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

Brass News

2017 International Horn Competition of America Registration


Welcome! Welcome to the official registration page for the 2017 International Horn Competition of America! The 2017 Registration deadline has officially passed. If individuals wish to still participate in IHCA 2017, a $50 late fee will be assessed. Beginning Friday, August 25 at 12:01 a.m. MST, the fee will increase to $100. Special Note: The PayPal registration […]

March 2017 Faculty Notes


Wes Kenney, director of orchestras at CSU, had a rewarding start to 2017! It was announced by the Fort Collins Symphony Association’s board president Rhett B. Strom that Maestro Kenney signed a five-year contract extension as music director of the 67-year-old organization. Now in his fourteenth year with the symphony, the award-winning conductor will continue […]

Brass Blog

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.


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.


December 5

Excited to be heading back to Rafael Mendez Brass Institute this summer! Come join me for a week of brass fun. (I like that JD...

Guest Artists

Johanna Yarbrough, Detroit Symphony Orchestra;


Studio Overview

The Colorado State University Trombone/Euphonium Studio is a vibrant and motivating place to study the art of performance, pedagogy, and professionalism. Comprised of 15-20 students, the studio is close-knit, supportive, and competitive in the best possible way. The studio is primarily undergraduate, with 1-2 invaluable graduate students a year who are leaders and mentors for the younger players. CSU is a leader in Music Education in the state of Colorado and is also a top program nationally for Music Therapy. The performance major at CSU is rigorous and focused on helping students achieve their personal professional goals.

Students in the studio study the fundamentals of brass performance and teaching, as well as skills and techniques required for success as a musician in the 21st century: improvisation (jazz and otherwise), doubling on other low brass instruments (alto/tenor/bass trombone, euphonium), symphonic section playing, jazz big band and commercial section playing, traditional and contemporary solo repertoire, and arranging for low brass.

All trombone and euphonium students at CSU study strictly with Dr. Van Hof, the primary professor. A unique, personalized curriculum is created for each individual student that serves both the professor's objectives for them as a player, and their long-term objectives as a professional musician.

All members also perform in the CSU Low Brass Choir, and have the option to audition to perform in the CSU Trombone Octet, comprised of the top six tenors and top two basses in the school. These ensembles perform regularly on campus and in the Fort Collins community, as well as touring regionally and – at least once during every students' time at CSU – nationally. Recent performances include the 2014 BigXII Trombone Conference in Lubbock, Texas.

If you are interested in studying trombone or euphonium at CSU, contact Dr. Van Hof for a lesson and informational session. There is no charge for initial lessons for students interested in undergraduate or graduate study at CSU.


  • 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

Trombone Choir

Comprised of the students of the CSU Trombone Studio and other talented trombonists from the CSU community, the Trombone Choir is the primary performing ensemble of the Studio. The Trombone Choir studies and performs music from all musical eras and genres stretching from Renaissance dances to funk and heavy metal. Professor Van Hof writes many of the Choir’s arrangements, but students are encouraged to explore arranging and composing for the group as well. Community outreach is a hallmark of the CSU Trombone Choir, with special focus paid to performances in public spaces and for audiences of all ages. The ensemble makes its debut in the Fall of 2013, and has been invited to perform at the 2014 Big12 Trombone Conference at Texas Tech University.


December 9

Congratulations to the CSU Wind Symphony TRAMbones on a fantastic concert this evening! Bravo! #starwars #stevenbryant

Undergraduate 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. Tenor Trombone and Euphonium Solos/Etudes: choose either one solo or two etudes.

Etude options:

  • Voxman Selected Studies
  • Blazevich Clef Studies
  • Rochut/Bordogni Melodious Etudes

Solo options:

  • David Concertino (minimum two movements)
  • Hindemith Sonata (minimum two movements)
  • Galliard Sonatas 1-6 (minimum two movements from any of the six sonatas)
  • Guilmant Morceau Symphonique (complete)
  • Barat Andante et Allegro (complete)
  • Mozart Concerto for Bassoon in B-flat K 191 (minimum two movements)
  • Rimsky-Korsakov Concerto (be prepared on all three movements)


IIb. Bass Trombone Solos/Etudes: choose either one solo or two etudes.

Etude options:

  • Rochut/Bordogni Melodious Etudes
  • Tyrell Advanced Studies for BBb Bass
  • Ostrander Method for Bass Trombone

Solo options:

  • Lebedev Concerto (complete)
  • Lebedev Concertante Allegro (complete)
  • Bozza Prelude and Allegro (complete)
  • Hindemith Three Easy Pieces (complete—usu. filed under “Cello”)
  • Galliard Sonatas 1-6 (minimum two movements from any of the six sonatas)
  • Koetsier Allegro Maestoso
  • Sachse Concertino (complete)

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.


December 7

Tuba jobs!!

Guest Artists


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

Kevin Sanders, University of Memphis;