David Ridge Faculty Profile

Photo of David Ridge

David  Ridge

Lecturer, Low Brass

Department of Music

David Ridge is the Principal Bass Trombonist of the San Francisco Opera Orchestra. His duties with the company include playing trombone, bass trombone, and contra bass trombone. He performs frequently with the San Francisco Symphony and the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra. Before moving to San Francisco, he held the position of Principal Bass Trombone with the Charleston Symphony in Charleston, South Carolina. While there, he performed with the Alabama, North Carolina, Virginia, and Savannah Symphonies as well as with the Virginia Opera Company.

He has performed with every major arts organization in the Bay area. They include the Oakland East Bay Symphony, Marin Symphony, Symphony Silicon valley, Santa Rosa Symphony, Berkeley Symphony, Modesto Symphony, Monterey Symphony, Sacramento Philharmonic, Opera San Jose, Berkeley Opera, Opera Parallele, Composers Ink, and the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players among others. He is also member of the California Symphony a regional orchestra in the east bay where he lives.

Mr. Ridge has recorded extensively with the San Francisco Opera. Operas recorded for CD and DVD includeHerodiade, Orphee e Eurydice, Harvey Milk, A Streetcar Named Desire, Dead Man Walking, I Capuleti e Montecchi, Mefistofele, Porgy and Bess, Moby Dick, Lucrezia Borgia, Turandot, Capriccio, and The Merry Widow. 

National broadcasts on PBS's Great Performances include Porgy and Bess, Moby Dick, The Merry Widow, A Streetcar Named Desire, Turandot, Capriccio, Dangerous Liaisons,   and San Francisco Opera’s 1997 Opening night Gala. He can also be heard on the documentaries Sing Faster; the Stagehands Ring, And Then One Night: The Making of Dead Man Walking, and The Making of Doctor Atomic. San Francisco opera performances can be seen in movie theaters around the world, on local, regional, and national TV and heard on local, national, and international radio broadcasts.

Symphonic recordings include Symphony at the Opera, with the San Francisco Opera Orchestra, Lou Harrison, A Portrait, with the California Symphony, and American Mavericks, music of Cowell, Harrison, and Varese with the San Francisco Symphony. As a soloist, he can be heard on the CD Trombonarama, performing the world premier of Ninth Avenue Hustle for bass trombone and Piano, which was written for him.

Mr. Ridge has performed at many of the major music festivals in this country and abroad, including the Arizona MusicFest, Tanglewood Institute of Music; Colorado Philharmonic/National Repertory Orchestra; Festival of Two Worlds - Spoleto, Italy; Spoleto Festival U.S.A., American Institute of Musical Studies - Graz, Austria, Chautauqua Music Festival, Eastern Music Festival, Carmel Bach Festival, and the Evian Music Festival - Evian, France. He has also toured Europe and the United States.
He is active recording artist and records frequently at George Lucas’ Skywalker Ranch.

He can be heard on:
Movie Soundtracks (The Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, Seventeen Again, In The Electric Mist, Finding Nemo, Barnyard, When I Find The Ocean, XXX2 State of the Union, Hellboy, Once Upon A Time In Mexico, Jurassic Park III, Spy Kids, Dracula 2000, The Game, Mimic, and Pooh's Grand Adventure the Search for Christopher Robin)

Television movies (Running Mates, The Man Who Captured Eichmann, Member of the wedding, A will Of Their Own)

Imax movies (Quantum Quest, Cosmic Voyage, To the Max)

Movie trailers (The Da Vinci Code, Up, Rio, The Kings Speech, Oz the Great and Powerful, South Park the Stick of Truth, The Tale of Despereaux, Pirates of the Caribbean III, 10,000 BC, Gran Torino, The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus).

Video games (Halo, Soul Sacrifice, Star Craft - Heart of the Swarm, Halo:Combat Evolved Anniversary, Bourbon Star Hawk, Infamous 2, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2, Pirates of the Caribbean: Armada of the Damned, Socom 4, Star Wars; Nights of the Old Republic, God of War 3, Dead Space 2, Uncharted 2 - among thieves. Star Craft II Among Thieves, GI Joe, Red Faction - Guerilla, Godfather 2, Command and Conquer: Red Alert 3, Gears of War II, Prototype, Dead Space, Tiberium, Star Wars: the Force Unleashed, Uncharted -Drake’s fortune, The Simpsons Game, Beowulf,  Syphon Filter: The Omega Strain, Gran Turismo 4)

Albums (The Music of The Great Smokey Mountains, Chanticleer - Let It Snow, Stanford Chamber Choral with the Bay Brass -Illumine Christmas at Stanford).

Short films (Pocus -for Wall-EExploring the reef -for Finding Nemo, and Articles of War).

Commercial projects (Disney World U.S.A. - Magic Kingdom Christmas ParadeDream again castle show, Disney World Tokyo - One Man’s dream, Disney Cruise Lines, Las Vegas (Harry’s World).

Commercials (Taco Bell, Burger King, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Power Bar, and Little Caesars).

Mr. Ridge has performed for many Broadway shows. Among them are A Chorus LineWest Side Story, and South Pacific. He was also a member of the national tour of Les Miserables, performing the show over 300 times. In addition, Mr. Ridge has performed with many well-known artists including Natalie Cole, Johnny Mathis, Michael Crawford, Linda Ronstadt, the Temptations, and the Three Tenors.

A committed educator, Mr. Ridge is on the faculty at California State University East Bay and Diablo Valley College and is a former faculty member of Charleston Southern University and Saint Mary’s college. He is a frequent soloist and clinician throughout the United States. Some of the many ensembles and organizations that he has been soloist with include the United States Army Orchestra, the Eastern Trombone Workshop - Washington D.C., the John Donald Robb Composers Symposium - University of New Mexico, the Diablo Wind Symphony, the Music Teachers Association of California and San Francisco's Composers Inc. In addition, he is a popular soloist at the annual CSUEB Trombone Day. He has been a coach with the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and the Pacific Summer Music Institute at the University of the Pacific.

He is a much sought after adjudicator and has been a judge for the the International Trombone Association Donald Yaxley Bass Trombone Competition, the Eastern Trombone Workshop National Solo Competition, the the Fort Worth Trombone Summit Bach Unaccompanied Trombone Competition and San Francisco Conservatory of Music Concerto Competition. His writings have been published in the the International Trombone Association Journal.      

Mr. Ridge attended the New England Conservatory of music on scholarship and received his B.M. and M.M. of Music.  He was given a full scholarship to attend the Mannes College of Music in New York and received the Professional Studies Diploma.  His Teachers include John Swallow, Don Harwood, Steve Norrell, and Arnold Jacobs. John Swallow had a profound influence not only on his musical career but also on his personal life and they remained close.

Mr. Ridge credits much of his success to the fact that he was a wrestler. He gained  discipline and passion from the experience. He was introduced to the sport by the legendary Billy Martin Sr. who won 21 high school team championships in 22 years at Granby High School in Virginia. Mr. Ridge’s high school coach was Keith Lowrance. Coach Lowrance was a two-time Virginia high school state champion, two-time Big Ten Champion and an All-American at Michigan State. Coach Lowrance had a coaching record of 271-30-2 and coached 35 State Champions and 102 Place-winners. Mr. Ridge still uses many of the teaching techniques that he learned in the wrestling room.

Spring Semester 2024
Course #SecCourse TitleDaysFromToLocationCampus
MUS 46501Applied Study: BrassARRARRHayward Campus