TromboneKyle R. Covington


San Diego Symphony Orchestra Principal Trombone Kyle Covington is a native Californian, born in Santa Rosa where he attended public schools. Kyle started playing the trombone at the age of 15. He rapidly progressed to a position with the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra. During his high school years Kyle studied privately with Mark Lawrence and John Engelkes of the San Francisco Symphony. 

Mr. Covington earned his Bachelor of Music degree from The Juilliard School in 2006 where he was accepted with a presidential distinction scholarship. He studied with Joseph Alessi of the New York Philharmonic. 

Mr. Covington was the winner of the Van Haney tenor trombone competition in 2005. Kyle has performed in Breckenridge, Colorado, with the National Repertory Orchestra, the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, California, the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan, and the Aspen Music Festival in Colorado. He has toured with the New York Philharmonic and performed with the San Francisco Symphony. 

While attending the San Francisco Conservatory of Music in 2006-07 (working on his Master’s degree), he won the position of second trombone for the Buffalo Philharmonic. After playing two seasons with Buffalo, Kyle Covington won the Principal Trombone position with the SDSO. 


Q: How did you choose your instrument?

A: I actually began playing trumpet in the 4th grade, because my parents wanted me doing something besides watching TV, and we happened to have a trumpet in the attic. I did OK despite the fact that I never really practiced and I had braces soon after. I was at a summer music program with the Santa Rosa Symphony a few years later when it was announced that the program had a beautiful brand new euphonium and they needed someone to play it. To this day I’m not sure why, but I immediately raised my hand to volunteer and so became a low brass player. I began taking private lessons on my new instrument with a trombonist, and when I started getting pretty good he advised me to learn trombone if I was serious about a future in music performance. It’s funny the things that happen which create your career! 

Q: What is your favorite travel destination? 

A: I really like going to McCloud, CA (up north in Siskiyou County). This is near Mt. Shasta, my folks live there, and it is absolutely gorgeous. 

Q: Can you name some favorite composers and/or musical periods? 

A: I know it is a very typical answer, but Brahms does it for me. 

Q: What are some of your favorite San Diego restaurants? 

A: The Smoking Goat! 

Q: What is your favorite San Diego Symphony Orchestra memory? 

A: Just in the few years I have been here, I would say I had huge satisfaction as part of the Audition Committee in hiring our outstanding bass trombonist, Michael Priddy.