MFA in Brass
A family of separate yet interrelated courses of study, the Programs in Performance prepare students for the emerging career pathways of the 21st century-characterized by a remarkably diverse spectrum of professional practices. Each individual program enables students to develop both high-level technical skills in their areas of specialization and the breadth of knowledge and versatility required for success in today's evolving artistic world. Students are presented with myriad performance opportunities, extensive studies of both traditional and cutting-edge music, and an excellent student-faculty ratio. They also have unique opportunities to look beyond music by working in settings that merge music with other art forms, new genres, and previously uncharted areas.
Guided by an outstanding faculty that includes many internationally acclaimed artists, students hone their skills through concentrated training and a demanding schedule of formal and informal concerts. Students present traditional and contemporary repertoire, often alongside new original works, in solo recitals and concerts by ensembles in a variety of configurations. Drawing on an array of musical traditions from around the globe, such ensembles include chamber groups, chamber orchestras, early music groups, vocal ensembles, opera ensembles, jazz and experimental ensembles, various world music groups, and specialized crossover ensembles that link different program areas. As part of this training, students frequently rehearse and perform with faculty, both on- and off-campus, and also work with significant visiting artists who are at the forefront of their field(s).
The School of Music at CalArts has established an advanced, innovative, and unique New Millennium Brass Performance Program directed by internationally-renowned trumpeter, teacher, and recording artist Edward Carroll.
In addition to Mr. Carroll, the core faculty includes hornist Robin Graham, James Miller, Associate Principal Trombonist of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and tubist Doug Tornquist.
Building from a foundation in traditional brass literature, the program places special emphasis on contemporary brass works and performance practice, providing a hospitable environment for study and experimentation that values new composition and new ideas. It focuses on intensive ensemble work (quartet, quintet, dectet, and full orchestral brass ensemble), and also offers opportunities to incorporate non-Western music, improvisation, technology, and interdisciplinary work into the student's studies. This rich and varied background will assist students in developing a unique set of skills and preparing for a variety of potential career paths.
Students enrolled in New Millennium Brass Studies have attended the Juilliard, Eastman, and Manhattan Schools of Music, the Peabody and Boston Conservatories, the Universities of Southern California, Louisville, Oregon, and Washington, Cal States Fullerton and Los Angeles, and the Interlochen Arts Academy. They have been awarded fellowships at the Aspen, Lucern (CH), Bang on a Can, Brevard, and Norfolk music festivals.
Recent guests include trumpeters Thomas Stevens, Gabriele Cassone, Marcus Stockhausen, Mark Gould, John Wallace, Michael Sachs, Jason Price, Tom Dambly, Rob Roy McGregor, and trombonists Michael Svoboda, Ralph Sauer, Stweart Dempster, Monique Buzzarte, and Abbie Conant.
World-class brass players Abbie Conant (trombone), Sam Pilafian (tuba), and John Wallace (trumpet) act as advisors to the program and visit the campus to give master classes. The brass faculty from our outstanding jazz program are also available to students, including Wadada Leo Smith, jazz trumpet, improvisation, and composition; John Fumo, jazz trumpet; and Alex Iles, jazz trombone.
Graduate and advanced undergraduate students of trumpet, horn, trombone, euphonium, and tuba, including emerging brass ensembles, are encouraged to apply. To provide a high degree of personal contact, the program projects a maximum enrollment of six trumpets, four horns, four trombones, one euphonium, and two tubas.