The Kennedy Center
Stephen Dumaine

Stephen Dumaine
Principal, The James V. Kimsey Chair

Stephen Dumaine is proof positive that persistence pays. Each major orchestra employs just one tuba player full-time, making the openings few and far between. Persevering against those who told him he couldn't make a living as a tuba player, a few years in which he had no professional musical employment (working as a personal trainer and practicing on his own throughout that time), and 20-something auditions, he became the principal tuba of the National Symphony Orchestra in 2004.

Dumaine grew up in Burrillville, Rhode Island, and studied with Gary Buttery of the U.S. Coast Guard Band. During his high school years he was a member of the Rhode Island Philharmonic Youth Orchestra and the Greater Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra, winning a concerto competition to appear as soloist with them when he was eighteen. He earned his Bachelor of Music degree from The Juilliard School where he studied with Warren Deck, former tubist of the New York Philharmonic. After conservatory, Mr. Dumaine was principal tuba in Spain's Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia during the 1995-96 season. He then returned to the United States, where his orchestral experience included positions with the New World Symphony, the San Antonio Symphony, Orquesta Sinfónica de Mineria in Mexico City and the Alabama Symphony, and work with the New York City Ballet Orchestra, The Philadelphia Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic.  He also studied with Chester Schmitz of the Boston Symphony, David Kirk of the Houston Symphony and David Fedderly of the Baltimore Symphony. National and international music festival experience includes Tanglewood, Aspen, National Repertory Orchestra, SHIRA Festival (Israel), and Pacific Music Festival (Japan).

Contact Information

  • National Symphony Orchestra
    John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
    2700 F Street, NW
    Washington, DC 20566
    Phone: 202-416-8100
    Fax: 202-416-8105

    Mailing Address:
    P.O. Box 101510
    Arlington, VA 22210