Johann Sebastian Bach once said, “There’s nothing remarkable about playing music. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself!” While this statement is clearly an oversimplification, it speaks to the heart of our discipline.
Whether as a performer, a director, or a composer, the goal of any musical career is to get the right sounds to come out of an instrument at the right time. In order to accomplish this, a professional musician must have technical mastery of an instrument so that he or she can achieve the intended effect, and also a fluent understanding of the construction of music to determine what that effect should be. In the brass studio, all our efforts focus on these two primary objectives.
Members of the brass studio take a one-hour private lesson each week and participate in a group studio class each Friday afternoon. These musicians also form the core membership of the brass ensemble. Each semester concludes with a final “jury” performance exam for a panel of music faculty. Students celebrate their achievements with a public recital during the last semester of their degree program.
Many students who might like to join the brass studio don’t own an instrument. To help ease the transition into the program, South Texas College provides a selection of professional-grade instruments that students may use in any 1000-level music class.