Exciting News & Accomplishments!

Greetings from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst! We, The Pioneer Valley Trumpets: A Collegiate Chapter of the International Guild, also known as the University of Massachusetts, Amherst Trumpet Studio, would like to introduce ourselves as a new International Trumpet Guild College Chapter and to share with you the very exciting events and accomplishments that have recently occurred within our studio.

First and foremost we are very proud to announce that along with becoming an International Trumpet Guild Collegiate Chapter, our gradual project of becoming an official UMass Amherst Registered Student Organization is complete! With the mission “to foster music education through trumpet performance, to provide a welcoming environment, which encourages musical growth and development, and to secure financial, logistical, and promotional support from the University of Massachusetts – Amherst,” the trumpet studio members have dedicated themselves to maintain the organization, as well as facilitate specific goals pertaining to the growth of the studio. Becoming an RSO on campus not only recognizes leadership in the music department, but also supports the high number of possible special events to benefit the brass department. A huge thank you to Steve Felix (Undergraduate ’12), as he led organization of logistics in order to make this happen!

Another very exciting project that is on its way to completion is the recording of a new CD featuring performances and compositions by UMass Amherst faculty. In December, UMass Amherst Wind Ensemble under James Patrick Miller recorded three pieces with three incredible guest artists. The first was James Stephenson’s Duo Fantastique, in which was commissioned by Eric Berlin and composed for Eric Berlin and Charlie Schlueter for the opening concert of the International Trumpet Guild 2007 Conference. Featured, of which were the intended soloists, were Eric Berlin and Charlie Schlueter. The second was Stephen Paulus’ Concerto for Two Trumpets, in which was originally composed for Doc Severinson and Manny Laureano. Eric Berlin commissioned the wind ensemble version for the opening concert of the International Trumpet Guild 2007 Conference. This featured Eric Berlin and Richard Kelly as the trumpet soloists. Lastly was Evan Hause’s Concerto for Trumpet, commissioned by Albany Symphony for Eric Berlin in 2001. The wind ensemble version for this piece was also commissioned by Eric Berlin in 2004 and was performed at The International Trumpet Guild 2004 Conference with the Denver Wind Ensemble. In addition, the entire UMass Amherst trumpet studio performed a composition by Jeffrey W. Holmes, UMass Amherst African-American Jazz Studies Director, titled Herald Emeritus Fanfare, written in loving memory of Walter Chesnut. Another piece that is in the works for Spring 2013 is one for Eric Berlin titled New Concerto for Trumpet and Wind Ensemble, composer Jeffrey Holmes.

During Charlie Schlueter and James Stephenson’s stay, the two guest artists gave two incredible master classes concerning trumpet performance and composition. Five members of the trumpet studio were given the opportunity to play for Charlie, in which each performance was examined and critiqued. In James Stephenson’s master class, James talked about his transformation from trumpet performer to full time self-employed composer, composition influences, his writing procedure, and other such topics. Both of these guest artists also worked with a brass quintet, The Brassless Chaps, critiquing and examining the analysis and performance of a piece. If you would like to know more about Charlie and/or James, check out two special interviews, one with Charlie Schlueter and the other with James Stephenson, soon to be featured on this website. A very warm thank-you to Charlie and James for sharing their time and knowledge!


In addition to these special guests the trumpet studio was also visited by Jim Becker of Osman Brass, INC., Terry Everson; Boston University Trumpet Professor and Performing Artist, Richard Kelly, and the Atlantic Brass Quintet. Jim Becker arrived with a few special treats along with a vast amount of information. The studio was given the opportunity to play three brand new Schilke horns: S32HD, S22CHD, and the P5-4. Mr. Becker also gave a short presentation on trumpet maintenance and optional trumpet alterations that improves the instrument’s sound and performance. Also, Jim described the steps of diagnosis on a variety of trumpet “ailments” that he executes at Osmun Brass. He then checked out student’s horns to look for quick fixes and advice pertaining to specific issues. Such master class was very much appreciated, as Mr. Becker is one of the best in his area of expertise. Furthermore, Terry Everson gave two breadth-taking recitals accompanied by Shiela Kibbe as the “Art of Sonata” series. The first of which included repertoire exemplifying the evolution of the trumpet sonata and the second included early contributions of the trumpet sonata originating from France, Czechoslovakia, and England. Also, another highly acclaimed performer, who has worked with numerous orchestral ensembles, Broadway Shows, studio work, etc., worked and performed with the UMass Amherst Wind Ensemble. Lastly, the Atlantic Brass Quintet paid us a special visit on February 10. They first presented a master-class, working with six UMass Amherst student brass quintets. That evening the quintet also gave a wonderful performance of interesting and fun repertoire!

There have been numerous student achievements this year! Three current studio members were accepted as Semi-Finalists for the National Trumpet Competition: Steve Felix has been listed as an Undergraduate Semi-Finalist, Nate Wilson has been listed as a Graduate Semi-Finalist, and Micah Maurio, a first year Jazz Composition graduate student, has been listed as a Semi-Finalist in the Jazz category. Steve Felix placed second place in the Undergraduate Division and Micah Maurio placed third in the Jazz Division. John Mange (Undergrad ’12) and Adam Mejaour (Undergrad ’14) received ITG scholarships, which attended the Minneapolis ITG Conference along with other members of the studio. Last year we also had three studio members attend the International Trumpet Guild Conference in Sydney, Australia on scholarship.

Joseph Heffernan

Year of Graduation: 2004

Degree: Bachelor of Music Education

What are you currently doing? I’m an Educational Representative for Music & Arts Centers, a full-line music products retailer with an emphasis on rentals. My main function is providing weekly service to school music programs; covering service, sales, repairs, and advocacy. I also continue to play part-time both free-lance and with my 10-piece cover-band MAGNUS.

What experiences from UMASS shaped your professional life? I feel that having a trumpet professor who is still an active performer and is dedicated to the advancement of new music for the trumpet provided me with a far deeper understanding of the performance world then I could appreciate at the time; but has since proven to be of tremendous value. (from a “real-world” business standpoint).