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Headline Details 2008-09


Patrick Pfister winner of Brass concerto Competition


Patrick Pfister, MM student in StudioLenthe, was chosen as co-winner of the Brass Department's Concerto Competition and will perform the Creston Fantasy with the Wind Ensemble on Tuesday, March 31st at 8pm in the MAC, Professor Steven Pratt conducting. 

The Concerto Competition is a showcase of JSoM's best brass talent, and eagerly awaited by faculty and students alike.  Each brass studio may submit up to two finalists to compete.  Factoring in studio prelims, the competition actually begins weeks in advance.  In recent years the Brass Department has chosen co-winners, offering performance opportunities with both a band and an orchestra.  Patrick's co-winner is DM trumpeter Dylan Kruziki, who will perform with the Philharmonic Orchestra on Easter Sunday.

Congrats to Patrick!


Patrick Pfister

Brass Concerto Competition Winner


"The Jordan River Sackbutz" win Collegium Musicum Grant

IU JSoM Baroque trombone ensemble, “The Jordan River Sackbutz” has been announced as the winners of the Early Music America “Collegium Musicum Grant.”

Linda Pearse, DM trombone student who is also Adjunct Lecturer for Early Trombone in the Early Music Institute, formed "The Jordan River Sackbutz"in her first year of studies, recruiting players from all three trombone studios and helping them master the technical and stylistic challenges of the instrument and music.

Pearse explains, "The purpose of the EMA Collegium Musicum Grant is to provide $1000 toward the cost of bringing a college or university early music ensemble to perform a Fringe Concert at the Boston Early Music Festival. EMA will also provide publicity and other support for the concert.

"The competition is open to all period instrumentalists and singers.  This is the first year in which a brass ensemble has been chosen, and the first time that the majority of the those participants are undergraduates. It is a compliment not only to the EMI but also to the Trombone Area of the Brass Department for providing such fine students."

The performers involved:

Linda Pearse – Director/Baroque trombone

Elise Figa – Soprano (voice)
Mike DeWitt – Baroque trombone
Ray Horton – Baroque trombone
Greg Jackson – Baroque bass trombone
Richard Townes III – Baroque trombone
Yonit Kosovske – Organ

The Boston Early Music Festival (BEMF) is the largest and most prestigious early music festival in North America. Pearse describes it as a great honor to be chosen, and adds that they will be trying to organize the necessary funds to further assist with the travel and accommodation expenses.

"Thr Jordan River Sackbutz" will perform the following program in Boston:

The Venetian Influence

The influence of the Italian masters—Gabrieli, Grandi and Monteverdi—on their northern counterparts led to spectacular developments in seventeenth-century concerted music writing. This program will highlight stunning concerted vocal music with trombones performing works by Usper, Monteverdi, Schütz, Ahle and Rosenmüller. The concerted vocal motets will be interspersed with virtuosic instrumental works by Dario Castello, and Samuel Scheidt.

Congratulationsto Linda Pearse and "The Jordan River Sackbutz"!


"The Jordan River Sackbutz"

will perform at the Boston Early Music Festival

Spring Semester brings three guest artists

The trombone faculty is pleased to announce three guest artists who will visit our campus this semester:

Tim Coffman, one of Chicago's leading trombonists, is in demand for studio and show work and has performed with seemingly all the big-name stars.  An IU grad, he is on the Jazz Studies faculty of DePaul University.  Tim will present a master class on Wednesday, March 25th at 4pm in MA452, and will also perform in the "Jazz Fables" series at Bear's Place on Thursday the 26th at 5:30 pm.


Tim Coffman visits JSoM

March 25th and 26th


H. Dennis Smith, University of Michigan Professor Emeritus, was principal trombone of the LA Philharmonic and the Detroit Symphony before joining the UM faculty.  Smith has many recordings and successful students to his credit.  Now living in Texas, he has sent a number of successful students to our program at IU.  He will present a master class and recital on Monday, April 6th.


Dennis Smith visits JSoM on April 6th


Randall Hawes, bass trombonist with the Detroit Symphony, has accrued a wide array of musical experience, and is one of the leading bass trombonists of our day.   His solo CD "Melodrama" has quickly become a 'must-have' for all trombonists.  He will present a master class/recital on Thursday, April 16th at 8:30pm in MA452.


Randy Hawes visits JSoM on April 16th

Audition Eve recitals in sixth year!


Hard to believe, but this will already be the sixth year of Audition Eve recitals! These recitals, held on the Friday evening before each audition Saturday, have become an effective part of the audition experience for our audition candidates, and are also important  events in our curricular calendar.  Student participation is a key component, from performing, helping with the recpetion, or just being present and approachable for our guests.  The recital programs themselves feature faculty, student and trombone choir performances.

Friday, January 16th at 7pm in Ford Hall

Friday, February 6 at 7pm in Ford Hall

Friday, March 6 at 7pm in Ford Hall

Jonathan Whitaker earns DM



Dr. Jonathan Whitaker

Assistant Professor of Low Brass at Henderson State University and newest JSoM Doctor of Music in Trombone Pedagogy


Jon Whitaker, Assistant Professor of Low Brass at Henderson State University, traveled to Bloomington one last time as a doctoral candidate in mid-October in order to present his final project.  Whitaker chose the lecture-recital format for this project, and his subject covered everything involved in getting a solo concerto commissioned by a name composer, and performed by a name performer in a representative venue.  This was, of course, based on actual experience on Jon's part, and his tireless activities in getting Eric Ewazen's "Visions of Light" launched at the 2003 Midwest Clinic with Joseph Alessi and the IU Wind Ensemble under Ray Cramer belong to one of the richer chapters in IU JSoM Trombone history.

Jon's lecture was very well documented, and was followed by a concert in the MAC, in which he himself presided as soloist in the Ewazen work, accompanied by the IU Symphonic Band under Professor Gershman's direction.  This being the final piece in his doctoral agenda, the committee was able to meet after the concert and award him the coveted IU JSoM Doctor of Music Degree.  Congratulations to Dr. Whitaker!!

The trombone faculty hold the very highest of expectations and standards for this degree, and Dr. Whitaker is the only candidate in recent years to successfully complete the DM program.  Jon's time at IU was highly productive,  thanks especially to his work as AI, his initiatives on behalf of IUita and other student-led projects.  Jon cites the Ewazen/Alessi/Midwest project as his favorite memory, and adds,  "I am so very thankful to have studied and worked closely with all three of the trombone professors at IU.  All three of them are outstanding teachers and performers!  My advice to anyone entering the DM program at IU would be to take advantage of all that the School of Music has to offer...within the trombone area as well as the entire school.  You will get out of your experience what you put into it...make the most of it!  The coursework is challenging but not impossible.  The biggest challenge is time management in keeping up with the academics along with having ample practice time."

A big and well-deserved "Bravo!" to Dr. Whitaker!!!


Trombone faculty blend with the best


In addition to their many on-campus performances in faculty recitals, master classes, chamber music and Festival Orchestra concerts, Professors Stewart, Lenthe and Ellefson are quite active in many high-profile venues away from campus.  Peter Ellefson is a regular performer with the Chicago Symphony and also active with the New York Philharmonic, Canadian Brass and Chicago's Tower Brass.  Carl Lenthe can regularly be heard with the Indianapolis Symphony, is a performing member of Summit Brass, and also active as needed with the orchestras of Philadelphia, Minnesota, the Met, and New York Philharmonic.  M. Dee Stewart, riding the wave of his distinguished performance career with the Philadelphia Orchestra, has recorded and produced an unprecedented number of CDs in recent semesters, from his instrument-juggling renditions of "Pictures at an Exhibition" or "Don Quixote" to his most recent CDs "Con Amore" and "Trombone Ornaments".

Performance and pedagogy are not only inseparable in music, but also mutually beneficial.  Combining their dedicated studio teaching with continued high-level performance as established in each of their careers before joining the JSoM Faculty, the trombone faculty furthers the tradition of excellence at IU JSoM while also enriching the trombone curriculum by the influence of these performance projects and events.


Stewart to Ellefson to Lenthe


The "Swap Weeks" continue.  February 16-20 and April 6-10 will be the two weeks during which the trombone studios will rotate.  After the Fall rotation of Stewat to Lenthe to Ellefson to Stewart, the Spring rotation will go the other way, namely Stewart to Ellefson to Lenthe to Stewart.  Students and faculty alike have come to value this exchange as a curriculum enriching feature.


Trombone Choir delights at "Chimes"


The trombone choir under Professor Lenthe's direction played their yearly "Prelude Serenade" for the perennial favorite Chimes of Christmas Program in the IU Auditorium.  This yearly tradition began in 1998, Lenthe's first year at IU, and has the trombone choir setting the mood with 25 minutes of holiday favorites in the inner lobby of the auditorium.  With a wealth of Christmas music available for trombones, Lenthe this year chose more traditional fare, including his own challenging arrangement of Nutcracker selections, but also included a set of Spirituals and a few of the already classic Cobine and Elkjer arrangements from the CD "Trombones under the Tree".  The large audience showed true enjoyment and appreciation of the trombone choir's offerings.


Ensemble placement auditions announced

Ensemble placement auditions for orchestras and Wind Ensemble will take place on Wednesday 1/14/09 beginning at 2:30 pm in MA452.  Please sign up in person for the audition in Sycamore Hall 246 before noon on 1/14.  Upon signing up, you will receive your audition time.

Further information and repertoire lists are available here.

Information for placement in Symphonic and Concert Bands is available from the department of bands at (812) 855-1372 or

For information about Jazz Band placement, please contact that department through the faculty links found at:

Sampó and Stewart Release CD


Professor Stewart has released a new CD together with his former student Fabio Sampó, first trombonist of the National Radio Broadcasting Orchestra (RAI) in Torino, Italy.   Available on the Summit Records label and titled "Trombone Ornaments: Seasonal Music for Two Trombones and Jazz Rhythm Section", the CD features both artists in a versatile setting with exciting new arrangements of traditional Christmas and holiday tunes. "I am excited about it," says Stewart. "These are some really great original tunes...23 innovative arrangements from 11 excellent arrangers." The works, which range from such standards as Greensleeves to more whimsical selections like You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch, will be available through Elkjer Music Publishing later this year. For more information, visit

Calendar page re-activated


The Calendar Page, as linked on the left, has been re-activated.  A week-by-week chronicle of trombone area events can be found there - from master classes to individual recitals and other events of general trombone interest.

New Valve Instruments added to collection

Three new valve instruments have been added to the JSoM Low Brass Instrument collection:

A Meinl-Weston bass trumpet in C (with additional slide set to convert to B-flat) will be an ideal instrument for serious study of the symphonic literature for that instrument, which begins with Wagner's Ring of the Nibelungs and further encompasses works by Strauss, Schoenberg, Stravinsky, Janacek and others.   This acquisition doubles our bass trumpet possibilities: a vintage Conn bass trumpet in B-flat has been in the collection for many years and continues to serve well.

Two new valve trombones: Many of our undergraduate euphonium majors are Music Ed majors and, as such, will go on to lead school music programs that almost always include a jazz band.  These valve trombones enable our euphonium players to play in jazz band and acquire the skills and experience - as well as the fun and excitement - of playing in a jazz band.  The instruments also provide the opportunity for our trombone majors to learn important valve-doubling skills.  Two different models were chosen: a King 2166 and a Bach V16.

All three of these instruments were presented in a master class on September 15th, and represent a a significant enhancement to our curriculum offerings.  


Todd McCready and Kelsey Blotzer present the new valve trombones
Carl Lenthe presents the new bass trumpet


Swap Weeks for Fall 08 announced


The trombone faculty has announced the continuation of the popular "Swap Weeks", in which the three studios rotate to study with one of the other trombone faculty.  Instituted last year, this curricular tangent was recognized immediately by students and faculty alike as an exciting addition to our IU JSoM Trombone experience. 

This semester, the studios will rotate 'Ellefson to Stewart to Lenthe to Ellefson' in the weeks of SEP29-OCT3 and NOV3-7.

Ensemble placement auditions announced

Ensemble placement auditions for orchestras and Wind Ensemble will take place on Wednesday 9/3/08 beginning at 2:30 pm in MA452.  Please sign up in person for the audition in Sycamore Hall 246 before noon on 9/3.  Upon signing up, you will receive your audition time.

Further information and repertoire lists are available here.

Please note that due to the Labor Day Holiday this is a departure from our usual Monday evening audition time.

Information for placement in Symphonic and Concert Bands is available from the department of bands at (812) 855-1372 or

For information about Jazz Band placement, please contact that department through the faculty links found at:



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Jacobs School of Music
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