The primary goal of the Woodwind, Brass and Percussion Department is to instill the highest possible level of musicianship in each student. This is accomplished in our teaching studios by embracing the fundamentals of posture, breathing, characteristic tone production, intonational acuity, solidity of rhythm, beauty of phrasing, sight reading and good ensemble skills. Participation in studio classes, solo recitals, chamber music groups and our school’s wind ensembles, orchestras, film music ensembles, new music groups and jazz ensembles all help to prepare our students for their futures as professional performers and teachers.
A unique legacy of the Eastman Woodwind, Brass and Percussion Department is our homogenous instrument ensembles. In 1941, Eastman’s Professor of Trombone, Emory Remington founded the Eastman Trombone Choir as a pedagogical extension of his private studio. The concept of the homogenous instrument ensemble soon expanded to include the Eastman Horn Choir, the Eastman Percussion Ensemble, Eastman Tuba Mirum and more recently, the Eastman Saxophone Project. Besides providing additional performance opportunities, these ensembles encourage a common vision, a sense of camaraderie and extra time to work with faculty mentors.
Recent guests in the WBP Department include Joseph Alessi, William Bennett, Robert Langevin, Philip Smith, Gail Williams, Claude Delangle, William VerMeulen, Demondrae Thurman, Ian Bousfield and Froydis Ree Werke along with chamber ensembles such as the Canadian Brass, the Imani Winds and the American Brass Quintet. We have also been proud to welcome back our own alumni such as Larry Combs, Allen Vizzutti, Michael Davis, Stephen Williamson, Bill Reichenbach, Erin Hannigan, Elizabeth Freimuth, Ralph Sauer, Robert Becker and George Vosburgh to share their gifts and perspectives with our students.