere on March 22, 2018 with the Michigan State University Wind Ensemble and was performed again by Ordman in the 2018-19 season with the Lansing Symphony, Michigan Philharmonic and Grand Rapids Symphony.
Ordman earned her Bachelor and Master degrees in Trombone Performance from the University of Michigan and her Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology at Western Michigan University.
B.A., Trombone Performance - University of Michigan
M.M., Trombone Performance - University of Michigan
M. A., Counseling Psychology - Western Michigan University