Eastman School of Music, of the University of Rochester, is proud to announce two full-time faculty appointments to the Woodwinds, Brass and Percussion department for the 2023-24 academic year:
- Justin Benavidez, Associate Professor of Tuba
- Andrew McCandless, Associate Professor of Trumpet
“The Winds, Brass and Percussion Department of the Eastman School of Music welcomes Justin Benavidez and Andrew McCandless to our ranks,” shares Woodwinds, Brass and Percussion Department Chair Mark Kellogg. “Their energy and experience as performers and pedagogues will inspire students and faculty colleagues, alike. We look forward to celebrating their contributions to Eastman.”
Hailed by Fanfare Magazine as “a true virtuoso of his instrument,” Dr. Justin Benavidez is the newly appointed Associate Professor of Tuba at the Eastman School of Music. He previously held a similar faculty position at Florida State University. In the summer, he teaches and performs at the Round Top Summer Music Festival in Round Top, Texas.
Benavidez shares, “I am beyond thrilled to be joining the faculty of the Eastman School of Music. Eastman is renowned as one of the finest institutions in the world where the highest levels of artistry and scholarship are forged with creativity and entrepreneurial savvy, and it is incredibly exciting to join this culture of musical excellence. I am honored to continue the legacies of Professor Cherry Beauregard and Professor Don Harry in the tuba and euphonium studio, and I look forward to working with my new students and colleagues.”
Benavidez has performed across North America, Europe and Japan. He has been featured numerous times on APM’s Performance Today radio program. His debut solo album, Emblems, won Silver Medals in the Classical Album and Solo Instrumentalist categories of the Global Music Awards. The International Tuba Euphonium Association Journal described it as “an impressive and highly entertaining record” on which Benavidez “shreds with enthusiasm, exuberance, and precision.” His second album, Storyteller, also won Silver Medals in the Classical Album and Solo Instrumentalist categories of the Global Music Awards. Fanfare Magazine described it as “splendidly eloquent […] a masterclass in expressiveness” with a sound that is “gloriously warm and comforting.”
As an orchestral musician, Benavidez has performed as tubist with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Rochester Philharmonic, Santa Fe Symphony Orchestra, Sarasota Orchestra and Utah Symphony. He was previously the principal tuba of the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra.
Justin Benavidez is a Melton Meinl Weston and Denis Wick performing artist. Learn more about him by visiting his website.
Andrew McCandless was appointed Principal Trumpet of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in 1999 and has established himself as a prominent brass player in the orchestral world.
Since his first professional position at the age of 20 with the Savannah Symphony, McCandless has also held the position of Principal Trumpet with many notable orchestras including the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and Dallas Symphony Orchestra, as well as the Sun Valley Summer Symphony in which he still performs today.
As Principal Trumpet with the TSO, McCandless is regularly featured as a soloist. In 2010, he performed the world premiere of Songs of the Paradise Saloon, a trumpet concerto written specifically for him by Bramwell Tovey, and commissioned by the TSO. He appears as a guest artist and chamber musician throughout North America, having performed with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Regina Symphony Orchestra, Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and the National Arts Centre Orchestra.
McCandless began playing the trumpet at the age of nine and later studied at the Youth Performing Arts School in his native Louisville, Kentucky. He continued his studies at Boston University and the Eastman School of Music. As a junior in college, he began playing with the Savannah Symphony as Co-Principal Trumpet. Today, he continues to be involved in classical music education. McCandless is on faculty at The Royal Conservatory, teaches privately and has given masterclasses throughout North America including at the Eastman School of Music, University of Calgary, University of Toronto, Northwestern University, The Juilliard School and The Shepard School of Music at Rice University.
Andrew McCandless is a Yamaha performing artist.
“I am beyond thrilled to return to Eastman next year. My time as a student at Eastman was a pivotal in my life. I can say with certainty that being at Eastman changed the course of my life as a musician,” says McCandless. “I am passionate about music and teaching, and I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to work with the incredible trumpet students there.”
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About Eastman School of Music:
The Eastman School of Music was founded in 1921 by industrialist and philanthropist George Eastman (1854-1932), founder of Eastman Kodak Company. It was the first professional school of the University of Rochester. Mr. Eastman’s dream was that his school would provide a broad education in the liberal arts as well as superb musical training.
More than 900 students are enrolled in the Collegiate Division of the Eastman School of Music—about 500 undergraduates and 400 graduate students. They come from almost every state, and approximately 23 percent are from other countries. They are taught by a faculty comprised of more than 130 highly regarded performers, composers, conductors, scholars, and educators. They are Pulitzer Prize winners, Grammy winners, Emmy winners, Guggenheim fellows, ASCAP Award recipients, published authors, recording artists, and acclaimed musicians who have performed in the world’s greatest concert halls. Each year, Eastman’s students, faculty members, and guest artists present more than 900 concerts to the Rochester community. Additionally, more than 1,700 members of the Rochester community, from young children through senior citizens, are enrolled in the Eastman Community Music School.
About the University of Rochester:
The University of Rochester is one of the nation’s leading private research universities, one of only 62-member institutions in the Association of American Universities. Located in Rochester, N.Y., the University gives undergraduates exceptional opportunities for interdisciplinary study and close collaboration with faculty through its unique cluster-based curriculum. Its College, School of Arts and Sciences, and Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences are complemented by the Eastman School of Music, Simon School of Business, Warner School of Education, Laboratory for Laser Energetics, School of Medicine and Dentistry, School of Nursing, Eastman Institute for Oral Health, and the Memorial Art Gallery.