Jazz or classical: you choose. Either way, the Brass Workshop is for you. With instructors from Berklee College of Music and Boston Conservatory at Berklee, you will study with diverse, world-class faculty comprising some of the East Coast's most renowned musicians. You'll have the perfect opportunity to improve all aspects of your musical ability, taking your skills to new levels by exploring the world of brass performance.
2021 Program Information
|Age range:||15 years and older|
For all classes and ensembles, you will be placed with participants of similar abilities and interests. As part of the registration, you can choose between two tracks to participate in.
Gain expert knowledge on improving your tone, technical ability, sight-reading, and overall musicianship. Strengthen your performance skills and rehearsal techniques in a classical brass ensemble setting. Students will play alongside faculty, many of whom perform with the Boston Pops and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, in large and small ensembles focused on various classical time periods. Ensembles in this track are generally between five and 12 players, with an even distribution of brass instruments.
In addition to ensemble classes, French horn players will have daily master classes with Eli Epstein, a veteran horn player with the Cleveland Orchestra, author of Horn Playing from the Inside Out, and horn professor at Boston Conservatory at Berklee.
Take your reading, ensemble playing, and improvisational skills to the next level. Students can participate in several jam sessions throught the week and will perform in one of three ensembles. Ensembles in this track are generally between eight and 12 brass players, and include a rhythm section. Choose one of the following ensembles based on the style that suits you:
- Jazz: Get familiar with jazz harmony, melody, and rhythm while exploring the roots and branches of America’s unique musical artform. Students will perform music from bebop to swing and modern jazz.
- Funk: Study music that combines elements of R&B and soul music. “Funkify” your soul with music from the likes of the Meters, John Scofield, the Yellow Jackets, Snarky Puppy, and more.
- New Orleans: Explore the roots of jazz through group interaction and solo improvisation in this ensemble that focuses on second line and Dixieland traditions. Music from Louis Armstrong, Bix Beiderbecke, Sidney Bechet, and others will have you groovin’ to the Second Line parade.
The Brass Workshop offers participants the opportunity to study with internationally renowned teachers with proven track records—those who have not only won their own prestigious awards, but who have taught students who have continued on to enjoy flourishing careers. The Brass Workshop faculty includes Larry Isaacson, John Faieta, Steve Emery, Joe Foley, Eli Epstein, Norman Bolter, Angel Subero, Ken Amis, Jeff Stout, Charlie Lewis, Phil Grenadier, and Billy Buss.
Below is a sample of a typical day in the program.
|8:00 a.m.–9:00 a.m.||Breakfast|
|9:15 a.m.–10:15 a.m.||Studio Classes by Instrument (Low Brass, Trumpet, and French Horn)|
|10:30 a.m.–12:00 p.m.||Ensembles|
|12:15 p.m.–1:15 p.m.||Lunch|
|1:30 p.m.–2:45 p.m.||Ensembles|
|3:00 p.m.–3:45 p.m.||Classical or Contemporary Elective|
|4:00 p.m.–4:45 p.m.||Classical or Contemporary Elective|
|5:00 p.m.–6:45 p.m.||Dinner and Practice Time|
|7:00 p.m.–10:15 p.m.||Faculty Recitals, Electives, and Jam Sessions|
Schedule subject to change
Students will participate in one of the following ensembles during the week:
- Large Classical Brass Ensemble
- Small Classical Brass Ensemble
- Jazz Ensemble
- Funk Ensemble
- New Orleans Ensemble
In addition, students can participate in several open jam sessions throughout the week.
The program will culminate in a final concert on Friday. Students will perform the repertoire they have been rehearsing in their ensembles. All performances are free and open to friends and family.
All students 15 and older with six months of playing experience are welcome to attend.
After completing your registration, you will be prompted to submit a video link of a solo performance. These links are reviewed by the faculty to place students into the appropriate level classes before arriving to the program. Professional video quality is not required, but your performance should demonstrate your personal best.
Below is a list of items you should be prepared to bring.
- Your instrument and any necessary accessories
- Mutes: for classical players, a straight mute; for contemporary players, a plunger
- A tuner and a metronome (possibly on your phone)
- A notebook and pencil
- Concert attire: for men, a pair of black or khaki long pants and a colorful, short-sleeved shirt; for women, a colorful dress instead
If you intend to stay in the Berklee residence halls while participating in the program, please review what to bring for your room on the housing page.