UVA BrassFest Master Class

March 28, 2015 - 1:00pm
107 Old Cabell Hall
Free - Participating Students Have Been Pre-selected
March 29, 2015 - 3:00pm
107 Old Cabell Hall
Free - Participating Students Have Been Pre-selected

To register, please visit music.virginia.edu/BrassFestRegistration. For more information, contact Maria Serkin at mls5mc@virginia.edu.

The University of Virginia's McIntire Department of Music will host its first annual UVA BrassFest on Saturday, March 28th and  Sunday, March 29th, 2015 in Charlottesville, VA. This two-day event is free and open to the public. 

The UVA Brass Fest will feature three guests artists from the Richmond Symphony-- Joy Branagan (Second Horn and current Second Horn of the National Symphony Orchestra), John Sipher (Principal Trombone), and Brian Strawley (Assistant Principal Trumpet), along with the UVA brass faculty members Chris Buchanan (Trumpet), Nathaniel Lee (Trombone), and Maria Serkin (Horn).

BrassFest begins on March 28th with a variety of events, including warm-up classes led by UVA faculty members, discussions and master classes with the Richmond Symphony guest artists, and a large brass ensemble rehearsal consisting of all participants.  The UVA BrassFest will end with a concert in the historic Old Cabell Hall at 8:00pm. To register, please visit music.virginia.edu/BrassFestRegistration. For more information, contact Maria Serkin at mls5mc@virginia.edu.

Featured Guest Artists:

Joy BranaganJoy Branagan, horn

Photo credit: Sue Burrough

Joy Branagan is currently playing Second Horn in the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, DC. Joy also holds the position of Second Horn with the Richmond Symphony in Virginia, and performs regularly with other ensembles in the area, including the Baltimore Symphony and the Washington National Opera and Ballet. Joy is teaching at The University of Georgia as Visiting Professor of Horn for 2014-2015.

From 2009-2011, Joy was Second Horn in the Vancouver Symphony. She has also held the position of Second Horn in the San Antonio Symphony, Fourth Horn in the Albany Symphony (NY), and Third Horn in the New Haven Symphony (CT). In 2005, Joy was honored to perform as a guest soloist with the Cobb Symphony Orchestra in her hometown of Marietta, Georgia.

In addition to orchestral performance, Joy has a private teaching studio, and teaches and performs at the Eastern Music Festival in Greensboro, North Carolina and Bar Harbor Brass Week in Maine every summer. She has been on the faculties of St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas and Towson University in Towson, Maryland. She was recently the featured guest artist at the University of Southern Mississippi’s Horn Day.

Joy received her musical training from The University of Georgia, earning a Bachelor of Music in Education in 1996, and received a Master of Music in Orchestral Performance from the Manhattan School of Music in New York City in 1998. Her teachers were Dr. Jean Martin-Williams and Erik Ralske.

John Sipher, trombone

Principal trombonist, John Sipher, joined the Richmond Symphony Orchestra in 2014.   Prior to that, he has held principal positions with the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra and Virginia Symphony Orchestra, as well as performing with the symphonies of Los Angeles, Baltimore, Detroit, Colorado and Rochester. 

John’s first performing experiences were in the Roanoke College Children’s Choir in his hometown of Roanoke, VA, before giving up choir in lieu of the trombone at the age of nine.  While in high school, he began performing with ska bands touring the east coast, culminating in a brief stint on the Vans Warped Tour.  John attended James Madison University with a degree in music education and a minor in jazz studies, where he studied trombone with Dr. Andrew Lankford.  From JMU, he went to Yale for his masters degree in trombone performance under the direction of Scott Hartman.  Following Yale, John was a fellow for one season in the New World Symphony in Miami Beach under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas.  Career highlights include performing with CAKE in 2009, a favorite band of his. 

A musician with a diverse musical background, John is equally comfortable performing orchestral, chamber, jazz and commercial music.  A proponent of new music, he is active in commissioning new pieces from living composers. John is also an accomplished teacher, serving on the faculty of Hamilton College as the trombone and low brass instructor in 2009-2011, and has presented master classes and recitals throughout the country.  John lives in Norfolk, VA with his wife, Hitomi.

Brian Strawley, trumpet

Brian Strawley hails from Philadelphia, Pa. and received his education from Temple University, The Settlement Music school and the Manhattan School of Music. His teachers have included Donald Downs, Louis Opalesky, Vincent Penzarella and Donald McComas.
He held the assistant solo cornet position with the United States Naval Academy Band for ten years and has been with the Richmond symphony since 2007 and is currently on faculty as adjunct professor of trumpet with VCU. Brian has appeared as a soloist with the U.S. Naval Academy Band on numerous occasions as well as with the Richmond symphony. He has also performed with the Pennsylvania Ballet Orchestra, The Virginia symphony, the Virginia Opera, the Media Theater Orchestra, The Maryland Symphony and the Washington Symphonic Brass. Brian was recently runner up for principal trumpet auditions with the Jacksonville and Alabama symphony. He has also done extensive brass quintet work in the greater Baltimore Washington D.C. area.




10amWarm-up sessions 
11amPanel Discussion - Life of an Orchestral Musician107 Old Cabell
12 noonLunch 
1 pmMaster Class107 Old Cabell


2:00 - 2:45UVA Brass Faculty lead a brass warm up seminar 
3-4:30Solo & Chamber music masterclass with UVA faculty members107 Old Cabell Hall
5 - 6:00pmRehearsal for Large Brass Ensemble (All participants will be involved)B12 Old Cabell
6:00 pmDinner Break 
8:00 pmConcertOld Cabell Hall

Old Cabell Hall is located on the south end of UVA's historic Lawn, directly opposite the Rotunda.  Parking is available in the Central Grounds Parking Garage, or in the lots off University Avenue at the University CornerHandicapped parking is available in the C1 parking lot or in designated spaces on McCormick Avenue.

To register, please visit music.virginia.edu/BrassFestRegistration. For more information, contact Maria Serkin at mls5mc@virginia.edu.

For more information please call the McIntire Department of Music at 434.924.3052.


UVA Department of Music
112 Old Cabell Hall
P.O. Box 400176 Charlottesville, VA 22904-4176

Email: music@virginia.edu