Rob McConnellInducted in 1997
Valve trombonist, bandleader, composer, arranger, and music educator Robert (Rob) McConnell was born on Valentine’s Day, 1935, in London, Ontario. The son of a travelling salesman, he grew up in Toronto. McConnell took up the valve trombone in high school, and, after a brief foray into finance, gave up his day job to pursue his true passion: music.
Although he started out as a pianist, McConnell quickly settled on the trombone as his instrument of choice. His musical career began for all intents and purposes in Edmonton in the early 1950s when he joined Don “D.T.” Thompson’s big band after cutting his teeth playing bar mitzvahs and bars with a trombone purchased with cash earned working on oil rigs.