The programs of study for brass majors are designed to develop skilled performers who are familiar with the standard solo, ensemble, and orchestral literature for their instruments. Students will achieve a high degree of professional competence and appropriate stylistic approaches to the literature of various historical periods. All students fulfill an ensemble requirement as outlined in their course sequence plans and as assigned by the School. In addition to studies with our expert faculty, students are provided additional opportunities to play for and observe world-renowned guest artists.

Specific courses and degree sequence plans can be found in the Course Catalog.​

Brass Department Handbook


General admission information

Audition procedures and repertoire:

Horn Audition
Trombone Audition
Trumpet Audition
Tuba Audition


A core of the Brass education at MSM, the Brass lab class meets two hours per week and features an array of brass-related topics, master classes, and skill workshops to augment students’ training.

In the 2015-2016 year alone, the following artists and master classes are scheduled for Brass Lab:

*Classes Open to the Public surrounding 2016 Brass Auditions:

Thursday, February 25, 2016, 10AM-12PM in Ades Performance Space
Wolfgang Strasser, Associate Principal Trombone, Vienna Philharmonic

Monday, March 14, 2016, 3PM-5PM in Greenfield Recital Hall
James Miller, Associate Principal Trombone, Los Angeles Philharmonic

MSM Faculty Master Class Artists
David Jolley, Horn, MSM Faculty Artist
Ethan Bensdorf, Trumpet, New York Philharmonic, MSM Faculty Artist
David Taylor, MSM Faculty Artist, internationally known bass trombone soloist
Vincent Penzarella, MSM Faculty Artist, New York Philharmonic (retired)
Kyle Turner, MSM Faculty Artist, American Symphony, Orchestra of St. Luke’s
Tom Smith, MSM Faculty Artist, New York Philharmonic

Guest Artist Master Classes
Haim Avitsur, Tenor Trombone, Internationally known soloist
Amr Selim, Horn, Guest Artist and Lecturer
Richard Deane, Associate Principal Horn, New York Philharmonic
Wolfgang Strasser, Associate Principal Trombone, Vienna Philharmonic
James Miller, Associate Principal Trombone, Los Angeles Philharmonic
Joe Burgstaller, Trumpet, Internationally known soloist
New York Brass Arts Trio, Chamber Music Master Class
Jamie Sommerville, Principal Horn, Boston Symphony
Fergus McWilliam: Horn Master Class, Berlin Philharmonic

Orchestral Readings
The Mahler Project: Orchestral Reading of Mahler’s 7th Symphony
Perry So, Conductor
The Mahler Project: Orchestral Reading of Mahler’s 3rd Symphony
Perry So, Conductor
Bartok’s Concerto for Orchestra: A Joint Reading with Woodwind Lab Class
David Bernard, Conductor

Lab Class Topics
"Style is Not Built on Strengths Alone"
"Audition Prep: Audition Excellence"
"Preparing Mentally for an Excellent Performance"
“Peer Teaching and Gabrieli Antiphonal Canzonas”
“Playing Arabic Music on the Horn”


David Jolley

Department Chair

Brass Faculty

David Jolley  (Horn, Brass Chair)
Haim Avitsur  (Trombone)
Michelle Baker  (Horn)
Ethan Bensdorf  (Trumpet)
Per Brevig  (Trombone)
Joe Burgstaller  (Trumpet)
David Finlayson  (Trombone)
Javier Gàndara  (Horn)
Mark Gould  (Trumpet)
Stephen Norrell  (Bass Trombone)
Vincent Penzarella  (Trumpet)
Thomas Smith  (Trumpet)
Allen Spanjer  (Horn)
Dave Taylor  (Trombone)
Kyle Turner  (Tuba)