Derek Hawkes

Assistant Principal Trombone


Born in West Chester, Pennsylvania, Derek W. Hawkes started his musical studies at an early age. Coming from a musical family, he began piano instruction at age five and trombone at age ten.  He studied primarily with John Kitzman, former Principal Trombone of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, H. Dennis Smith, former Principal Trombone of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and most recently, Toby Oft, Principal Trombone of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Hawkes was a multiple-year substitute on trombone, euphonium, and bass trumpet with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, as well as Principal Trombone of the Bangor Symphony Orchestra in Maine. Most recently, he spent two seasons as Second Trombone of the Jacksonville Symphony beginning in 2015.

Hawkes graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Music Degree in Trombone Performance at Southern Methodist University in 2014. Upon seeing a large hole in the path from student to professional in a very specific field, he utilized the Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies program at the Meadows School of the Arts, creating and completing the very first known Bachelor of Arts focusing on Orchestral Management. He also pursued studies as a Graduate Diploma student at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston.

Hawkes plays a 1979 Bach 42B, restored and rebuilt by Dallas-area brass technician Eric Edwards and treated by Ron Pinc of R.J. Pinc Brass Repair. He also plays Greg Black Mouthpieces exclusively in his classical playing. Additionally, he runs Hawkes Arts Consulting, LLC; an arts consulting firm specializing in assisting smaller performing arts organizations.