Brass

Degrees Available

  • Bachelor of Music in Performance
  • Master of Music in Performance
  • Doctor of Musical Arts


About the Brass Program

For more than 40 years, the Bienen School of Music’s brass program has enjoyed the highest international reputation as well as a close relationship with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Both institutions have shared such legendary brass performers/pedagogues as hornists Frank Brouk and Dale Clevenger, trumpeter Vincent Cichowicz, trombonist Frank Crisafulli, and tubist/euphoniumist Arnold Jacobs. Today’s faculty members continue the tradition of performing teachers. Each one has extensive orchestral experience, being a current or former member of the CSO, and is an active chamber musician.

In addition to private lessons, brass-specific instruction includes studio classes, orchestral excerpt classes, and chamber music. Students also have access to the many resources found only at a major research university as well as the thriving world-class cultural scene in the Chicagoland area. Many develop active freelance careers during their student years. 

While each studio maintains the highest level of professionalism, students are very supportive of one another and form friendships that often last a lifetime. They enjoy close relationships with their teachers as well, and receive a great deal of individual attention so that their technical development and growth as artists can be closely monitored.

Each year, Northwestern brass students and alumni amass prizes and honors at the highest level. For three of the last four years, trumpet students have placed first in the International Trumpet Competition. The current trumpet section of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago—the training orchestra of the CSO—comprises all Northwestern students. Tubists have won the Leonard Falcone Competition and the Portia International Competition.

Graduates of the brass program hold important positions in performing and academic institutions worldwide, including:

  • New York Philharmonic
  • Chicago Symphony Orchestra
  • San Francisco Orchestra
  • Boston Symphony Orchestra
  • Los Angeles Philharmonic
  • Berliner Philharmoniker
  • Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
  • U.S. Army and Navy Bands
  • "The President's Own" United States Marine Band
  • The St. Paul Chamber Orchestra


All entering doctoral students receive a full-tuition scholarship and a work stipend.

Contact for further information:

Steven Cohen, coordinator, Brass Program and Winds and Percussion Program: stevecohen@northwestern.edu.