Brass Area


Brass students at Colorado State University have the opportunity to play in the region's top ensembles including two orchestras, three concert bands, two jazz bands, three chamber jazz ensembles, and a world class marching band. There are also many chamber opportunities including large brass ensemble, trumpet ensemble, horn ensemble, quintets, quartets, and trios. These ensembles have been featured at such venues as the Rocky Mountain Trumpet Fest, holiday events in Fort Collins, the Pepsi Center with the Denver Nuggets, CSU national concerts, and many more.

In the brass area, as opposed to working with a graduate student for instruction, students will study extensively with a professor of their instrument. Instrumental studios work in a competitive, yet friendly environment, allowing for great musical growth in the ensembles. In addition to personal instruction from the professor, combined studio classes offer pupils opportunity to work with other professors, allowing for an experience of breadth as well as depth. Prolific brass guest artists visit CSU every semester, giving students exposure to professionals in the field as an avenue for a diverse and comprehensive education. Many opportunities are available to students in this exclusive environment, fostering development towards becoming a well-rounded person, world-class performer, and successful teacher.

Study With

John McGuire

Brass Area Coordinator
Assistant Professor of Horn
Music Appreciation, Brass Techniques

(970) 491-8515

Caleb Hudson

Assistant Professor of Trumpet

Brass Events

Virtuoso Series Concert, Stephen Dombrowski, Tuba

April 2, 2018 at 7:30 PM
CSU faculty artist Stephen Dombrowski is joined by three Colorado Symphony Orchestra colleagues for a recital of solo pieces for tuba and works for low brass ensemble. Musicians include John Sipher, principal trombone; Paul Naslund, 2nd trombone; and Greg Harper, bass trombone.

Student Chamber Music Showcase / FREE

April 12, 2018 at 6:00 PM
Selected chamber music groups from all areas perform on this special program.

Wind Symphony Concert: State of Imagination

April 16, 2018 at 7:30 PM
With Guests Madeline Harvey, Dance; Tim Burns, Piano; James David, Composer; Dan Goble, Saxophone; Peter Sommer, Saxophone; and Wil Swindler, Saxophone The 2017-2018 Wind Symphony season highlights CSU’s commitment to collaboration, community, innovation, and inspiration. All of these ideals clearly connect to music, and the ensemble, conducted by Rebecca Phillips and guest graduate conductor Kevin [...]

Brass News

CSU Marching Band performs half time at the Rocky Mountain Showdown

The Color of Music


At CSU, the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance is making it possible for more college students to continue making music after high school. As a land grant university, CSU’s mission has always been to engage students through quality education, and that is exactly the benefit being provided by non-auditioned instrumental and choral music ensembles […]

Joel Bacon and Caleb Hudson in front of the Casavant Organ at CSU

18th Century Timbre: Italian Concertos for Trumpet and Organ


There are many things about music that create its sense of beauty. Dynamics, tone, intonation, blend, instrumentation, and style all combine to create a sense of wonder to our ears. On May 9, at 7:30 p.m., CSU faculty members Joel Bacon and Caleb Hudson take their very opposite sized instruments – organ and trumpet, respectively […]

Brass Blog

International Horn Symposium program

A Run-Out to Brazil

Well, this trip unexpectedly turned into quite the adventure! Clarinet Professor Wesley Ferreira and I left Colorado on Sunday, June 25, to head to Natal, Brazil for the 2017 International Horn Symposium, held at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte (UFRN). This is the largest single French horn event in the entire world […]



The trumpet studio at Colorado State University is comprised of around twenty highly talented musicians studying to be successful in a career in music. Former students from the studio who have graduated with a degree in music have moved onto nationally respected schools for masters and doctoral studies; and most have achieved work in performance, education, and therapy fields outright.

It is woven in the fabric of the trumpet studio that students are helpful and supportive to each other, while maintaining a healthy, highly competitive environment. Auditions occur in Dec. and Feb., and questions about the process should be addressed to Caleb Hudson.


March 15

We are THRILLED to have Arturo Sandoval present a Masterclass at Colorado State University Center for the Arts. FREE and open to public. You do...

Guest Artists


Jose Sibaja, Arizona State University, Empire Brass;

Jeff Conner, Boston Brass;

James Thompson, Eastman School of Music


Studio Overview

The CSU Horn Studio philosophy is simple: Through the horn, we strive to develop the very best musicians, whether their career goals involve playing in a high level professional orchestra or military band, teaching at any level (elementary music through collegiate level teaching) as a private applied horn teacher or as a music educator, as a music therapist, or as a music administrator. We witness on an almost daily basis the fact that the high level, intensive study of music, specifically on the horn, aids the student in all measurable ways in the pursuit of one’s life passions.

Here at CSU, we value individuals of impeccable character who are not afraid of persistent, dedicated, and diligent practice. At the end of the day, every professional knows that there are countless people that can be chosen for a job. Frequently, what matters most to a long term employer is that the individual that is chosen is of good character and can be counted on the do what needs to be done, when it needs to be done, whether they want to do it or not. We strive every day to create not just horn players or musicians, but leaders in the rapidly changing world of music.

Each and every student has somewhat different professional goals and comes in at a somewhat different level than any other horn student. By the completion of a music degree at CSU, the individual should expect to have realized some of their true potential musically and to have the tools to be able to continue their progress after they leave here.


The CSU Horn Studio has grown in recent years, in quantity but more importantly in quality. Our recent graduates have gone on to careers as music educators, therapists, and professional performers, including positions in orchestras around the world. Progress as a horn player at CSU involves a significant commitment to the craft of horn playing and the art of music making. This means a lot of time in the practice room (obviously!), but also means stepping out of the confines of the UCA and experiencing what the real world of music has to offer.

In order to better facilitate the growing needs of our talented young artists, Dr. McGuire has overseen an expansion of the reach of the CSU Horn Studio. The CSU Horn Studio frequently participates in regional and national workshops and competes in several international horn solo competitions. In addition to this, we have welcomed well-known artists to our campus, hornists like Johanna Yarbrough (Fourth Horn, Detroit Symphony Orchestra), Charles Snead (former Principal Horn, Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra), Jeff Nelsen (former hornist with the Canadian Brass), and Martin Hackleman (former Principal Horn of the National Symphony Orchestra and hornist with the Canadian Brass and Empire Brass).

By bringing in such artists in addition to branching out on an international level, the CSU Horn Studio hopes to continue the growth and development of our emerging young artists and build on our proud recent tradition of excellence.


March 21

Members of the world-renowned Boston Symphony Orchestra discuss the warm up techniques they employ that help to give the brass section its unique and vibrant...

Guest Artists

Johanna Yarbrough, Detroit Symphony Orchestra;


Studio Overview

The trombone studio at Colorado State University is a challenging, fulfilling place to study the art of musicianship through the trombone. Whether pursuing a performance, education or music therapy degree, students are guided to fulfil their potential by Dr. Terry Leahy. Dr. Leahy brings an international perspective to the studio having performed all over the world as an orchestral musician and soloist.

Dr. Leahy’s teaching emphasizes great sound, intonation, and musicianship at the highest level and students are encouraged to perform on the trombone with these three things foremost in their minds.

Studio size is limited to 15-16, with a maximum of four graduate students at the Masters level. A weekly studio class is held where students get the chance to perform in front of their peers and get constructive feedback on their development. In addition to this, there is the opportunity for group warm-up classes, where various routines are played to give students the exposure to varied approaches to the instrument.

All students are actively encouraged to form trombone quartets to develop their chamber music skills and the ability to make a world-class blended trombone section sound.

The studio owns various instruments for check-out by students. These include an alto trombone, several bass trombones and a contrabass trombone. Students are able to gain experience on these instruments without having to worry about financial burden of purchasing them.

Scholarships and assistantships are available and are awarded on merit.

Contact Dr. Terry Leahy at


  • Yamaha Xeno Tenor Trombone
  • Yamaha Xeno Bass Trombone
  • Yamaha Alto Trombone
  • Getzen Custom Series Bass Trombone
  • 2 vintage Conn Connstellation Jazz Trombones
  • 1 vintage Olds Ambassador Jazz Trombone


March 21

CSU BME Senior Sam Boies preparing for her recital, which is on Saturday 3/24 in the Organ Recital Hall. Come...

Audition Requirements

You will perform your audition for the four brass faculty at CSU. Auditions are fifteen minutes long. You should expect to play for a majority of that time, but there will also be a few questions possible from the panel of brass faculty.

For your audition to be accepted as a music major at CSU, you must be prepared to perform the following repertoire:

I. Scales

  • 2-octave scales chosen from the following keys: G, C, F, B-flat, E-Flat, A-flat
  • Choice of octaves is up to the individual performer
  • All scales must be performed in quarter notes at 120 beats per minute
  • All scales must be performed ascending and descending
  • All scales must be performed by memory

IIa. Undergraduate Tenor Trombone:

One Etude from the following:
Bordogni (Rochut)


One Solo from the following:
Cavatine, Saint-Saens
Concertino, David
Morceau Symphonique, Guilmant

IIb. Undergraduate Bass Trombone

One Etude from the following:
Bordogni (Rochut) performed down 1 octave


One Solo from the following:
Concerto in One Movement, Lebedev
Concerto, Telemann
Any of the 6 Sonatas by Galliard

IIc. Graduate Tenor Trombone

Two contrasting etudes from (but not limited to):
Bordogni (Rochut)
Blazevich Sequences
Maxted High Register Studies


One solo (for example):
Sonata, Ewazen
Concerto, Grondahl
Concerto, Rota

IId. Graduate Bass Trombone

Two contrasting etudes from (but not limited to):
Bordogni (Rochut) down 1 octave


One solo (for example):
Sonata, Gillingham
New Orleans, Bozza

III. Sight-reading

All applicants will be expected to sight-read approximately three lines of music. The sight-reading will only be in bass clef—no tenor or alto clef.

Download a printable version of the audition requirements (PDF)

Guest Artists


James Box, Montreal Symphony, McGill University;


Evan Conroy, Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra;

Nick Finzer, NYC freelance jazz trombonist;

Mark Hetzer, University of Wisconsin;

Mark Kellogg, Eastman School of Music, Rochester Philharmonic

Steve Wolfinbarger, Western Michigan University 


Studio Overview

The CSU tuba studio is comprised of fantastic students eager to make the tuba a part of their lives. Students learn the fundamentals of playing the tuba, along with life-long lessons about being a professional musician. Whether the focus is on band, orchestra, music therapy, or music education, tuba students will find the CSU tuba studio a welcoming and challenging environment.

Tuba students have opportunity to perform in chamber ensembles, University Symphony Orchestra, Wind Symphony, Sinfonia, and Symphonic Band.


Guest Artists


Richard White, New Mexico Symphony Orchestra, University of New Mexico;

Kevin Sanders, University of Memphis;