It's been a while.. Life got busy and crazy through the pandemic. Here's a few updates: I've joined the faculty at MidAmerica Nazarene University as their low brass professor and instructor of the Music History and Aural Skills curriculum. I'm really enjoying working for this university and collaborating with great faculty and students.
In 2021, I received a grant from the Koch Cultural Trust to create a recital of new works for solo trombone and electronics. I couldn't be more excited for this project. The goal of these works is to reflect on moments of personal struggle which will address common obstacles and challenges that young adults face (anxiety, jealousy, abuse, uncertainty, failure). This recital is designed to be performed for classrooms and universities as a way to start a conversation about mental health to create an environment of solidarity.
I've also been up to a lot of the same things - teaching private lessons, visiting local middle and high school classrooms weekly to give masterclasses and small group instruction, and of course, performing often. I've been feeling really thankful and I'm excited for this school year!
I've enjoyed a great and busy start to my season. As of November, I have already completed over 10 days of educational outreach and masterclasses. I've enjoyed getting to know more students in the Kansas City area and impact the next generation of musicians! In addition to performing across the metro and in Wichita, I'm working on some big projects which will hopefully drop by the end of the school year. More to come!
Big news! Volker Brass was a semi-finalist at the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition and the winner of the American Brass Quintet Brass Prize, a prize given to the most outstanding brass group. We met wonderful people at the competition and had a blast performing for the South Bend community. This will be a memory I cherish forever.
In May, I graduated from UMKC with my Master's degree. I look forward to this new adventure of life without school. Next year, I'll be continuing to perform in the Wichita Symphony in addition to teaching and performing in Kansas City. I have a big project in the works but more to come later.
Audition news: I have been added to the substitute musician list for the Symphony of Northwest Arkansas and was a semi-finalist for their audition for principal trombone. Lessons were learned & I'm excited for my next opportunity!
Life has been great. My wife and I have been adjusting to life with our new puppy, Jemma. We got her in January and couldn't be happier.
The quintet has been busily working and preparing for Fischoff. The Wichita Symphony had a wonderful, cathartic performance of Beethoven's Symphony No. 9. Unfortunately, I performed our matinee concert after hearing devastating news that we lost a special member of our family. It was an incredibly moving performance that demonstrated the power of music.
Happy New Year! Recently, my brass quintet Volker Brass advanced to the MTNA National Chamber Music Wind competition. We will compete March 15-17 in Spokane, WA.
Good things are coming. Lately, I've been enjoying performing with the Wichita Symphony. I look forward to my last semester at UMKC and finishing my Master's degree. Stay tuned!
Life has been busy! In September, I premiered a piece for solo trombone and trombone octet, performed my first concert with the Wichita Symphony, and had a great concert with the UMKC Conservatory Wind Symphony.
In addition to the great performances, I met the wonderful Jan Kagarice. What an inspiration it was to spend two days with a genuine, masterful teacher.
I'm happy to announce I've accepted the principal trombone position with the Wichita Symphony. I'm thrilled to be working with a great orchestra.
The first year of my Master's program is wrapping up and it has been a lot of fun. Volker Brass placed 3rd at the MTNA National Chamber Music Competition in Orlando, FL in March. We were also selected as an alternate for the Fischoff Competition in May. School ends in a few weeks and I will begin preparations for a very busy 2018 with competitions, auditions, and recitals. Stay tuned!
What a semester it has been! I'm happy to announce that Volker Brass is competing in the MTNA Chamber Winds National Finals in Orlando, Florida on March 16, 2018. I present my first Masters recital March 11.
I am enjoying my time here in Kansas City and looking forward to the next musical experiences.
After a relaxing trip to see family over break, I am excited to get back to work here in Kansas City. Volker Brass is traveling to Iowa City to compete in the MTNA West Central Divisional round of chamber music competition. Recital dates are coming soon and am looking forward to meeting more directors and musicians in the Kansas City area. Go Roos!
This time of year is often used to remind ourselves of the things for which we are thankful. I feel blessed to be studying music here in Kansas City. This month, I performed in a masterclass with Roger Oyster, principal trombonist of the Kansas City Symphony. It was a transformative experience and I feel one step closer to realizing my dream of an orchestral trombonist.
Life is good here in Kansas City! Last week, I performed in a masterclass with the talented Michael Mulcahy. That evening, I got to hear the amazing Chicago Symphony Orchestra perform Bruckner 4. The music scene here in Kansas City is inspiring. This month, I'm performing in masterclasses with Adam Rainey, bass trombonist of the Kansas City Symphony, and Amanda Stewart, associate principal trombonist of the St. Louis Symphony.
Classes have begun and I could not be happier. I'm happy to announce I've accepted a position at REW Music in the Kansas City metropolitan area as trombone instructor.
I'm really excited to be playing in the Conservatory Wind Symphony and Symphony Orchestra this year in addition to being a member of the graduate fellowship brass quintet, Volker Brass.
My wife and I are settled in Kansas City and ready to start a new journey. I'm looking forward to the new music scene, meeting local band directors, and being a part of the University of Missouri - Kansas City Conservatory.
I'm happy to announce that I've accepted a graduate brass quintet assistantship at the University of Missouri Kansas City Conservatory. I will be studying with Dr. JoDee Davis, a UNI graduate. With the BBQ, live music, and activities, we can't wait to move!
I can't thank the professors at UNI enough for the opportunities I had over the last 5 years. I'll always be grateful to be a Panther!
Student teaching is off to a great start! I've been leading the Waverly Shell Rock High School Jazz 2, Symphonic Band, and Chamber Winds ensemble in addition to teaching lessons. Also, being able to work with the beginning band students in Cedar Falls has been an absolute pleasure!
On February 1st, I presented to the UNI chapter of Iowa Bandmasters Association about brass instrument repair. I discussed common brass repair issues, maintenance, and useful tools for educators. Thanks to UNIBA for inviting me!
I have successfully applied to my graduate school programs! I applied to Yale University, Mannes Conservatory, and the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory. By March 15, I should know where my lovely fiance and I will be living next year.
Additionally, I presented my Senior Honors Thesis A Graded Catalogue of Selected Works for Solo Trombone and Piano.
Also, I am student teaching at Southdale Elementary and Waverly High School this coming Spring. I cannot wait for this opportunity to hone my teaching skills.
My senior recital is over! I had a great time sharing my music with my friends, family, colleagues, students, and teachers. Videos and pictures will be up soon.
Now, I'm preparing for graduate school auditions and planning a wedding!
July 23, 2016
My experience at the Rafael Mendez Brass Institute was phenomenal. I enjoyed studying with Carl Lenthe & Scott Hartman. I met with several vendors and discussed instrument equipment. Playing with and hearing incredible musicians was well worth the trip!
Now, I'm going to enjoy the last few weeks before beginning my final semester at the University of Northern Iowa!
Purple for Life,
I'm happy to announce that I've been accepted to the Rafael Mendez Brass Institute on a full scholarship! The camp goes from July 10- 16, 2016. Professors from across the country take a week and go to Denver, CO to work with students of every instrument. Students are placed into chamber ensembles ranging from same instrument quartets to brass choirs. Professors lead masterclasses in the morning and perform recitals in the evenings.
I look forward to this week! I also found out that I will be studying with Carl Lenthe from Indiana University and Scott Hartman from Yale University during the camp.
Over Spring Break, the UNI Wind Symphony traveled to northern Italy. We performed in Palazzolo sull'Oglio, Soresina, Leno, Nus, and Verbania in addition to visiting Aosta and Verona. The Italian people are wonderful and the food is delicious. I had a wonderful time getting to know the members of the UNI Wind Symphony better.
My Senior year is coming to a close. After this round of final exams, I have one more semester at UNI then I student teach. Crazy to think that my time at UNI is coming to a close.
February 22, 2016
Phew! The last four days have been incredible but exhausting. February 19 and 20, the humble, talented and energetic Luis Bonilla took the stage with UNI Jazz Band One. It was an honor to learn from such a talented, yet down to earth musician. His energy was visceral!
On February 21, Chicago Symphony Orchestra trombonist Michael Mulcahy visited UNI. He performed an amazing recital and worked with three UNI students, including myself. I played Berlioz's Hungarian March from the Damnation of Faust. His teaching was concise and incredibly informative. Listening to a trombonist of this caliber was inspiring.
After all of this tromboning, it's time to hit the practice room! Stay tuned for more following the Italy trip on March 10-18.
November 2, 2015
October 29 - 31, 2015, the UNI Jazz Slides went to the Midwest Trombone and Euphonium Conference at Eastern Illinois University as featured performers. In addition to the Jazz Slides performance, I performed in a masterclass for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra bass trombonist, Randy Hawes. It was a great experience!
In August, I auditioned for the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony Substitute Musician List. I am proud to announce that I was honored with a position on this list of musicians! This was my first professional orchestral audition experience and definitely won't be my last. Thanks to the symphony for putting together a well organized audition experience.
I am proud to announce I will be playing 2nd trombone with the UNI Jazz Band One this year! In addition, I will be traveling with the UNI Wind Symphony to Northern Italy over Spring Break. I cannot be more thrilled for these great experiences.
As the Iowa Bandmaster's Association (IBA) Student Affairs Committee Chair, Brent put together a resource guide for new music educators. This Google Spreadsheet is organized in categories such as marching band, jazz band, practicing tips, instrument pedagogy, conductors, and repertoire. The resource guide can be found at this link:
Brent has been selected as the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Education Intern for the 2015-2016 school year! He will coordinate and plan Instrument Petting Zoos in addition to helping outreach programs at local schools.
Brent finalized plans to work for Grady Instrument Repair in Waterloo, Iowa for the summer. He will spend the summer cleaning instruments and learning from renowned instrument repairman, Merlin Grady.
Brent competed in the annual UNI Presser Scholarship Competition Finals. He performed Monolith - The Half Dome from Eric Ewazen's Visions of Light.
Brent was also inducted into the American honor society of music, Pi Kappa Lamda.