Brass studies at The Herb Alpert School of Music at CalArts is a unique and innovative program established to develop and solidify the role of brass instruments in the twenty-first century. Building from a traditional brass foundation, the program focuses on contemporary brass works and performance practice, while also working to develop a radical expansion of both. The core program focuses on intensive ensemble work, while also striving to create an inclusive environment for the study of non-Western music, improvisation, technology, and interdisciplinary work with the aim to equip students with the skills to both create their own artistic identity and be prepared for an ever-changing professional landscape.
The program is led by trumpet virtuoso and recording artist Edward Carroll. In addition to Mr. Carroll, the core faculty includes Trio Kobayashi (hornist Allen Fogle, trombonist Matt Barbier, and tubist Luke Storm) and tubist Doug Tornquist.
Students enrolled in brass studies have attended the Julliard, Eastman, and Manhattan Schools of Music; the Peabody, and Paris Conservatories; the Universities of Southern California, Northwestern, McGill, Arizona State; and the Interlochen Arts Academy. They have been awarded fellowships at the Aspen, Lucerne, Bang on a Can, Brevard, and Norfolk music festivals. Alumni have gone on to perform with ensembles such as Ensemble Musikfabrik, wildUp, Ensemble Modern, Ensemble Intercontemporain, the BBC Scottish Symphony, the LA Philharmonic, Green Umbrella, LA Opera, Monday Evening Concerts, and the International Contemporary Ensemble. They can be heard performing across a wide spectrum of commercial endeavors including the soundtracks to Star Wars, Transformers, and X-Men and alongside musicians such as Kanye West, Josh Groban, and Adele. Additionally the program’s alumni have founded groups and record labels such as Burning Ghosts, Evil Genius, gnarwhallaby, Orenda Records, WasteLAnd Music, RAGE Thormbones, and Les Trombones de Bâle.
Recent guests include trumpeters Thomas Stevens, Gabriele Cassone, Marcus Stockhausen, Mark Gould, John Wallace, Nate Wooley, Jason Price, Tom Dambly, Peter Evans, and trombonists Michael Svoboda, Stuart Dempster, Monique Buzzarte, and Abbie Conant.
The program also maintains a roster of active leaders in their respective fields to act as advisers to the program, primarily through a series of internet lectures. To enable the students to be prepared for the widest possible career experience, students also have opportunities for study with renowned trumpeter John Fumo and trombonist Alex Iles, who are both faculty members of the CalArts Jazz studies.