GVSU Brass Day 2024

Sunday, February 11, 2024

Free Event for All Participants

Registration Is Open!


At GVSU Brass Day, middle and high school brass musicians spend an afternoon at GVSU rehearsing, performing and learning with GVSU professors Alex Wilson (trumpet), Richard Britsch (horn), Mark Williams (trombone), and Paul Carlson (euphonium and tuba)!

The event will include:

  • Masterclasses on general topics pertaining to each instrument.  Volunteers may also come onstage to work on a solo or etude!
  • Instrument-specific ensembles (trumpet ensemble, horn ensemble, etc.), including Brass Day attendees and members of GVSU brass studios.
  • A combined Brass Day ensemble including all instruments
  • The Brass Day Recital concludes the event, featuring performances by all Brass Day ensembles!

Schedule of Events

12:45 PM - 1:00 PM: Check-in at the Haas Center for the Performing Arts (HCPA) Lobby, across from the entrance to the Louis Armstrong Theatre

1:00 PM - 1:50 PM: Brass Choir Rehearsal

2:00 PM - 2:50 PM: Trumpet, Horn, Trombone, and Euphonium & Tuba Masterclasses

3:00 PM - 3:50 PM: Trumpet Ensemble, Horn Ensemble, and Low Brass Ensemble Rehearsals

4:00 PM - 4:40 PM: Break (Pizza provided - Participants also welcome to bring own meal or snack)

4:45 PM - 5:15 PM: Performance Runthrough

5:30 PM: Brass Day Recital

Directions to the Haas Center for the Performing Arts

Dr. Alex Wilson, GVSU Trumpet Professor

Dr. Alex Wilson, GVSU Trumpet Professor

Dr. Alex Wilson has led the Grand Valley State University Trumpet Studio since 2015.  He holds a Bachelor's degree from GVSU and a Doctorate of Musical Arts from Arizona State University, where he studied with Professor David Hickman.  Alex has performed with the Phoenix Symphony and the Arizona Opera, and subs often with the Grand Rapids Symphony and other local orchestras.

A versatile soloist, Alex published solo CDs in 2016 (“Volti Subito”) and 2022 (“Volante”), performed at the 2013 International Trumpet Guild conference in Grand Rapids, and toured as a soloist for the Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra during two national tours, at venues including Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center.  He often appears as a guest soloist or clinician at local schools, and has also given performances and masterclasses internationally at venues such as the Tainan University of Technology in Taiwan and the I Alcalá Trumpetfest in Spain.

Richard Britsch, GVSU Horn Professor

Richard Britsch, GVSU Horn Professor

Richard Britsch teaches French Horn at Grand Valley State University and is the Principal Horn of the Grand Rapids Symphony, a position he has held since 1990. Formerly with the Florida Orchestra and the Southwest Florida Symphony, he has appeared as soloist numerous times with the Grand Rapids Symphony and the Peninsula Music Festival on the scenic Door County peninsula on Green Bay in Wisconsin, where he has also been Principal Horn since 1992. He performs regularly with the Detroit Symphony and has performed as guest Principal Horn with the Milwaukee Symphony and the Taegu City Symphony in Korea. In addition to being a founding member of the Florida Wind Quintet, he was a member of the Emerald Brass, which won first prize in both the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition and the Yamaha/Summit Brass International Brass Competition. He holds a BA from the University of South Florida in Tampa where his principal teacher was Ralph Froelich and participated in such festivals as the Southern Illinois Music Festival, the Florida Music Festival and the American Institute of Musical Studies in Austria. He has taught horn at Calvin College, Grand Rapids Community College, and Manatee Community College in Bradenton, Florida, as well as horn and brass ensembles at Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids and the Luzerne Music Center in New York's Adirondack Park. He is a member of Beyond Classical and Ensemble Montage, two music groups dedicated to introducing great music to new audiences.

Dr. Mark Williams, GVSU Trombone Professor

Dr. Mark Williams, GVSU Trombone Professor

Mark R. Williams, nationally known artist performer and pedagogue of trombone joined the faculty of Grand Valley State University in Fall 2008. Prior to accepting this position, Dr. Williams served for over 22 years in the United States Air Force Band Program and achieved the rank of Chief Master Sergeant. As Principal Trombonist with the USAF Concert Band in Washington, D.C. for 14 years, he performed in all 50 states and throughout Europe and Asia. He was a featured soloist on numerous concert and national tours and was a guest soloist with the U.S. Army Band at the Eastern Trombone Workshop. Dr. Williams can be heard on over 30 compact discs recorded during his tenure with the United States Air Force Concert Band. In addition to his musical duties with the Air Force, Dr. Williams also served for two years as Director of Operations for The United States Air Force Band, coordinating over 4,000 performances. In 2004 Dr. Williams was selected for the position of Band Career Field Manager at the Pentagon where he served with distinction for three years.

In addition to his performance career, Dr. Williams was trombone instructor at Shenandoah University in Virginia. He has presented clinics and master classes throughout the United States.

Dr. Williams received the Bachelor of Music degree from Michigan State University under the tutelage of Curtis Olson and Maury Okun. He received the Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts from The University of Texas at Austin, where he studied with Donald Knaub.

Dr. Paul Carlson, GVSU Tuba and Euphonium Professor

Dr. Paul Carlson, GVSU Tuba and Euphonium Professor

Since beginning his study of the tuba at the age of 11, Paul Carlson has gone on to thrill audiences around the globe. Hailing from Macomb, IL, he started playing tuba in sixth grade band. While in high school, he discovered the joy of performing in tuba quartet, brass quintet, bands, orchestras, and a Dixieland band. He continued his study at the University of Illinois (B.M.), the University of New Mexico (M.M.), and is currently a Doctoral candidate in Tuba Performance at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.

As an active performer, Paul is comfortable in many musical situations. Paul’s performance experience includes the New Mexico Brass Quintet, Santa Fe Symphony Brass Quintet, The King’s Brass, the Walt Disney Collegiate All-Star Band, Harvey Phillips Tuba Company, University of Evansville Brass Quintet, as well as the New Mexico, Louisville, South Bend, Columbus Indiana Philharmonic, Bloomington Camerata, Terre Haute, and Anderson (IN) Symphonies. He can be heard on recordings on the Summit and Naxos labels as well as Alfred Music Publishing. He has also performed on Chinese national television with the New Mexico Brass Quintet.

Also an enthusiastic educator, Paul has taught at the University of New Mexico, Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, and the Masterworks Festival, in addition to numerous middle and high schools as brass technician, chamber music coach, and private teacher.

Paul also enjoys playing upright and electric basses with jazz bands and combos. He has had regular gigs at the Chatterbox Jazz Club in Indianapolis, and has performed with the Albuquerque Jazz Orchestra, the Stardusters Jazz Band, and the Indianapolis Jazz Orchestra.

Paul is currently touring the country performing clinics and concerts with the nationally acclaimed Dallas Brass in addition to serving as Affiliate Professor of Tuba and Euphonium at Grand Valley State University.

Page last modified January 30, 2024