Center City Brass Quintet visits UMass!

The Center City Brass Quintet visited UMass Amherst on Friday, December 3. Featuring Anthony DiLorenzo and Geoffrey Hardcastle, trumpet, Richard King, horn, Ko-Ichiro Yamamoto, trombone, and Craig Knox, tuba, the Center City Brass Quintet offered private lessons and coachings to UMass students all afternoon. The day culminated with a brief concert performed by Center City, followed by a masterclass featuring four UMass undergraduate and graduate brass quintets.

Anthony DiLorenzo poses for a photo with Ann Dorgan (UMass class of 2012) and her father, Steve Dorgan, a music educator in DiLorenzo’s hometown of Stoughton, MA.




Alex Lee-Clark

Year of Graduation: 2010

Degree: Master of Music in Jazz Composition and Arranging.

What are you currently doing? I am currently the director of bands at Galvin Middle School in Canton, MA. I’m also an active freelance player in Boston and throughout New England. Currently, I’m a co-leader and writer/arranger of the B3 Big Band in Boston, a 16 piece big band that features an organ trio as the rhythm section, playing hard swinging and funk music. I also recently recorded an album with the Beantown Swing Orchestra featuring John Stevens on vocals, which will be released just before Christmas.

What experiences from UMASS shaped your professional life? I could not have asked for better mentors than Eric and Jeff Holmes. Their breadth of knowledge about the trumpet in every style of music has helped hear music in a more complete and detail oriented way.

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.

Trumpet Day 2011

Are you ready for TRUMPET DAY 2011?
See the brochure HERE!
All high school, middle school, and college trumpet players (as well as their teachers and parents) are invited to join the UMass Trumpet Studio and our guest artists on Saturday, October 1st, 2011 for a day of recitals, concerts, clinics, and help with Massachusetts Senior District and All-State solo repertoire!

Joining Professor of Trumpet Eric Berlin, Director of Jazz and African-American Studies Jeffrey Holmes and the UMass Trumpet Studio is internationally-renowned trumpet soloist and clinician Vince DiMartino.

Don’t miss out on an opportunity to meet and work with these fantastic performers and teachers! Advance registration is $30 and must be received by September 26th. Day-of registration is $35. Teachers bringing two or more students and parents accompanying their son or daughter 16 or under will be admitted FREE OF CHARGE!

Special thanks to Steve Shires and Yamaha for their generous support. Please visit the exhibit areas to try the newest designs from these great manufacturers.

Nick Borges

Year of Graduation: 2010

Degree: Bachelor of Music in Jazz & African-American Music Studies

What are you currently doing? Currently member of The Primate Fiasco and freelance gigging/recording on brass, voice and percussion.

What experiences from UMASS shaped your professional life? The professors are amazing performers and teachers. Many of them are close friends and will continue to help progress my career for years to come.

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).

James Verdone

Year of Graduation Feb. 2009

Degree: Bachelor of Music Education

What are you currently doing? James Verdone has been the Music Director of Northbridge High School
since the fall of 2009. He received his Bachelors Degree in Music Education from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in February 2009. In his short time at Northbridge, Mr. Verdone and his band have been featured in the February 2010 issue of “High School Today”, a publication of the National Federation of State High School Associations, for starting and continuing with school traditions. The Northbridge Band and Chorus both captured “Superior” honors in Mr. Verdone’s first year at the Musical Carousel Competition in May of 2010. This is the bands first “Superior” rating and the chorus’ first since 2006.

Fred Sienkiewicz

Year of Graduation: 2005

Degree: Bachelor of Music in Trumpet Performance (summa cum laude, Departmental Honors)

What are you currently doing? I’m currently a full-time, professional freelance musician and trumpet teacher in the greater Boston area. I’m a regular member of the Haffner Sinfonietta and the Neponset Valley Philharmonic and often get called to sub with the Cape Cod, Plymouth, New Bedford, and Nashua symphonies. Additionally, I have a steady stream of work playing shows, choral society concerts, and church services. As adjunct faculty at Gordon College I have a small studio of music majors and in the past year have both given a full faculty recital and performed the Arutunian Concerto with the Gordon Wind Ensemble. I also teach lessons in the Lincoln, Concord, and Shrewsbury lesson programs and have a combined studio of over 30 students. This October I celebrated my 1-year wedding anniversary with my wonderful wife (and talented Horn player), Kristen, and together we ran the Bar Harbor marathon.

What experiences from UMASS shaped your professional life? UMASS was perhaps the best possible place for me to do my undergraduate work. The small and close-knit music department allowed me to develop as a musician in a nurturing and safe environment, but also provided me with enough high-quality musical interaction to launch me off to graduate work at the New England Conservatory and a career as a professional performing and teaching musician. I am happy to say that I wouldn’t be where I am now if it weren’t for Eric Berlin’s patient guidance, insightful teaching methods, and outstanding personal example of commitment to musical integrity and hard work. Eric was the right teacher for me at the right time and I am forever grateful for the many long and selfless hours he devoted to my lessons (which often ran 2 hours!) while I was studying at UMASS. Thank you, Eric!

Tom Bergeron

Year of Graduation: 2003

Degree: Bachelor of Arts in Business Management; Minor in Music (Yale School of Music: M.M. ’08, A.D. ’09 Trumpet Performance)

What are you currently doing? Currently based out of New York City, I’m freelancing as a classical, jazz, and commercial player across New England. I’m a member of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular Orchestra for the 2010 season, serve as Director of Brass Chamber Music and Studio Instructor of Trumpet at Williams College, and I was recently appointed Principal Trumpet with the Springfield Symphony Orchestra. My debut album “The First of All My Dreams”, which features interpretive arrangements of Debussy Piano Preludes for a jazz quintet, will be coming out soon. I’ve wrapped up production and am currently in talks with labels.

What experiences from UMASS shaped your professional life? At UMass, I was lucky enough to study with 3 different fantastic trumpet teachers in just three years (Walter Chesnut, Jeff Luke, and Eric Berlin). I was also given the opportunity to play in a wide variety of ensembles, both jazz and classical. The experiences from my time there have proven to be very valuable as I navigate the professional seas.

Doug Lepisto

Year of Graduation: 2005

Degree: Bachelor of Music Education

What are you currently doing? I am currently in my sixth year teaching music at Gardner High School in Gardner, MA. My responsibilities include Marching Band, Concert Band, Jazz Band, AP Music Theory, and Beginning Piano classes. I have also served as the musical director for the school’s annual spring musical for the past four years. This year I am also serving as the Senior Class Advisor.

What experiences from UMASS shaped your professional life? The education and skills I learned through my classes and ensemble experiences at UMass helped shape who I am as a teacher and musician today. There isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t see how my teaching has been influenced by my time and experience at UMass.