B.M.E. Eastern Michigan University
M.M. Manhattan School of Music
Mr. Morden was born in Michigan and received his Bachelor of Music Education degree from Eastern Michigan University. He moved to New Jersey in 1986 to attend the prestigious Manhattan School of Music where he earned a Masters in Jazz/Commercial Music Performance in only one year.
As a professional performer, Mr. Morden is noted for his abilities to cross genres from baroque to jazz, and has been heard on Broadway and in many of the area’s finest ensembles and concert halls. He has performed with Dave Brubeck, Dena DeRose, Greg Hutchinson, Freddie Hubbard, Dizzy Gillespie, Wycliffe Gordon, Steve Turre, and many more. As Principal Trumpet for Gramercy Fanfare Trumpets, he has heralded such celebrities as Barbara Walters, Mary Tyler Moore, Rosie O’Donnell, Steve Martin, Kevin Klein, major corporate bigwigs, and even Smokey the Bear.
Mr. Morden frequently performs as the Principal Soloist for numerous churches. He also performs Principal Trumpet duties for many choral groups including the Oratorio Society of New Jersey, and Glen Ridge Choral Society. He plays in the Latin Jazz Express, with Glen Burtnik and Friends, and is the Concert Master, Arranger/Composer, and Associate Conductor for Gramercy Brass Orchestra of New York. Nine of his arrangements can be found on Christmas Time Is Here by Gramercy Brass on Koch records. Commissions include Music at Morristown, a solo with band for renowned tuba soloist Scott Mendoker, and a solo with brass band for international trumpet star Allen Vizzutti. A soon to be released recording for Gramercy Brass featuring the music of Dave Brubeck, will consist mostly of music arranged by Mr. Morden. Called one of the state’s top trumpeters by New Jersey Classical Society, legendary jazz producer Creed Taylor says of Mr. Morden, “this is who I wish I sounded like when I played trumpet”.
As an educator, he has been in Verona schools for 24 years where he has directed the high school jazz band and has received superior ratings at every festival in which they have participated. He also teaches brass at VHS and beginning instrumental music in all four elementary schools. He is president of Verona Summer Music, has been a faculty member of the Drew University Summer Brass Institute, provides master classes for Polishing the Brass educational programs of GBOofNY, and teaches trumpet, brass ensemble, and brass methods at Caldwell College.