Press Release – ECSO announces new orchestra members

November 2, 2023

CONTACT: CALEB BAILEY, 860-443-2876, [email protected]  

Click here to view the press release

The Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra announces new contracted members of the orchestra following auditions

Following recent auditions on October 28 and October 29, the ECSO announces that Phil Snedecor has won the position of Principal Trumpet and Lucas Zeiter won the Bassoon II position.

The judges’ panel was deeply impressed with the level of artistry displayed by the applicants and they are excited that these positions have been filled following recent vacancies.

Both winners will add substantially to their respective sections and have performed with the ECSO in past concerts as substitute players. More auditions for other orchestra vacancies are planned for later in the season, and information will be posted on the ECSO website when the 2024 auditions are finalized. Detailed soloist bios follow in this release.

Phil Snedecor, ECSO Principal Trumpet Bio:

Phil Snedecor attended the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, where he received the prestigious Performers Certificate and was a member of the premiere brass quintet, the Canterbury Brass. While earning his degrees in trumpet performance and literature, he also studied arranging and composition with Professor Rayburn Wright, formerly arranger for Radio City Music Hall. Mr. Snedecor is a former member of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and has held one-year positions with the National Symphony, the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra and the Baltimore Opera. Mr. Snedecor has performed and toured throughout the United States, Europe and Asia, and has appeared as guest principal trumpet with the St. Petersburg (Russia) “Tschaikowski” Orchestra, joining them on their 2012 US Tour. Recently Mr. Snedecor has been in demand as a guest principal with the Pittsburgh Ballet Orchestra and the Louisville Orchestra, and as guest trumpeter for the Boston Pops and Boston Symphony, both at Symphony Hall in Boston and at Tanglewood in Lenox, MA. 

As a show player, he has performed in the touring productions of Guys & Dolls, Phantom of the Opera, Beauty and the Beast, Peter Pan, Evita and West Side Story. He has recorded under the RCA, CBS, Gothic, Koss, and Summit labels. Phil’s solo CDs, The Lyrical Trumpet I and II are also available on the Summit Label.

In 1993 Mr. Snedecor and National Symphony Principal Trombonist Milton Stevens co-founded The Washington Symphonic Brass, a 17-piece professional brass ensemble.  They perform regularly for the Washington National Cathedral, St. Matthew’s Cathedral, the Basilica at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, and with the Washington Choral Arts Society at the Kennedy Center. They were the official instrumental ensemble for the Papals visit of 2008 and 2015 in Washington DC and are heard regularly in their own concert series in DC, Maryland and Virginia. Their critically acclaimed CDs are available on the Summit and Warner Classics labels. Phil’s innovative programming and arranging for the WSB has led to several guest conductor appearances, including the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra, the River City Brass Band (Pittsburgh) and the Breckenridge (CO) Brass.

In 2012, Mr. Snedecor founded the DC Pops Orchestra, a 30-piece ensemble featuring some of the best Jazz and crossover artists in the region. This group has provided music for the elite of Washington in prestigious venues such at the National Building Museum and Mellon Auditorium.

Mr. Snedecor is Professor of Trumpet at the Hartt School of Music (University of Hartford) in Hartford Connecticut, and a former faculty member at George Mason University, The Peabody Institute (Johns Hopkins University) and Towson University. Phil is well known by trumpetsers and tuba players alike for has series of brass etude books that are required repertoire at many colleges and conservatories. His arrangements and compositions have been performed throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and Australia. Please visit his websites (, and  for more information.

Lucas Zeiter, Bassoon II Bio:

Lucas Zeiter is a bassoonist, collaborative musician, educator, and composer in the Northeastern United States. Hailed for his commitment to high level music-making, Lucas is an active orchestral, chamber, and solo musician performing throughout the US.  Apart from his recent appointment as Second Bassoon of the Eastern Connecticut Symphony, Lucas has performed regularly with the New Haven Symphony, and holds substitute positions with the Seattle Symphony, Hartford Symphony, and Orchestra New England. Outside of the regular performance season, Lucas has performed at the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, Aspen Music Festival and School, Sewanee Music Center, and Marrowstone Music Festival, as well alternate musician at the Tanglewood Music Center. At Sewanee, Lucas was a winner of the 2018 Jacqueline Avent Concerto Competition, performing the Weber Bassoon Concerto under the direction of Robert Moody.

Outside of a regular performance schedule, Lucas is dedicated to accessibility for all in music education as well as promoting inclusivity in concert halls.  As a music educator, Lucas teaches at the Yale Music in Schools Initiative, and has participated as a teaching artist for the Chamber Music Center of New York, the Kaufman Music Center, and the Manhattan School of Music Precollege Division.

Lucas currently attends the Yale School of Music pursuing a Master of Musical Arts under the tutelage of Frank Morelli. Formerly, he attended the Manhattan School of Music for his Master of Music in Orchestral Performance, and the University of Washington for his Bachelor of Music, under the instruction of Seth Krimsky.

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The Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra is thrilled to announce our 2023-24 season lineup, curated by Music Director & Conductor Toshiyuki Shimada. Season highlights include the 100th Anniversary of Rhapsody in Blue, The Tom Brown 6, the Eastern Connecticut Symphony Chorus singing Haydn’s Lord Nelson’s Mass, and international guest artists. From early fall to late spring, the 75-plus member professional Symphony Orchestra presents six subscription concerts annually, most of which feature guest soloists. Subscription concerts are primarily performed at the historic award-winning Garde Arts Center on State Street in New London.

Visit for more information and follow us on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube) @ectsymphony. In addition to a range of affordable single-ticket options—from $65 to as low as $12—the ECSO offers those under 40 years of age and active or retired military members $12 tickets in selected sections.

Founded in 1946 by Norwegian immigrant Victor Norman, the ECSO is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization serving the eastern Connecticut region, including New London, Norwich, Waterford, Groton, Mystic, Old Lyme, and East Lyme. Recent concerts in Norwich, Willimantic, and Stonington reflect our renewed dedication to serving a broader area.

Our mission is to inspire, educate, and connect our communities through live orchestral music.