Influences in American Orchestral Trumpet Playing

Examining the Effects of Musicians' Colleagues, Teacher, and Tradition

Throughout 2011, I spent the year traveling across America researching my doctoral dissertation. Luckily for me, my research consisted of studying with each of the trumpeters from the major U.S. symphonies. Over twenty-two lessons, many of which lasted three to four hours, we covered the same seven excerpts: Hindemith Sonata for Trumpet and Piano, Haydn Concerto for Trumpet, Mahler Symphony No. 5, Bizet Carmen, Respighi Pines of Rome, Beethoven Leonore Overture No. 3, and Mussorgsky Pictures at an Exhibition. The conclusions discuss various aspects of orchestral interpretation including excerpt analysis, interpretation comparisons by section and region, and pedagogical lineages. 

If you would like to read the results of my research, I have included a downloadable PDF below. The document can be utilized by musicians regardless of their level, although the discussions are tailored for trumpeters who already have some background in the topics. I feel that this dissertation would be helpful for performers, teachers, and students alike as it covers a wide array of topics pertaining to orchestral musical interpretation. Teachers and performers can use the results to tailor performance and audition preparation, as well as further their understanding of how interpretations are passed on to students. Students will benefit from studying the interpretations and pedagogical techniques employed by these musicians to augment their current studies. 

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The document is divided into two large sections. Part 1 is a performance analysis for each excerpt, particularly helpful for those who are preparing these excerpts for auditions. If you have specific questions about these excerpts, this section will allow you to see what trends are pervasive among the major American trumpeters. Part II compares the interpretations among each orchestra section, between common teachers, and within regional traditions. These breakdowns explore the various ways in which musical interpretations are passed among colleagues and teachers--a great pedagogical study for teachers and students alike.

This project was made possible by a generous Devaney Dissertation Fellowship--a $25,000 fellowship awarded to one student per year across all disciplines at the University of Colorado-Boulder.