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Department of Music

College of Arts & Sciences

ETSU Low Brass Festival

Friday and Saturday, April 1-2, 2016

Mathes Hall, Department of Music


Join us for two days of all things low brass! Attend warm-up classes, masterclasses, performances, and learn from two greats in the field. Open to all high school and middle school students. All events are FREE!

Tentative Schedule

Friday, April 1
7:30 p.m.  Festival Opening:  Recital of John Stevens' music featuring ETSU faculty

Saturday, April 2
9:00 a.m.  Registration
10:00 a.m.  Warm-Up/Daily Routine Class
11:00 a.m.  Guest Artist Meet & Greet/Q&A
12:00 p.m.  Lunch
1:30 p.m.  John Stevens Composition Class
2:30 p.m.  Mike Brown Recital
3:30 p.m. Performance Masterclass featuring ETSU students and guest artist/clinicians


Register NOW!

Complete the Registration Form and return by mail to:

East Tennessee State University
Attn. Dr. Stephanie Frye
Department of Music
PO Box 70661
Johnson City, TN  37614


OR Email the following information to Dr. Stephanie Frye:  

  1. Name
  2. Email
  3. Address
  4. Phone
  5. High School
  6. Grade Level
  7. Instrument
  8. If you take private lessons, who is your teacher?
  9. T-shirt size
  10. Emergency Contact Information (Name, relation, phone number)

**You must register on or before March 15 to receive the festival t-shirt in your chosen size.


Guest Artists

John StevensJohn Stevens has enjoyed a distinguished career as a chamber, orchestral, solo and jazz performer and recording artist on the tuba, university professor, composer, arranger, conductor and administrator. He holds degrees in Music Performance from the Eastman School of Music (1973) and Yale University (1975). His successful career as a freelance performer in New York City included membership in the Aspen Festival Orchestra, New York Tuba Quartet, numerous other chamber ensembles and he was the original tuba soloist in some 500 performances of BARNUM on Broadway. He also performed with the New York Philharmonic, Metropolitan Opera stage bands, New York City Ballet and New York City Opera, many other NYC based orchestras, the San Francisco Ballet, Houston Symphony and toured and recorded with, among others, Chuck Mangione and the American Brass Quintet.
Following his years in New York he spent four years on the faculty of the University of Miami (FL) School of Music, where he also was the tubist in the Philharmonic Orchestra of Florida and the Greater Miami Opera. In 1985 he joined the faculty of the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Music, where he presided over one of the most prestigious low brass studios in the country, was the tubist with the Wisconsin Brass Quintet and served as the Director of the School of Music for a total of seven years. He has participated in symposia, festivals and competitions in Italy, Spain, France, England, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Canada, Mexico and throughout the USA. He is now Emeritus Professor of Music, having retired from the university in May, 2014.

       Professor Stevens is an internationally renowned composer with well over 50 published original compositions as well as numerous arrangements. To date there are also 0ver 50 recordings of his music by soloists and ensembles all over the world. He has concentrated on composing for brass, and has been commissioned to compose works for, among others, Roger Bobo, Harvey Phillips, Brian Bowman, Gene Pokorny, The Wisconsin Brass Quintet, the Sotto Voce and Melton tuba quartets, consortia of prestigious brass soloists, the International Tuba and Euphonium Association and the International Trumpet Guild. He has also been commissioned by major orchestras in the US and abroad, (including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Madison Symphony, Dresden Philharmonic, Bamberg Symphony and Duisburg Philharmonic) as well as wind bands and choral groups. His most recently completed commissions include a Sonata for Bass Trombone and Piano, composed for a consortium of many of the country's premier orchestral bass trombonists and a suite for tuba and piano for a consortium of 20 leading tubists.
In 2008, Professor Stevens received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Tuba and Euphonium Association, the highest honor in his field. He is now focusing on composing and is the conductor of the acclaimed, Wisconsin based brass ensemble, The Isthmus Brass. 


Michael BrownMusician 1st Class Michael Brown joined the Navy Band in 2011. Born in Chicago, Brown began his musical studies at age 6 with piano lessons from his mother. Ending them two weeks later, he also made an abortive attempt at cello before eventually moving to Knoxville, Tenn., at age 10 and settling on euphonium. Brown later learned trombone from a friend in high school marching band and attended the University of Michigan as a double music performance major, studying with Fritz Kaenzig and David Jackson. While at Michigan, Brown won first prize in the 2004 International Trombone Festival Yaxley Bass Trombone Solo Competition. Brown went on to complete a master's degree in bass trombone at the Rice University Shepherd School of Music, where he studied with David Waters and became the only student in the school's history to win the concerto competition on euphonium.
Following graduate school, Brown spent three years as the bass trombonist for the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra in New Orleans. Brown has also performed with the Houston, Detroit, San Antonio, Knoxville, Baton Rouge, and Haddonfield Symphonies. In his free time, Brown enjoys playing chamber music with friends, klezmer music with his family, cooking, eating, reading and watching movies.


Questions? Contact us:

Dr. Stephanie Frye, Instructor of Tuba & Euphonium

(423) 439-4394

Dr. Art Haecker, Instructor of Trombone

(423) 439-4779


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