For more than 50 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.

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.

The Bienen School’s renowned brass faculty includes current and former members of the Chicago, Philadelphia, Minnesota, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Dallas, and Detroit Symphony Orchestras, as well as the Lyric Opera of Chicago Orchestra, Grand Teton Music Festival Orchestra, and National Brass Ensemble.

Each year, Northwestern brass students and alumni amass prizes and honors at the highest level. Many trumpet students have placed first in the International Trumpet Competition. Tubists have won the Leonard Falcone Competition and the Portia International Competition. The brass section of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago⁠—the training orchestra of the CSO⁠—and the New World Symphony have included many current Northwestern students and alumni.

All DMA students receive a full-tuition scholarship, stipend, and fully subsidized health insurance.

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

New York Philharmonic
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
San Francisco Orchestra
Boston Symphony Orchestra
Los Angeles Philharmonic
Berlin Philharmonic
Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra
U.S. Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine and Navy Bands
Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra
St. Louis Symphony
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
Toronto Symphony Orchestra


Mahler - Symphony No. 5

Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra

Adam Schoenberg - Symphony No. 2

Symphonic Wind Ensemble

Bernstein - Symphonic Dances from West Side Story

Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra

Andrew Norman - Try

Contemporary Music Ensemble

Webern, Burhans, and Reich

Contemporary Music Ensemble

Alex Mincek - Chamber Concerto

Contemporary Music Ensemble