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Robert Sullivan Masterclass

We were very fortunate to have Robert Sullivan, Professor of Trumpet at Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music, at the Music Institute of Chicago for a masterclass last week. Three students played solo repertoire and 4 ensembles performed short works. Twelve students from ages 8-17 benefited from this fantastic opportunity. We would like to thank the Chicago Philharmonic and the Music Institute for making this possible! See program here: 4.4.17 Master Class Program and click on thumbnails below for larger images. Thank you Professor Sullivan!













Back to Blogging…

My apologies for not keeping current with the MIC Trumpets Blog! It has been a very challenging but rewarding year, and it is time to start sharing news again about the MIC trumpet studio. I discovered when I came back to the site that a very important blog was never posted…SORRY Charlie and John!!!

Charlie Clarke studied at MIC for several years and played as a member of the advanced MIC trumpet ensembles. An excellent musician, always supportive of his fellow students, Charlie always rose to the occasion and made fantastic music. Below are a few pictures and information that Charlie provided about his interests and plans when he graduated last Spring. Hope College is going great for you Charlie!

Charlie started playing trumpet in 5th grade and started at MIC in 8th grade. Charlie went to New Trier High school, where he played jazz piano in Jazz Ensemble 1. Charlie also plays blues, classical, and rock piano along with jazz trumpet. Charlie has enjoyed excelling at both instruments throughout high school and plans to take his talents to University of Missouri. Although he doesn’t plan on majoring in music, he plans on playing piano and trumpet in the jazz program and trumpet in their football marching band.

Along with playing music, Charlie is also very involved in sports journalism. He just finished his senior project with WGN Radio, where he wrote game recaps for the Cubs/White Sox and went into the Tribune Tower each day to work with WGN. On top of that, Charlie wrote for CSL Insider and his school newspaper. He also hosted a show on his school’s radio station and plans on working with ESPN Radio in Columbia next year. Over the summer, he’s covering Northwestern football/basketball with 247 sports, writing for baseball prospectus, and Ushering at Ravinia. 


Charlie with MIC Trumpet Ensemble (second from left)


Charlie at Wrigley Field

John Kinne began studying trumpet in a group class at Baker Demonstration School in 4th grade and then began private study at MIC where he quickly advanced, eventually joining the advanced ensemble where he performed for numerous concerts at MIC, the Chicago Brass Festival, among others. John performed for a masterclass with Boston University Professor of Trumpet Terry Everson (pictured below) and earned a music scholarship to attend Cornell College in Iowa. Without a doubt,  John’s exceptional musical talents have graced the groups that he plays with in college. Enjoy some photos from the past… hope it is going great John!!


John (right) with Terry Everson (left) and fellow students


John with MIC Trumpet Ensemble (second from left)

MIC Brass @ the 2015 Chicago Brass Festival

Congratulations to MIC students Charlie Clarke, Filip Czarkowski, Emily Booden, MICtpts at 2015CBFIMG_0282Francisco Espinoza, Imogen Eyler, Paul Hletko, John Kinne, Victoria Seliger, Daniel Vargas, and Jefferson Wenzel who participated in this year’s Chicago Brass Festival at NEIU. Brass for Beginners® students from Lincoln Elementary also gave a presentation and everyone had a great time.

Click here for a post about our involvement on the MIC website.

Click here to hear a snippet of the Festival Brass performance in the auditorium.

Click here to see pictures posted by NEIU on facebook.

Watch the advanced trumpet trio perform a fugue by Henry Purcell below.

Congrats MIC trumpeters!

2015 IGSMA Solo & Ensemble Contest

Congratulations to all MIC students who participated in the 2015 IGSMA Solo & Ensemble last Saturday at King Arts School in Evanston! A lot of hard work went into this and we are very proud of the level of playing exhibited by these young musicians.

The following MIC trumpeters received the top rating of “I” for their solo performances:

Jack Bartholomew
Jack Fay
Sean Gilliland
Calvin McNamara

The MIC Trumpet Trio received a “II”
(Sean Gilliland, Garbiel Karsh, Calvin McNamara)

The MIC Brass Quartet received a “I”
(Will Donovan, Jack Fay, Yumiko Hasselbring, Alisa Kondratyev)


(MIC Brass Quartet: Alisa, Yumiko, Will, and Jack)

(MIC Brass Quartet: Alisa Kondratyev, Yumiko Hasselbring, Will Donovan, and Jack Fay)

The Salpinx Project

Volume One of the Brass for Beginners™ (BFB) curriculum will soon be available in print. It is the first brass method for beginners that utilizes the natural trumpet as the primary teaching tool, and it is the first curriculum, perhaps for any instrument, that intertwines history and pedagogy, resulting in a truly interdisciplinary approach to learning. For example, the book discusses the Greek salpinx, and pedagogical activities focus on what we know about the instrument through Greek literature, iconography, secondary sources, and finally by examining the only existing complete salpinx in the world, which is held at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston (see illustration right). In addition to its well documented use in warfare, we know that the salpinx was used for ceremonial purposes and even for entertainment. Perhaps most interestingly, playing the salpinx was an Olympic event in ancient Greece, and a very important one, because the winner announced the important events for the duration of the games and attained a very high status in Greek society. The BFB curriculum includes a lesson entitled “Trumpet Olympics,” which teaches students how to excel at different technical and musical aspects of playing the trumpet. Students sign up to compete in specific “Trumpet Olympic” events, train with the help of their coach, and then evaluate and refine their skills and performance.


(Terry Everson, Thomas Moscinski, Sasha Boutilier, Katy Rose O’Brien, and John Kinne, April 2011)

Another element of the Brass for Beginners™ curriculum designed to bring the history of lip-blown instruments to life for young learners is called “Trumpet Tales” which include stories, original illustrations, and accompanying sound files. When I learned that the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston had a replica of the original salpinx that could be played, I contacted the curator of musical instruments, Darcy Kuronen, to see if we could record on it so students could hear an authentic sound of a salpinx. One of the best documented trumpeters of ancient Greece was Herodorus of Megara, who was able to play two salpinx at once, won ten Olympic contests, and was credited with helping achieve great military victories. If anyone fits the description of “Olympian” as a trumpeter in 2014, it would be my friend and long time colleague, Terry Everson, Associate Professor of Music at Boston University. Some of you may remember that Terry gave a master class at MIC in 2011 (see above photo). Mr. Kuronen generously offered to make the instrument available, and Terry agreed to come and record on it, so I traveled to Boston just before Thanksgiving 2014 with BFB co-author, Kirsty Montgomery. The experience was amazing for all of us, and we will have lots to share in the coming days on the Brass for Beginners™ Blogsite. We will also have a special page under the “Curriculum” page called “Salpinx Project,” where we will post more information, photos, video, and audio clips. I want to express my gratitude to Darcy Kuronen and Terry Everson for making this possible, and I am delighted that we can share this amazing experience with current and future MIC and Brass for Beginners™ students.

(Darcy Kuronen, Kirsty Montgomery, and Terry Everson playing the Greek Salpinx)

(Darcy Kuronen, Kirsty Montgomery, and Terry Everson playing the Greek Salpinx at the musical instrument gallery of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Nov. 25th, 2014)