School of Music

Brass Festival

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Date and Overview

January 20, 2021
Creative Arts Center
Wright State University

COVID-19 Update

The Wright State University Annual Brass Festival originally scheduled for January 2021 has been postponed due to the conditions surrounding COVID-19. We are monitoring the situation and when we can select a date that we are confident can take place safely, we will post it here. 

Thank you for your patience and flexibility. We hope to see you sooner than later. 

Dr. Mac, Mr. Honaker, Dr. Diamond, Mr. Brant

The Wright State University School of Music brass studios under the leadership of Gretchen McNamara, trombone; Aaron Brant, horn; David Diamond, trumpet; and Daniel Honaker, tuba and euphonium, are excited to host another festival for brass musicians from our region this year.

Each January we bring to you world-renowned guest artists and clinicians for a day of music-making, master classes, and performances. We are excited to announce the 2020 Brass Festival guest artists will include the principal brass musicians of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra: Robert Sullivan, trumpet; Elizabeth Freimuth, horn; Cristian Ganicenco, trombone; and Christopher Olka, tuba, and the Spirit of Freedom Brass Quintet from the United States Air Force Band of Flight.

The day will include on-site industry vendors with instruments to try and supplies to purchase. The festival is open to high school and college students, amateurs and professionals. Parents and educators are welcome to join us for the day. All recital performances taking place throughout the day will be free and open to the public. All master classes and clinics will be reserved for festival participants.

This year’s festival will also be host to a performance solo competition in one division for collegiate students up to age 25. Competition rules, registration, and fees are described in the tabs below.

Hosts: Gretchen McNamara, trombone; Aaron Brant, horn; David Diamond, trumpet, Daniel Honaker, tuba.

Registration Information

For planning purposes please register by Friday, January 18, 2020. 

On-site registration will be available on the day of the event with a credit card purchase only. No cash. 

Registration Fees

  • $35—Collegiate Solo Competition entry fee (includes the festival)
  • $25—Festival participant fee
  • $10—Music teachers/community/Wright State students

All participants under age 18 must submit a medical form (PDF) on the day of the event.

All festival events will take place on the Wright State campus in the Creative Arts Center. 

Solo Competition Information


  • Preliminary round (recorded): Submitted electronically by Monday, December 2, 2019
    • Notification of finalists: Monday, December 16, 2019
  • Deadline to request an accompanist for the finals round: Friday, December 20, 2019
  • Final round (live behind a screen): January 19, 2020, 6 p.m.

Cash Prizes

  • 1st place: $500—Sponsored by McCutcheon Music
  • 2nd place: $250—Sponsored by Kinkaid's Music 
  • 3rd Place: $100—Sponsored by Buddy Rogers Music

The first-place competition winner will perform on a recital the following afternoon (January 20, 2020) at Wright State University’s Brass Festival.

Entry Fee


Entry fee payment is online and can be made by using: 

  • Mastercard 
  • Visa 
  • Discover 
  • webCheck 

Competition Eligibility and Repertoire

The Wright State Brass Festival Solo Competition will be in ONE DIVISION and is open to university students regardless of degree program up to age 25 (born after January 20, 1995)

  • Entrants may select repertoire of their choice
  • Selected repertoire may be with or without piano accompaniment
  • Selected repertoire must be 10 minutes in length or under
  • Movements of larger works will be accepted
  • The preliminary recorded round may be performed with or without piano accompaniment.
  • Finalists must perform the same selection for both preliminary round and finals round
  • The final round MUST be performed live with piano accompaniment (if repertoire selection warrants it) and an accompanist will be provided IF NEEDED.
  • Finalists are strongly encouraged to bring their own accompanist.
  • A staff accompanist for the live finals round will be provided for $30 payable in advance if needed.
  • Rehearsals with accompanist (if needed) will be scheduled ahead of the finals round on Sunday, January 19, 2020
  • All applicants must be available to perform in the LIVE FINALS ROUND on campus Sunday, January 19, 2020.
  • The finals round will be performed “blind” behind a screen.
  • The first-place competition winner will perform on a recital the following afternoon (January 20, 2020) at Wright State University’s Brass Festival

Submitting Your Recording 

  • Recordings must be submitted electronically via email to by Monday, December 2, 2019
  • Label recording file with last name, instrument only. For example: McNamara, trombone
  • No recording will be considered without the submission of the application fee. 
  • All submissions must be in MP3 format or YouTube video
  • Video recordings are not required but will be accepted

In your application email, please include with your recording the following information: 

  • Name 
  • Instrument
  • Repertoire
  • Phone number 
  • Email address 
  • School 
  • Year in school 
  • DOB
  • Major

Competition Judges

Preliminary Round

  • Assistant Professor of Horn Jonas Thoms, West Virginia University
  • Assistant Professor of Trumpet Stephen Campbell, Ball State University
  • Assistant Professor of Trombone Hakeem Bilal, West Virginia University

Live Final Round

The final round will be judged by the Wright State University Brass Faculty:

  • Gretchen McNamara, trombone
  • Aaron Brant, horn
  • David Diamond, trumpet
  • Dan Honaker, tuba

Guest Artists and Clinicians

Wright State University School of Music Brass Faculty

Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra Principal Brass Musicians 

United States Air Force Band of Flight Spirit of Freedom Brass Quintet

Kelly Hale, Professor Emeritus - University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music - Yoga

Marya Cordes: Associate Professor of Theater, Wright State University - Alexander Technique

Schedule of Events (Please note schedule was revised on January 17)

Time Event
9:30—10 a.m. Registration Opens
10—10:45 a.m. Warm-up with Wright State Faculty
Vendors Open
11:00 a.m. to Noon Festival Ensemble Rehearsals with Wright State Faculty
Vendors Open
Noon to 1 p.m. Lunch
Vendors Open
1—2:15 p.m.

Solo Competition Awards Presentation (Schuster Hall)

Festival Ensembles

2:30—3:30 p.m. Guest Artist Master Classes
Vendors Open
3:45—4:45 p.m. Mindfulness Master Classes
Vendors Open
4:45—5:30 p.m. Recital: Solo Competition Winner, USAF Spirit of Freedom Brass Quintet
Vendors Closed
5:30—6:00 p.m. Coffee and Cookie Break (Atrium)
6–7 p.m.

Recital—Schuster Hall

Guest Artists Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra

Pro-Brass Ensemble


...and more.


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