Interview with MSU Trumpet Professor, Justin Emerich

Justin Emerich

A nationally renowned trumpeter and teacher with extensive national and international performing experience, Justin Emerich is associate professor of trumpet at the MSU College of Music. Emerich’s orchestral experience includes serving as acting associate principal trumpet of the San Francisco Symphony, as well as performing with the St Louis Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, San Diego Symphony, San Francisco Opera, Malaysia Philharmonic, Seoul Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Seattle Opera, Grant Park Symphony, New Jersey Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, Grand Rapids Symphony, Palm Beach Opera Orchestra, and the New World Symphony. He has been a featured soloist with the Seattle Symphony and the Fulcrum Point New Music Ensemble in Chicago. In April 2013, Emerich was singled out as one of the San Francisco Symphony’s “superb soloists” by the San Francisco Chronicle.

Justin and Heather Zweifel during a Burning River Concert

Emerich is also an avid chamber musician and has been a member of, and toured with, such groups as the Canadian Brass, Burning River Brass, Proteus 7, the Avatar Brass, and Pink Martini. Performing with these groups, he traveled extensively throughout Europe, Asia, the Caribbean, and all 50 states in the U.S. While with the world famous Canadian Brass, he performed as solo-piccolo trumpet and collaborated with the New York Philharmonic and Philadelphia Orchestra brass sections. Emerich and the Canadian Brass were also featured with the New Jersey Symphony and premiered a new work by Bramwell Tovey with the Vancouver Symphony. He is currently the piccolo trumpet of Burning River Brass. Emerich performed in numerous Broadway shows in New York City including Kiss Me Kate, Into the Woods, and 42nd Street.

After earning his degree, he became artist-in-residence and assistant trumpet professor at Grand Valley State University. Emerich has performed with such artists as Diana Ross, Burt Bacharach, Natalie Cole, Wayne Newton, Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo, Yo-Yo Ma, Gil Shaham, Doc Severinsen, Allen Vizzutti, Renee Fleming, Sufjan Stevens, Ben Folds, and Vanessa Williams. He has recorded for hundreds of TV, movie, and video game soundtracks, and can be heard as the lone trumpet on The Blind Side with Sandra Bullock. Emerich has recorded various CDs for the Columbia, SFS Media, Naxos, New World, Dorian, Burmermusic, LML music, and Albany record labels.

Emerich, who comes to Michigan State University from a faculty position at University of Las Vegas, is a graduate of the Juilliard School of Music.

Equipment:
B-Flat: Bach ML 37-Made from parts that Charley Butler put together (since 2007)
C: Bach L 229 bell (since 1997)
Piccolo: Schilke P5-4 (since 1998)
E-flat: Blackburn Eb/D (since 1999)
Mouthpieces:
Bach 1C with 25 throat and 24 backbore (since 2000)
Bach stock 7E on pic (since 1998)

Interview with Justin Emerich. The interviewer is Stanley Curtis

SC: Justin, thanks so much for chatting with me about your career and your ideas about playing and teaching!
JE: It’s my pleasure. You’re doing great things, and I’m just happy to be a part of that!
SC: Can you tell me about what your early music life was like? Who were some of your teachers and what were some of your musical experiences?

Justin and his three brothers. He’s in the red shirt. Jeff, the one with a tie, is the bari sax player in the U.S. Coast Guard Band

JE: I grew up in Fresno CA as one of four boys in my family. Second of the four, I was always into all types of music, and just remember singing and hearing music in my head all the time. My grandmother bought our family a piano when I was about 5 years old, and I started lessons at that time. I didn’t like to practice, but I loved to make sounds. I had a piano teacher who helped me write little tunes, and I loved that.  After a few years, my parents couldn’t keep me interested, so I stopped with piano. Then in the 4th grade, I had the opportunity to pick another instrument. My best friend wanted to play trumpet, so I followed him in that line. At the end of that line, and as the person introducing the instrument to the children, was a man who had such joy and love for music, and it didn’t hurt that he looked like Santa clause to me, that I was sold on the trumpet. His name is Lloyd John Ellis. He became my trumpet teacher in the 5th grade and I studied with him through high school.

I was a big fan of Bud Herseth and Glen Fischthal in high school, but really wanted to go to North Texas University to play in the One O’clock Band. Lloyd urged me to audition at different conservatories, and I ended up going to a small school in South Florida called the HARID conservatory. It is now the Lynn University School of Music. My teacher there was Rich Stoelzel, and he was exactly what I needed at that time.  He helped me immensely and put me on the path to being a professional by including me in the faculty quintet, helping me win a job at the Palm Beach Opera, and pushing me to play with the New World Symphony.
SC: You eventually went to Juilliard. What was your audition like? Tell me about your time there.
JE: Before going to Juilliard, I knew I wanted to study with Mark Gould. I made a point to go to the Lake Placid Summer Institute (which turned into Chosen Vale Summer Institute) to meet and work with Mr. Gould the summer after my junior year of my undergrad studies. I went to the festival as if it was an audition, and I was trying to impress him. I feel like we made a good connection, and that helped me when it came time to finally audition at Juilliard. My audition was exciting, and I loved every moment of it.  The only thing that surprised me was that they asked me to play a C-major scale, two octaves, up and down in one breath. It made me question why, but I took a deep breath and played the scale.  I later found out that was something they were doing to hear the utmost of fundamental playing. To me, it was a great idea, and I do that now in my own auditions at Michigan State University.
Being at Juilliard was amazing. Being there, I always felt lucky to play music with such incredible people. It was just an inspirational place to go to school. I would just scratch my head and think, Wow! I go to school with these amazing artists!
SC: I read that you did some Broadway work—what shows did you play?
JE: When I got to NYC, I got very lucky very fast. Maybe in October or November of my very first academic year at Julliard, a friend of mine was asked if he could play the lead book for Kiss Me Kate.  He said no and sent them my way. That book had some real lead parts that I wasn’t super solid on at the time.  However, I decided to give it a try and was able to make it work.  I wouldn’t say I was amazing, but I did fine on that book.  The guy I was subbing for on Kiss Me Kate was a long time Broadway player named Dominic Derasse. The show ran for a while, and I got to play it from time to time, but when it closed and he landed Into The Woods, he started using me all the time. This led to other contacts and shows, and it was a blast to be in the Broadway scene.
SC: You have racked up a ton of experience in orchestras and chamber music. Which came first? 

Burning River Brass trumpet section photo at a recording session

JE: Thats tough for me to answer. I was in the faculty quintet at my undergrad as a sophomore, but I also started playing with the New World Symphony then. I subbed with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra in NYC, but also got my position with Burning River Brass around the same time. When I was playing with the Seattle Symphony, I got the call to audition for, and won, my position with the Canadian Brass. To me, each genre has helped me grow as a musician and has also helped directly lead to the next opportunity.

SC:  Canadian Brass. That’s the big Kahuna. Tell me how you got in and what THAT was like! And why did you leave?
JE: I had met the quintet as a student at the Music Academy of the West. I loved the Canadian Brass and tried my hardest as a student to impress them. The years passed, and I went to Juilliard. While at Juilliard, Ryan Anthony left Burning River Brass for Canadian Brass. The people with Burning River called Juilliard, and I was lucky enough to get the invitation to join Burning River Brass. After a few years, Ryan decided to leave Canadian, and they had been looking for someone to take his place. I got the call early one morning from Eugene Watts to come and audition in a couple days. I was over the moon. I flew out a couple days later, spent a couple days with them playing all types of music and drinking coffee, and was offered the position. I was ecstatic!! I moved to Toronto, because, at the time, everyone lived there, and I started touring and playing concerts. It was a total blast. Unfortunately, there were a number of factors that led to the end of that dream. I can share that, through the process of leaving the Canadian Brass, I learned an awful lot about myself and still feel that it was a dream come true be in the quintet.
SC: You played in the San Francisco Symphony under Michael Tilson Thomas. What were some of your memorable projects there?

San Francisco Symphony in Japan after Mahler 5

JE: To me, this was just an amazing time. Growing up a few hours south of San Francisco, I was an enormous Glen Fischthal (former principal with the San Francisco Symphony) fan. Glen had moved to Associate Principal and then decided to retire.  At that time, I was offered to take over for him in that position. It was surreal to me. There were so many projects that were incredible.  I was singled out by the SF Chronical for being one of the symphony’s “great soloists.” We did several tours to Asia and Europe, we made recordings that were nominated for Grammy awards, and I made amazing life-long friends. But…I had a very personal experience while in the SFS. When my daughter was born, I took my paternity leave. The very first week back after my leave was Strauss’s Alpine Symphony with Seymon Bychkov. It was my first time performing that piece, and it was an experience I will never forget.

SC: Then you started getting into teaching at UNLV. Did teaching come naturally to you?
JE: I think so. I had never not taught, so it didn’t seem as if it was something new. I had held positions at Grand Valley State University, the Cornish College of the Arts, and managed a private studio, where I had students go to Juilliard. I very much enjoyed my time at UNLV and really learned the ropes from great faculty mentors like Bill Bernatis. My time in Vegas was full of excitement was never dull.
SC: You moved on to become associate professor of trumpet at Michigan State, and now you work with dozens of students. What are some of your important points that you try to get across? How do you balance your outside engagements and the “boots on the ground” teaching that you have to do at MSU? What are you students like? 

Justin and the MSU Wind Symphony trumpet section after our premier of the Mackey Concerto at CBDNA in Kansas City, KS

JE: Managing the studio at MSU is an amazing thing. We have roughly 25-30 trumpet majors, and each of them have their own goals and dreams. My goal at MSU is to not just be a teacher, but to be a mentor to each and every one of them. This can be a challenge. However, I believe this is why I am in East Lansing, and I love the variety and energy that I get from my studio. I’ll be honest, It is tough to balance my workload at MSU with the opportunities in the musical world, but I find that I just need to make sure my priorities are in order. I have a family with two children, a studio with 25-30 growing young professionals, and all the musical opportunities I could ever dream of.  I just need to be selective and put them in the right order. My students are awesome.  They are inquisitive, intelligent, creative, and driven. I couldn’t ask for a better group of people with which to work.

SC:  What are some other chamber music groups that you have played in–or still play ind? What direction do you feel like this part of your playing is going?
JE: I still play with Burning River Brass and we still maintain a faculty quintet at MSU.  These groups are with amazing players and people, and they continue to push me in musical ways that I wouldn’t imagine I would be thriving in. I recently (in the last few years) have become a member of the Brass Band of Battle Creek. I view the British style of Brass Band to be in a chamber music way and have completely become immersed in this music and this orginization.
SC: In 2018, you came to my school, Colorado State University, to share with our students your playing, experience and ideas. We loved it! And now you’re going to do another clinic with us on Zoom on Wednesday, the 17th. What have you been doing since 2018?
JE: Since 2018, I have been doing a ton of orchestra playing (Detroit Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Seoul Philharmonic, St Louis Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Grant Park Music Festival…) and really focusing on my studio and their growth.
I’m super excited about where our studio is right now (8 participants in the National Trumpet Competition of 2021, two alumni currently in final rounds for collegiate professor positions, numerous public school band directors, graduates moving on to prestigious grad programs with assistantships, and helping to send good people out into the world).
SC: This is so impressive, Justin. You recently recorded a John Mackey solo for trumpet with wind ensemble. I’ve just heard it, and it sounds great. How did this project come about and develop?
JE: This project was spearheaded by our Director of Band at MSU, Kevin Sedatole. Kevin had the idea early in my time at MSU and reached out to John to see if he would be interested in composing a trumpet concerto. The final result is an 18-minute trumpet concerto, where I use five different horns with one movement specifically for piccolo trumpet. I’m super proud of this piece, our resulting recording, and the fact that it’s now been performed by people like Chris Martin of the New York Phil, Jens Lindemann from the Canadian Brass and UCLA, and several other great trumpet players and professors around the country.
SC: What about spare time? Do you have any? What do you like to do when you’re not playing the trumpet?
JE: I spend most of my spare time with my family. We love the outdoors and go for walks, no matter the weather, as often as possible. I love to make a big bonfire in my back yard (we live on a small lake in MI), have friends over to go fishing, and just be outdoors. Additionally, I love to keep in touch with my brothers and parents as I’m super proud of all they do and have accomplished.
SC: What are your goals on the horizon?
JE: My goals on the horizon are to write a method book about my approach to the piccolo trumpet and how it relates to playing the big horns. I have several conceptual ideas and firm exercises that I feel have helped me throughout my career and have also aided my students on their paths. Additionally, I would love to create a trumpet ensemble with my friends and colleague around the country that is something sort of different. We recently released a project that I would say is the most “mainstream” type of project I want to put out. It was a piece by David Biedenbender called Spirals.
SC: I can’t wait to check out all these things in the future, Justin. Thanks so much for talking with me!
JE: Thanks a ton, Stan!!!
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Interview with Dr. Sarah Stoneback: a tremendous talk with a triplet

Sarah Stoneback, assistant professor of trumpet pedagogy and performance with the School of Music in the College of Arts and Architecture at Montana State University, Monday, Sept. 16, 2019, in Bozeman, Mont.
MSU Photo by Adrian Sanchez-Gonzalez

Dr. Sarah Stoneback is an innovative and exuberant performer, with over twenty years professional performance experience. Dr. Stoneback is an active Conn Selmer Bach Artist/Clinician, trumpet soloist, chamber musician and orchestral performer who has frequented stages throughout the United States, Europe and China. She has been featured with groups including; the National Brass Quintet, the InterHarmony International Chamber Music Festival (Italy), Eurobrass, the Denver Municipal Band, the Montana State University Band and numerous high school bands.

Currently, Dr. Stoneback is the trumpet professor at Montana State University School of Music and holds the position of Principal Trumpet with the Bozeman Symphony. Sarah’s dedication and love for music can be traced to her early experiences, performing and traveling with Stoneback Sisters and Brass. Comprised of a triplet trumpet trio, trumpet quartet & brass quintet, this ensemble has presented over 2,000 educational seminars and residency programs. They frequently solo with bands and orchestras throughout the United States and Europe, including the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, The John Philip Sousa Band, the South Dakota Symphony, the Texas Christian University and the United States Air Force Band of the West.

Dr. Stoneback holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Performance and Pedagogy and Masters of Music from CU Boulder, under Professor Terry Sawchuk. Dr. Stoneback has a bachelor’s degree in trumpet performance from Arizona State University where she studied with Regent’s Professor David Hickman. She is a 2000 graduate of the Interlochen Arts Academy, where she studied with Dr. Stanley Friedman.

Follow Sarah on IG and FB where she posts a lot of tips on learning, teaching and performing and more!

As a Conn-Selmer, Bach artist and clinician, Sarah plays on Bach instruments including:
B-flat Bach Stradivarius 37 bell
C Bach Strad 229 bell
Piccolo Selmer Paris/Maurice André 
Flugel Horn: Selmer Paris 

Mouthpiece(s) of choice: 3C on big horns, Pickett Brass 9DE Cup, #1/27 Shank


Interview with Sarah Stoneback. The interviewer is Stanley Curtis.

SC: Sarah, it’s so good to finally get a chance to chat with about your life, career, teaching and playing!
SS: Thank you, Stanley and greetings from Montana! I am excited to visit and catch up with you, as well as meet your trumpeters today.
SC: We’re so much looking forward to your virtual clinic! Tell me about your musical family growing up. Your father and sisters played trumpet, right? 
SS: Yes, you are correct! How much time do you have? There is so much to share! I come from a very musical family and had an epic childhood. I am a triplet and my sisters Mary, Kristin, and I all play trumpet. My Dad, Dr. Ron Stoneback also is a trumpeter and educator, who has written several textbooks for bands. My Mom also plays the horn. Music and performing has been a lifestyle and focal point since I was in 5th grade.

Stoneback Sisters with dad, Ron Stoneback

By the time my sisters and I entered our undergraduate studies at Arizona State University, we had performed upwards of 1,000 + performances including soloing as a trio with the St. Lous Symphony, performing at conferences including the International Women’s Brass Conference, Texas Band Masters, Texas Music Educators, presenting community concerts as a trio/quartet/quintet and school outreach, conference appearances, and more.

As I mentioned, I am a triplet and we all play trumpet – as the Stoneback Sisters, we are a tripleting trumpeting trio.
SC: (haha!–I see what you did there…)
SS: We began playing trumpet the summer going into our 5th grade. We wanted to start earlier, but our Dad would not let us because of shifting teeth. He began trumpet when he was 3 years old – my Grandpa Stoneback was a music educator and piano tuner, so my Dad would play in his bands growing up. So, our family has a history of musicians!
Going through Elementary into High School, our weekends would consist of lessons that could last up to three – six hours. After his long teaching week, our Dad would spend his Saturdays teaching lessons going through Arban, Rubank, Voxman, and more. Evenings and weekends would also include trumpet trios, quartets, and brass quintets.
By the time we were in 6th grade, we had gone through three beginner books, and two intermediate books and kept going through method books and repertoire and solos. We soloed with our first band as a trio when we were in sixth grade with the South Dakota State University Orchestra with Leroy Anderson’s Bugler’s Holiday and Trumpeter’s Lullaby. When we were in 8th grade we performed at the Texas Band Masters conference in San Antonio and soloed with the San Antonio Youth Orchestra. While at the conference we were invited to be Bach Clinicians – you could say we are a Stone”Bach” exclusive family 🙂. Been in the Conn-Selmer family since then.

The Stoneback Sisters

Our individual practice schedule consisted of anywhere between 2 – 6 hours a day from elementary through high school into college studies. Weekends, summers and evenings would find us touring all over where we grew up in South Dakota and beyond.  I am grateful that our parents supported each of us in our trumpet playing, encouraging each of us to be the best we could be and work hard and diligently. They also would give us movie tickets to get out of the house so we would stop practicing, lol. However even though we practiced a lot we still participated in sports at school like cross country and track, and I was big into gymnastics for many years and competed.

Our approach was support and encourage first–and let that inspire each other to be the best we can be. My sisters and I would enjoy sharing what we learned in lessons with one another – essentially it was like we were getting four times the lessons!
 

Marie Speziale, Sarah and Susan Slaughter

At an early age we were introduced to top performers and educators in the trumpet field like Maynard Ferguson, Susan Slaughter, Doc Severinson, Marvin Stamm, Mike Vax, Keith Johnson, Marie Speziale, Chlora Bryant, Willie Thomas, and more. These connections made at an early age really set our experience on trumpet in an exciting direction. After being invited to open for the IWBC conference in St. Louis, Susan Slaughter with the St. Louis Symphony invited us to solo with the St. Louis Symphony years later. So, these connections made at an early age were defining and we still keep in touch with many.

After graduating from Arizona State University studying with David Hickman (see below for more about these studies), we hit the road. In this capacity, we performed full-time presenting community concerts in association with the National Endowment for the Arts, State Arts Councils, Conn-Selmer Inc., Educational Residencies in elementary and collegiate settings, music ministry support, conference performances, guest soloing appearances, and more. We were self-managed and enjoyed running every aspect of the business from promotional work, contract and grant writing, communications, programming, etc. With all of this, we started published our own online magazine, and called it “Stonebrass The Magazine”, featuring people we met along our travels and life stories. We also organized scholarships for students to attend camps and special music function around the country.  It was real life field experience.

I look back and am so grateful for this time we spent as a family in this capacity from an early age. I believe because of this influence and love of music that my parents passed down, I always knew music was going to be the route I took, career-wise. I will never forget when my middle school band director, Mr. Bachand, asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. Without hesitating, I exclaimed I wanted to perform on trumpet and teach!
SC: What a fantastic story! You eventually went to the Interlochen Arts Academy—was that where you graduated from high school?
SS: Yes! My sisters and I graduated our senior year from Interlochen Arts Academy in 2000. While there, we studied with Dr. Stanley Friedman. This was a magical experience, making amazing musical memories. Always want to get back there, hopefully sooner than later.
SC: Then you went to Arizona State University for your Undergraduate studying with David Hickman. That’s one of the big music schools. What was it like?

SS: Studying at Arizona State University was a memorable and pivotal moment in my sisters and I trumpet playing career. There is so much I could share that was defining and shaping experiences in musical growth. One of the reasons we chose to attend ASU, in addition to studying with David Hickman, was the Rafael Méndez Library and the ability to work directly from this.

After we performed a tribute performance to Méndez with Doc Severinsen, the twin sons of the late Méndez granted us rights to perform all the trio music from the library. With this permission, bands and orchestras didn’t need to pay fees to collaborate with this music. Outside of this, the instruction, guidance and experience the university, faculty and ensembles provided was top notch and a dynamic experience.

 
SC: And then you went to CU Boulder to complete both your masters and doctorate, studying with Terry Sawchuk. 
SS: Yes, I value and am so grateful for my time at CU Boulder in my graduate studies. Much like my growing years, there is so much I could say, the experience was truly one of kind. For five years, I was a trumpet teaching assistant where I was able to teach Undergraduate students.
As part of the Assistantship, I performed in the Flatirons Brass Quintet. With this group, I was invited to compete in the Fischoff competition three times, receiving Bronze in 2009.
I also set up the CU Trumpet Alliance CUTA student group that was able to bring in top notch guests, as well as eventually send the whole studio to the National Trumpet Competition. CU provided experiences for me to build so many aspects of myself–not just me as a musician and trumpeter. I invested a lot of energy into the program including being the Assistant to the Director of the CU Summer Music Academy for three years. I also spearheaded the 2015-2016 audition season and was Interim Assistant Dean of Outreach and Recruitment. I enjoyed doing a lot of design work for the Band Program. I appreciated the support and trust faculty and administration provided throughout the process of graduate studies.
While at CU I became involved in the Graduate Teacher Program – as a Lead Graduate for three years, I organized and set up workshops for the College of Music, provided teaching consultations for fellow colleagues throughout the University and more. The Director at the time, Dr. Laura Border was the one who first introduced me to the Kolb Learning Style Inventory, a learning paradigm that ultimately turned out to the be the basis of my Dissertation work at CU and continues to inform my approach to music student learning and music teacher instruction.
 
SC: What did you write about for your dissertation at CU?
SS: I did a case study applying the Kolb Learning Style to teaching music. The basis was understanding how learning styles informed both the teaching and learning experience in music. Ultimately, this journey set me on a path to truly find my own teaching voice and connect with student–and not just the ways I was taught. If you are interested in digging deeper, check out an article I wrote for the ITG Journal–and my dissertation!
(editors note: here are the citations and a link for Dr Stoneback’s dissertation)

Stoneback, Sarah, “Incorporating Kolb’s Active Experimentation in the Trumpet Studio” (2017). International Trumpet Guild Journal. Publication, Summer 2017.

Stoneback, Sarah, “Application of the Kolb Learning Style Inventory and Border’s Adaptation of the Model to Trumpet Instruction in the Applied Collegiate Trumpet Studio” (2014). Brass and Percussion Graduate Theses & Dissertations. Paper 1.
http://scholar.colorado.edu/brap_gradetds/1

SC: How has the Kolb Learning Style shaped the way you teach?
SS: My research is rooted in the Kolb Learning Style Theory. Unique to my approach incorporates a perspective that Dr. Laura Border adapted to teacher instruction and student learning. I have taken this and adapted it to music teacher instruction and music student learning. Viewing my teaching through the lens of this approach continues to shape my approach to teaching and performing and learning in general for both myself and how I walk with students throughout their learning experiences on trumpet and music. It has also provided me a tool for multiple modes of presentation. Using this approach also provides ways to connect with students on a deeper cognitive level where more “Ah-Ha” moments can be possible. It also provides a way for me as a teacher to understand why some examples may be more effective for students than others. It has revolutionized the way I view education and know has done the same for educators I have worked with through the years.
SC: This is really fascination to me. I am definitely going to read up on this! Back to trumpet playing–what kinds of performing do you do these days?

SS: I am lucky to live in a community where the Arts are strong and filled with a lot of opportunity to collaborate. I am the Principal Trumpet of the Bozeman Symphony Orchestra. I am also a member of Bobcat Brass Trio, comprised of my brass colleagues, Jeannie Little and Mike Nelson. Throughout the Pandemic I have had the unique opportunity to become a member of the Virtual Trumpet Ensemble, led by Joseph Leyva.

I also perform frequently with my students here MSU. For example, this coming Thursday, March 11, I am performing Vivaldi’s Trumpet Concerto for Two with one of my students for the faculty/student collaborative recital. I also enjoy doing projects with colleagues. I just finished recording for an upcoming release of an original composition written for me by one of my MSU Colleagues and friends, debuting in a couple of weeks. During the Pandemic, I have also been doing a lot of pre-recorded recitals and projects–so, I have enjoyed diving into that. I am also a member of Eurobrass, a 12-member German-based Brass Ensemble and looking forward to hopefully touring this coming summer.

SC: What do you like to do when you’re not teaching or performing?

SS: I love hiking, running, cross country skiing and taking advantage of the outstanding and breathtaking views Montana has to offer year-round!
SC: Where do you see yourself in five years?
SS: I am currently in the Tenure Track process at Montana State University, where I was just officially retained as of last week! I am working to be tenured here at MSU and continue to publish and work on my creative and scholarly research in learning and approaches. Along with that, I can’t wait to perform more and more! Also, I wouldn’t mind being a proud dog owner 🙂
SC: Good luck in your tenure process! And thanks so much for this wonderful interview! By the way, my wife and I have five dogs, so we may be able to help you out (just kidding, Melissa, if you’re reading this!!)
https://youtu.be/m3aNTJ_z4vA
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