Rona Sass (formerly Katz) is a native Seattleite and lived in Chicago for about 6 years during graduate school. Her interest in playing trumpet began in the summer after 5th grade. She was watching all the kids play flute, saxophone, and trumpet. They all looked great to her, but the trumpet only had three valves—seemed easy enough!
Rona received her Bachelor of Music degree from Western Washington University in 1989 and continued her education, receiving her Masters of Music degree from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. Her primary teachers include Vincent Cichowicz (formerly of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra), Richard Pressley (Seattle Symphony Orchestra), Christopher Leuba (Portland Opera Orchestra, formerly Principal Horn of Chicago Symphony Orchestra), Thomas Parriott (formerly of Vancouver Symphony Orchestra), and George Oram (Pacific Northwest Ballet Orchestra, The 5th Ave Theater, and The Paramount in Seattle).
She enhanced her learning further by participating in Master Classes with William Vacchiano and Vincent Cichowicz, and attending Master Classes by Phil Smith (Principal Trumpet, New York Philharmonic), Leonard Candelaria (North Texas University), Summit Brass Ensemble, Dale Clevenger (Principal Horn, Chicago Symphony Orchestra), Charles Vernon (Bass Trombone, Chicago Symphony Orchestra), and Roger Bobo (International Tuba Soloist).
Rona has played with many chamber groups and orchestras including Pacific Northwest Ballet, St. James Cathedral Brass, Bellevue Philharmonic, Chicago Chamber Orchestra, Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Disney Pops Orchestra, Millar Brass Ensemble, Lake Effect Brass Quintet (Chicago, semi-finalist in the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition), and Northwest Philharmonia Orchestra, as well as her 7 year tenure with the Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra.
She is currently freelancing, a member of the Olympic Brass Ensemble, and is co-founder and Trumpet Guru of Brassapalooza, the Pacific Northwest’s Premier Brass Music Camp, along with Northwest Brass Choir. Normally, Rona has a teaching studio with locations in North Seattle, Shoreline, and Lake Forest Park, but due to the extreme circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, trumpet lessons are now available over Zoom!