Stanley Curtis has developed a multi-faceted career as a modern and historic trumpeter and as an arranger and composer. He has performed with a variety of ensembles, including the Bach Sinfonia, the Washington Bach Consort, the Washington Cornett and Sackbutt Ensemble, and Apollo’s Fire. In addition, he holds the position of Adjunct Professor of Trumpet at George Mason University. After studying at the University of Alabama, the Cleveland Institute of Music and the Sweelinck Conservatorium in Amsterdam (on a Fulbright Scholarship), he received his Doctorate of Music from Indiana University. Stanley served as Assistant Principal Trumpet in the Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia (in Spain) and as Principal Trumpet with the Evansville Philharmonic. In 1995, he won Third Prize at the Altenburg Baroque Trumpet Competition, held in Germany. Stanley has been a member of the U. S. Navy Band since 1998. He is the leader of the U.S. Navy Band Brass Quartet.
As a teacher, Dr. Curtis has taught at the University of Evansville, the Music School of the Orquesta Sinfónica, Catholic University of America, Levine Music School and at George Mason University. He has organized the Historic Trumpet Division of the National Trumpet Competition from 2004 to 2009. He has led clinics at the National Trumpet Competition, Cleveland State University, the Maryland Early Brass Festival, Indiana University, the University of Alabama, and Murray State University. He also has written articles for the International Trumpet Guild Journal and the Historic Brass Society Newsletter. He is a certified Suzuki Trumpet teacher.
Critics have praised Stanley across the country:
Joan Reinthaler wrote in the Washington Post, “Equally astonishing was the performance of Stanley Curtis, who performed miracles on his valveless Baroque trumpet, rolling out long high trills, wide octave leaps and the sort of chromatic lines that shouldn’t be possible on that instrument. With its almost human sound the product of its small bore, his trumpet is an ideal vocal partner and, together, Curtis and Richardson gave terrific readings of Handel’s “Let the Bright Seraphim” and Bach’s cantata “Jauchzet Gott.” [December 16, 2013]
Here’s a video of a rehearsal for that performance with the Bach Sinfonia. Nola Richardson is the soprano.
Elaine Schmidt wrote in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “ [In Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 2], the soloists and orchestra created moments of energetic music, full of expressive momentum. Many of those moments came from Curtis’ attention to long phrases. He gave clear direction to every note, from soaring solo lines to small ideas he connected into long, arched phrases. . . . Curtis was also heard in Bach’s ‘Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen,’ with soprano Jennifer Gettel. Curtis and Gettel deftly traded phrases, matching interpretive details and dynamics nicely. Here, too, Curtis’ articulate phrasing was outstanding.” [October 22, 2001]
Cecilia Porter wrote in the Washington Post, “Stanley Curtis played a mean “Bach” trumpet Saturday, with even the fastest slew of notes obtained solely by resorting to lungs, chest muscles, lips and tongue. He was among the crackerjack soloists of the Bach Sinfonia. . . .” [November 22, 2004]
Joan Reinthaler also wrote in the Washington Post about a cooperative concert between the Countertop Ensemble and the WCSE: “The “cornett” in the instrumental ensemble bears almost no relation to the modern cornet. Dating from the 15th century, it is slightly bent, usually made of wood with finger holes like a recorder’s and a mouthpiece a little like a trumpet’s. Played well (as it was, here, by Stanley Curtis) it sounds like an exceptionally clear human voice.” [October 6, 2008]