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Pokorny Low Brass Seminar

August 4 - August 8

Unlike many festival-type opportunities, this is an intense workshop for low brass players to really engage a wide range of musical, stylistic, technical, and professional issues in-depth with unprecedented access to some of the most respected low brass players.

Participating performers include a wide range of professional symphony musicians, freelancers, college teachers, graduate and undergraduate music majors, advanced high school students and dedicated amateurs. These broad perspectives create wonderfully rich discussions that inspire and energize all the participants.

Seminar Leaders

  • Gene Pokorny, tuba, Chicago Symphony Orchestra
  • Mason Soria, tuba, Los Angeles Philharmonic
  • Randall Hawes, bass trombone, Detroit Symphony Orchestra (ret.)
  • Sasha Romero, principal trombone, The Metropolitan Orchestra
  • Mark Fisher, trombone, Lyric Opera of Chicago
  • Timothy Riordan, trombone, Northern Illinois University
  • Matthew Gaunt, tuba, Northern Illinois University
  • Andrew Glendening, trombone, Northern Illinois University


  • Faculty solo and ensemble recitals
  • Group warm-up classes
  • Masterclasses and clinics
  • Orchestral section work and mock auditions

Specifically, here are some of the areas we will explore:

  • Warm-ups, and warm-ups that go way beyond
  • Sensitivity in balancing brass ensembles; particularly an orchestral low brass section
  • What is correct vs. what is traditional
  • Team playing and the musical brain
  • Our responsibility to the art and to the future of it
  • The importance of clarity “out front”
  • The art of listening (i.e. to finally hear what you have been listening to)
  • Solos and interpretation (i.e. getting away from fat-free, taste-free, style-free playing)
  • Life and livelihood: the balancing act
  • Guacamole, trains, astronomy and “The Search for Intelligent Life in the Modern-Day Symphony Orchestra”

Event Website


August 4
August 8


Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL