Trumpet performer and educator Traci DeRoche (formerly Nelson) is a creative and dedicated musician based in Washington, DC. Known for her rich tone and highly developed sense of musicality, Traci is passionate about making music and sharing her passion for performance and learning with others. She has performed with ensembles across the country including The Denver Brass, the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra, the Oistrach Symphony Orchestra, the Wheaton Band, Cleveland Winds, and internationally, as principal trumpet of the Tuscia Opera Festival in Viterbo and Rome, Italy. Traci holds a Bachelor Degree, summa cum laude, from DePaul University in Chicago, and a Master of Music Degree from the University of Denver. In Denver, she also worked as a graduate teaching assistant, coaching trumpet ensembles, teaching lessons, and leading various classes.

Traci was featured as a soloist with the Lamont Symphony Orchestra in 2011 for the premier of Chip Michael’s Trumpet Concerto, for which she received energetic acclaim from music critic Robin McNeil of Opus Colorado: "I was totally astonished...by the amazing trumpet performance by Traci Nelson. This young lady is a remarkable performer...a very sophisticated young woman who is a fantastic performer. No burbles, incredibly reliable with an orchestra, and capable of wonderful technical feats. What a joy to listen to! All of you who know her must get her autograph now."

Before moving to Washington in 2015, Traci lived in Cleveland, where she led a thriving studio of over 50 students, was actively involved in chamber music, and was the soloist with the Cleveland Messiah Chorus. Traci’s students have achieved such successes as auditioning into elite ensembles including The Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra, state and regional honor bands and jazz bands, and music camps. Most importantly, Traci is proud of her students’ journeys toward finding the joy in becoming dedicated musicians at any age.

Traci spent her childhood in Fergus Falls, Minnesota, where she played piano from an early age and began to study of trumpet as a fifth grader. Her early and influential teachers include Bob Perrier, Erik Vigesaa, Dr. Neil Mueller, and Manny Laureano. Traci made her debut as a trumpet soloist with the Fergus Falls High School Wind Ensemble playing Arban’s Carnival of Venice and with the Orchestra playing Haydn’s Trumpet Concerto in Eb Major in 2005. Traci was honored with the International Trumpet Guild’s Young Artist Award in June, 2005.

Traci’s musical mentors also include Matthew Lee, Tage Larsen, John Hagstrom, Alan Hood, and Warren Deck. In addition to teaching and performing locally, Traci loves to collaborate with her sister, horn performer Kayla Nelson. Their collaborative duo, Sistar Brass, is available to travel for performances and educational sessions and is always looking to debut exciting new works for horn and trumpet. Traci is a proud member of the International Trumpet Guild and the International Women’s Brass Conference.

Not just a musician, Traci is an award-winning and widely sought visual artist, specializing in acrylic and pastel paintings, ink and charcoal drawings, mixed media, illustration, and hand lettering. Traci is known for her music-themed paintings and enjoys creating custom works of art for others as she is always looking for ways to integrate her passions for music and art. Traci is also the artist of The Daily Quipple, where fun illustrations are shared daily. So far, there have been over 1200 consecutive, original quipples! The Daily Quipple is a collaborative project with her mother and sister and a hugely inspiring part of Traci’s life.

When she is not making music or art, Traci can be found creating new recipes in the kitchen, capturing moments with her camera, hiking, reading, or playing with her dog, Nala. Traci is happily married to U.S. Navy Band percussionist Jeffrey DeRoche.