James Nova joined the GRAMMY Award-winning Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in 2009 as its Second/Utility Trombone. In 2012, Jim made his solo debut with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, performing the Tomasi Trombone Concerto.

Since 2012, Jim has found a new passion using recording technology to explore multitrack recording, also known as "overdubbing" and created numerous stunning recordings of his own challenging new arrangements of a variety of exciting repertoire for trombone choir. These employ a number of trombones: contra bass, bass, tenor, small tenor, alto, and even soprano trombones!

Jim has had a lifelong love of John Williams' film scores and in December of 2017, he released a new overdub album for trombone choir, A Fall from Light to Dark. Through the chosen moments of John Williams' masterful scores, this album musically chronicles the rise and descent of Anakin Skywalker as he transforms into Darth Vader. Truly a one-man show, this album's transcriptions, playing, recording, editing, mixing, and mastering were all done by Jim!

James Nova studied with Glenn Dodson at the Curtis Institute of Music followed study with Norman Bolter at the New England Conservatory of Music. While in Boston, Jim played regularly with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Boston Pops Orchestra, including recordings and television broadcasts as both principal and second trombone.

In 2001, Jim joined the Utah Symphony Orchestra where he served eight seasons as Assistant Principal/Second Trombone before joining the Pittsburgh Symphony.

When not on stage at Heinz Hall with the Pittsburgh Symphony, Jim can be found at Duquesne University, where he's Adjunct Trombone Faculty and also the Brass Coach of the Three Rivers Young Peoples Orchestras.

Visit Jim's newly revamped website,,, for more info.

Jim is an S.E. Shires Artist and performs on Greg Black Mouthpieces.


  • M.M., New England Conservatory of Music
  • B.M., Curtis Institute of Music

Areas of Expertise

  • Alto, tenor and bass trombones
  • Doubling/tripling these instruments
  • Use of technology for pedagogy and recording (overdubbing)
  • Arranging for all brass
  • Member, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra