Composer and conductor Onsby Rose has had a remarkably diverse career as a performer, teacher, and railroad conductor and was recently appointed Director of Instrumental Activities/Associate Professor of Music at Dordt College.
Onsby C. Rose hails from Royal Oak, Mi but grew up primarily in Abingdon, Va. Upon graduation from Abingdon High School in 1993, Mr. Rose attended the University of South Carolina as a music education major. After three years of studies, Onsby auditioned and was accepted a trombone instrumentalist for the US Marine Corps Fleet Band system. He then attended recruit training in Parris Island, SC, and Marine Combat training in Camp Lejeune, NC. Private First Class Rose was then transferred to the Armed Forces School of Music where he completed the six-month course of study in only two months. Upon his graduation from the School of Music then Lance Corporal Rose was assigned to the Marine Corps Logistics Base Band in Albany, GA as a trombonist. While there he also served as a music librarian and drill writer/instructor, writing and teaching Drum Corps style fields shows to the band for use at military tattoos. In Oct. of 1999, then Corporal Rose auditioned and was accepted for Duty with one of the two premier musical units in the USMC, The United States Marine Drum and Bugle Corps “The Commandant’s Own,” and was transferred to historic Marine Barracks 8th and I Streets SE, Washington D.C. While there Sergeant Rose served as a baritone bugler and assistant instrument repairman as well as deploying to Oman, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait as musical support. Upon his re-enlistment, Sergeant Rose was transferred back into the Fleet Marine Corps bands as a trombonist with Marine Corps Band New Orleans, in New Orleans, LA. During his four years in the Crescent City, Onsby served as trombone and low brass section head, travel operations chief, brass quintet Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge, Small Ensemble Leader, Fiscal Chief, platoon sergeant, assistant drum major and assistant conductor. He toured internationally with the Brass quintet and visited 42 states and Europe in the course of his duties. In 2004 upon his promotion to Staff Sergeant he was accepted for the Marine Staff Non-Commissioned Officers Degree Completion Program where he attended East Tennessee State University and finished his Bachelor of Music degree and also studied conducting with Roxanne Haskill. After graduation Staff Sergeant Rose was transferred to the Armed Forces School of Music in Norfolk, VA where he served on staff as brass ensemble rehearsal conductor and registrar for the school of music. In 2007 Mr. Rose was Honorably discharged from the USMC after 11 years of faithful service. He then pursued activities outside the music field while he freelanced as a trombone player in Indiana, Virginia, and Tennessee.
In 2012, following the death of his wife Julia, Onsby returned to a full time music position and was hired as the Director of Bands at Hampton High School and Elementary in Carter County, TN. Mr. Rose served as the Director of Bands in Hampton for the 2012-13 and 2013-14 school years. During his time there his bands consistently received superior ratings in both marching and concert performances in addition the enrollment in the overall band program increasing 10 fold. Following his time in Tennessee, Onsby was a Graduate Conducting Associate with the Bands of Appalachian State University where he conducted the wind ensembles, team taught music education classes, and helped administrate and teach the athletic bands under the guidance of the Director and Associate Director of Bands. Following his time in the high countrym Onsby was blessed to be accepted as a Graduate Conducting Associate for The Ohio State University. Currently a second year Doctoral Conducting Associate at The Ohio State University, Onsby studies conducting with Dr. Russel Mikkelson. After completion of his DMA, he hopes to become a Director or Associate Director of Bands at a college or university. He is also currently the music director and conductor of The Brass Band of Appalachia from Bristol, Virginia. The group consists of numerous professional brass players from the region coming together to form a British style brass band. Mr. Rose is honored to have been asked to become the first music director and conductor of this new group as well as a co-founder along with his friends Mr. Will Shell, and Dr. Art Haecker.
In his spare time when not being a husband, father and graduate student, Onsby enjoys music composition for winds. His recent composition for wind band entitled Heroes from the Sea is set to have the world premiere by "The President's Own" United States Marine Band, on August 30th, 2017 during their concert on the steps of the U.S. Capitol Building. The work is approximately at the 4.5 grade level and can be purchased on this website or by emailing Onsby directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Onsby is a member of the Tennessee Secondary Schools Band Director Association (TSSBDA), East Tennessee State Band and Orchestra Directors Association (ETSBOA), North Carolina Music Educators Association (NCMEA), National Band Association (NBA), National Association for Music Education (NAFME), College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA), Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia National Music Fraternity, Kappa Kappa Psi Band Service Fraternity, and the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers. He has held positions as a trombonist with the Johnson City Symphony, Kingsport Symphony, Elkhart Symphony, Band of America’s Few Marine Musician Alumni Band, State Line Wind Symphony, Elkhart Municipal Band, Truth in Jazz Big Band, and the various active duty Fleet Marine Corps Bands with which he served. His is the recipient of the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (2nd Award), National Defense Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Navy Unit Citation Award, Marine Corps Meritorious Unit Award, and numerous other awards and citations from his military career.
Onsby currently lives in Blacklick, Ohio with his wife Jessica and their five boys, Aidan, Timothy, Caleb, Elijah, and Colin.
A podcast featuring conversations with teachers, composers, and performers of music for winds and percussion.