Scott Shelsta has entertained people from all walks of life while performing the most memorable and cherished music of America’s musical history.
As the solo trombonist for "Pershing's Own," The United States Army Band, he has performed for all Presidents from President Richard Nixon to President George W. Bush as well as foreign heads of state and dignitaries. One highlight of his military career was playing for the interment of the Vietnam Unknown Soldier.
Born in Hayti, SD, he participated in various local, county, state, and regional competitions. His performance career started in the fifth grade while playing solos for various American Legion and Patriotic occasions.
Scott attended Augustana College in Sioux Falls, SD and studied with Tom Ellwein, a retired member of the US Marine Band. Following graduation, he taught public instrumental music in Luverne, MN and toured with the famed Glenn Miller Orchestra.
Scott continued his performance education by attending the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, CO and studied with the master teacher Edwin ‘Buddy’ Baker and received a Masters Degree in Brasswind Performance and Pedagogy. While there he won an audition with the United States Army Band “Pershing’s Own” and was on tours to Australia, Canada, the Caribbean, Japan, The Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden. He retired 2004 June 1 as a Sergeant Major.
Scott's forte as a trombone soloist is turn of the century styles of trombone solo repertoire. These solos are extremely demanding and seldom heard in public. The trombone soloist must obtain a careful balance between strength and flexibility which is the age-old problem of brass players. Arthur Pryor's Blue Bells of Scotland and Air Varie are considered technical trombone showpieces.
All solo trombone ensemble accompaniments before the computer era were riddled with errors. Shelsta revised, corrected, and digitalized all solo trombone ensemble accompaniments for Winds and Orchestra. His efforts will be used by generations of future trombonists. Hence the trombone is the only musical instrument in history with all its solo ensemble accompaniments corrected. Thirty-one solo pieces for young trombonists have been arranged by Mr. Shelsta for high school winds or orchestras. All listings are available on-line above.
He continually plays solo concerts throughout the world wearing his signature 1890's American uniforms, portraying "The World's Oldest Musician" who by chance played trombone with the historical American bands of Patrick Gilmore, Alessandro Liberati, John Sousa, and Arthur Pryor. Scott believes in ‘Innovation through Tradition’ which has been the hallmark of his career. An Audience Favorite with his Turn of the Century-tailored uniform and his superb playing, Shelsta creates the “Oldest Living Musician” on your stage.
"He tells about playing with Sousa and other bands in the 1890s, and Shelsta's trombone solos were stupefying." — Paul Carpenter, Chicago Tribune
"Scott Shelsta is a superb musician who is able to perform the most difficult solos with ease. He thrills an audience with his blazing technique and possesses an affable demeanor which endears him to his listeners. It is a joy and a pleasure to conduct him in concert. He truly ranks among the finest soloists of our time." — Colonel Arnald D. Gabriel, USAF (Ret)
Scott plays Edwards Trombones exclusively.