Belen Santos, Trumpet
A native of Yauco, Puerto Rico, Nitai Pons earned a D.M.A and a M.M in Trumpet Performance from The University of Kansas, where he studied with Professor Steve Leisring, as well as serving as a Teaching Assistant, and received his Bachelors in Music Education from the Puerto Rico Music Conservatory in 2001.
Dr. Pons has a great deal of performing experience, having played with ensembles such as the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra, Kansas City Symphony Orchestra, Casals Festival Orchestra, Lawrence Chamber Orchestra, Puerto Rico Philharmonic Orchestra, Southeast Kansas Symphony, Fountain City Brass Band, Kansas Brass Quintet (KBQ), Borinquen Brass Ensemble, Casals Brass Ensemble, Caribbean Brass Quintet, Principal Trumpet of both the University of Kansas Symphony Orchestra and the University of Kansas Wind Ensemble, the Idyllwild Festival Orchestra, and the Festival of the Youth Symphony Orchestra of the Americas (FOSJA), Puerto Rico.
In 2007 he was a soloist with the University of Kansas Symphony Orchestra playing the Concerto for Trumpet and Orchestra by Joseph Haydn. In 2008 was on tour in China playing the Concerto for Two Trumpets and Orchestra by Antonio Vivaldi. In 2010 played the world premiere of Dot Dash by Australian composer Peter Knight at the International Trumpet Guild in Sydney, Australia. In January 2013, Nitai had the honor of playing in the Acts of Inauguration of President of the United States, Barack Obama.
Dr. Pons has collaborated in recording such as: Thoughts of a Cow, Scott C. Watson, Tuba Solo Album, Red Line Tango, University of Kansas Wind Ensemble, Naxos (USA) Wind Band, The Cow-Pow Project, Everett Griffiths Film Score, Unfettered Productions, Agent Jim, Everett Griffiths Film Score, Boyland Productions, Therefore with Angels, The Saint Gregory Choir and Festival Brass Ensemble (KBQ) He has received such honors as Semi Finalist Soloist, National Trumpet Competition, First Prize, Music Teacher National Association State of Kansas Chamber Music Competition, and Third Prize in the MTNA Regional Chamber Competition. His principal teachers have been Steve Leisring, Ronald Romm, Roberto Ramírez, Luis Fred, Vincent Penzarella, Manny Laureano, and Richard Giangiulio.
Dr. Pons is an active conductor, clinician, and trumpet educator. He currently holds the position of Director of Band and Brass Instructor at Ernesto Ramos Antonini Fine Arts School in Yauco Puerto Rico. Previous positions include Trumpet Instructor/ Lecturer at Pittsburg State University, Kansas, and Trumpet Professor and Brass Ensemble Conductor at Universidad Interamericana, San Germán Puerto Rico.
He is a Conn-Selmer Artist and performs exclusively on Bach B-flat and C-trumpets.