Brass players enjoy a variety of challenging and engaging experiences at Mississippi State University, consisting of in-depth instruction from a faculty of accomplished professionals and participation in demanding solo and ensemble performance. These activities range from required performances on the weekly recital series by music majors, to attendance at concerts by visiting professionals, to student performances at regional brass conferences.
Most recently, the department hosted Abbie Conant, former solo trombonist in the Munich Philharmonic, who presented master classes and performed in concert. The Trumpet Consort has performed at the Trumpet Festival of the Southeast at the University of Georgia, Berry College, and the University of Alabama. The brass studios have sponsored master classes by visiting professors from other universities, including David Vining, Dr. Selena Adams, Dr. Brittany Hendricks, and Dr. Christopher Moore. This sharing of musical ideas contributes greatly to the enrichment of the learning experience.
The brass area boasts broad participation by both music majors and non-majors. Both groups have access to instruction, master classes, and performance opportunities in orchestral and wind band settings including of the University Philharmonia, wind ensemble, symphonic band, jazz band, and brass chamber groups. Brass chamber groups include horn quartet, trumpet consort, trombone choir, brass quintet, and brass choir. Each performs several times each semester.
In addition to private lessons, music majors are required to attend a weekly studio class. These brass classes comprise lessons on subjects such as:
- Audition Preparation - How to Prepare for an Orchestra or Band Audition
- Breath Support - Deep Breathing for Brass Players
- Brass Literature and Preparation - Preparing for Ensemble Concerts
- Equipment Shows by Company Representatives, i.e., Conn-Selmer and Yamaha
- How to Teach a Private Lesson - Working with Students One on One
- Jury Preparation - Preparing for End of Semester Critique
- Master Classes - Visiting Professional Brass Players offer Instruction
- Mouthpiece Buzzing - Embouchure Efficiency
- Mutes - Types and Sounds of Metal, Fiber, and Wooden Mutes
- Orchestral Excerpts - How to Perform Brass Parts from Important Works