San Diego Symphony Orchestra trumpeter Ray Nowak was born in Los Angeles and has performed a wide variety of trumpet freelance engagements throughout Southern California. Mr. Nowak was an active and founding member of the Presidio Brass Quintet, and has also performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the La Jolla Music Society SummerFest, the London Philharmonic, the Pacific Symphony, Opera Pacific, the Canadian Brass and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra.

Mr. Nowak was Assistant Principal Trumpet of the Orquesta Sinfonica de Tenerife for five years in the Canary Islands, Spain, and has also held positions with Orquesta Sinfonica de Galicia, Spain, the Santa Barbara Symphony, Festival della Valle d’Itria, Martina Franca, Italy, Orquesta de Baja California in Tijuana, Mexico, the California Philharmonic and the Royal Band at Huis Ten Bosch, Nagasaki, Japan. 

Mr. Nowak is an adjunct trumpet teacher at Long Beach City College and Southwestern College. In addition, he has taught and coached for several middle school and high school band programs throughout Southern California. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from the California State University at Long Beach, Bob Cole Conservatory of Music and a Master’s Degree in Music Performance from UCLA. 


Q: What are three of your favorite tunes or pieces in your iPod or mp3 or CD collection? 

A: Garcia Abril's "Alegrias", large collection of Frank Sinatra's legacy, salsa music (such as Eddie Palmieri, Oscar D'Leon, India and Luis Miguel), Pat Methany Group, Freddie Hubbard, Jobim and the Mnozil Brass. 

Q: What are your favorite travel destinations? 

A: All parts of Spain, Mexico and Italy to name a few. 

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

A: Prokofiev, Debussy, Mahler and Khachaturian. I am almost always a sucker for music from the romantic period. 

Q: What do you love most about San Diego (other than the weather)? 

A: I love spending time with my family on the beach, vacationing at the Bahia and tailgating at Qualcomm stadium. Before living in San Diego my wife and I spent our honeymoon here! 

Q: Where might you be found on a Saturday night if the Orchestra is not performing? 

A: Having date night with my wife, Monica Nowak. We also love to spend quality time with our four children laughing and playing games. 

Q: The non-musical accomplishment you are most proud of is…? 

A: Being a parent, growing with my wife and kids in every way.