John D. Upchurch
The title of “The Slide Dr.,” was given to John Upchurch, by Buddy Baker. When John completed his D.M. at Indiana University in the summer of 1970, he moved to Potsdam, NY to teach low brass and play trombone in the Potsdam Brass Quintet. With 24 (sometimes more) trombone students at the Crane School of Music of SUNY and another eight students at Queens University in Kingston, Ontario, it became apparent that the ability to do simple repairs would be a useful skill.
The Crane School had wonderful instrument repairman, Burton Stanley, who furnished basic information and sources for tools and supplies. A current trombone student, Dick Beamer and the Slide Dr. decided to learn how to fix slides the “old fashioned way…” trial and error.
When then Crane Trombone Choir performed at the ITW in Nashville in 1975, John was eager to share the knowledge he had gained with other players. At subsequent ITW’s he gave slide clinics and set up shop in the display area.
In the following years, he served at Chair of Fine Arts at Brevard College and at Brenau University. In 1990, he was asked to become the Dean of Admissions for Brenau University, and in 2000 assumed the position of Assistant Vice President for Enrichment Programs. Throughout this time, he kept a busy performing schedule and repaired and set up slides for many of the best known players in the country and several international players, including Carsten Swanberg, Art Moore and Albert Manglesdorf.
After retiring from the university, the Slide Dr. moved full-time into serving the needs of trombone players with all levels of proficiency and from all over the United States.
It has been an honor and a pleasure to serve our many loyal customers and friends over the years.
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