Tubist John Caughman is a second-year Master’s student at the Carnegie Mellon University School of Music, studying with Craig Knox. In addition to being a member of The Brass Roots he was recently appointed Principal Tuba of the Mansfield (Ohio) Symphony Orchestra. Born in Wisconsin, John grew up on the west coast in Portland, Oregon but also lived in Hamburg, Germany for a year. Musical studies began in the fifth grade for John with trumpet and composition, with pursuit of the latter eventually leading to performances of his works by the Portland Youth Philharmonic and the Oregon Symphony. In the summer after the seventh grade, entranced by the sway that bass instruments held in band, he asked to take home a tuba in order to retool and take over a more fundamental role in the ensemble the next fall. After making his solo debut with the Portland Youth Philharmonic, his tuba studies led him to the midwest to earn his Bachelor’s degree at the Cleveland Institute of Music as a student of Yasuhito Sugiyama and the late Ronald Bishop. There he met a cellist named Cecilia who would later become his wife.
John has performed all around the country including in Miami, as a sub with the New World Symphony; in Norfolk, Connecticut, as a brass quintet fellow at the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival; and in Breckenridge, Colorado, as tubist with the National Repertory Orchestra in 2016. He can also be heard on the National Orchestral Institute’s 2015 Naxos release of Corigliano’s Symphony No. 1. John and his wife live in Pittsburgh’s Point Breeze neighborhood with their espresso machine, packed book shelves, and their clever and cuddly pet rats.