Brennan Johns: Seizing every musical opportunity


Brennan Johns had an overarching goal for his senior recital: to make it unlike any other senior recital at IU.

In a traditional recital, he would stand in front of the audience and play his bass trombone or euphonium, interrupted by applause, for nearly an hour.

He had attended and performed in those recitals. His senior recital, he thought, should be different.

“I wanted it to be something that could adequately cap off my four years here and that people remembered,” he says. “An event.”

Brennan isn’t interested in the typical way of doing things. His time at IU is proof.

To get the whole story, visit Success Stories on the IUB webpage!

Watch Brennan’s recital


Indiana University | Success Stories

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Todd French and Genevieve Clarkson Win Major Positions

The Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University congratulates the following students of Daniel Peratoni on winning appointments of major positions

genevieve      french

Genevieve Clarkson DMA Tuba in-progress appointed as the instructor of tuba and euphonium at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, AZ.

Todd French DMA tuba appointed as an assistant Professor at Murray State in Murray Kentucky teaching tuba and euphonium.


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Itay Agmon and Alexander Lapins score tuba positions

Itay Agmon, a sophomore pursuing a bachelor’s degree in tuba performance, recently won the solo tuba position with the Minnesota Opera, beginning January 2016.

Alumnus Alexander Lapins, DM, won the permanent tuba/euphonium position as an assistant professor at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.

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Jeff Nelsen and Sylvia McNair featured in first TEDxIndianaUniversity event Nov. 13

Nelsen_Jeff-2015The first-ever TEDxIndianaUniversity event will feature two prominent Jacobs School of Music faculty members at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 13, in the IU Auditorium.

Jeff Nelsen, professor of horn, will emcee “Eyes on the Stars, Feet on the Ground,” which will also feature Grammy-winning soprano Sylvia McNair, senior lecturer in voice.

Seven other presenters share the bill. Check out the full line-up here, and purchase tickets here.

Nelsen as well as fellow Jacobs faculty member Alain Barker, director of music entrepreneurship and career development, also serves on the board of TEDxIndianaUniversity. The group hopes to hold events annually.

McNair_Sylvia.2013.smallerThe organization will bring together innovative thinkers from across the university and larger community to explore ideas for our collective future. At TEDx events—“x” indicating an independently organized event—a combination of live presenters and TEDTalks videos sparks deep conversation and connections at the local level. The 2015 IU event is fully organized and produced by students.

TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to “Ideas Worth Spreading.” Founded in 1984, TED has grown to support those world-changing ideas with many initiatives.

Enjoy Jeff Nelsen’s 2011 TEDxBloomington presentation on “Fearless Performance.”

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Brass Concerto Competition Winners Announced

This year, two students were named co-winners of the Brass Concerto Competition:

Kyle Gordon, bass trombone student with Professor Stewart, playing Daniel
Schnyder’s subZero

Brennan Johns, euphonium student of Carl Lenthe, playing the Lisjak Concerto.

Brennan will perform with the Symphonic Band on March 31st and Kyle with the Symphony Orchestra on April 15th.

Congratulations to you both!

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Visiting Assistant Professor of Tuba and Euphonium/Jazz

gail robertsonGail Robertson (euphonium MM 1989) recently completed her Doctorate of Musical Arts from Michigan State University as a University Distinguished Fellow. She now teaches at the University of Central Arkansas in Conway, Arkansas. Robertson also just released her second CD with Dr. Stacy Baker (tuba) SymbiosisDuo – “Playground.”

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William Gerlach appointed as Principal Trumpet in National Symphony Orchestra

IU aWilliam Gerlachlum William Gerlach (BM ’12) was appointed as Principal Trumpet in National Symphony Orchestra earlier in September.

This is one of the biggest, if not, the biggest appointment of any trumpet student to come through the IU trumpet program. William studied with John Rommel (2008-2012), and was appointed as the new principal trumpet in September.

William Gerlach began his position as principal trumpet with the National Symphony Orchestra in the 2014-2015 season. Growing up in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, he started playing trumpet when it was time to join the 6th grade band. William (Billy) earned his undergraduate degree at Indiana University under the instruction of John Rommel. During his time at IU he attended the Aspen Music Festival, once as a member of the Third Street Brass Quintet, and once as a New Horizons trumpet fellow. In the fall of 2012 he began his master’s degree at Northwestern University with Barbara Butler and Charles Geyer and followed them to Rice University in the Fall of 2013. Other significant teachers throughout his studies include Mark Niehaus, Christopher Martin, Thomas Hooten, Raymond Mase and Kevin Cobb.

More Information Here:

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Mirari Brass signed by Ariel Artists

The Mirari Brass, a brass quintet that originated at Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, has been signed by Ariel Artists, a management agency in Boston. Three of the five members are graduates of the Jacobs School of Music: Alex Noppe, trumpet, Jessie Thoman , horn , and Sarah Paradis, trombone.
Mirari will be recording their second album in May 2015 (hoping to release in fall 2015). The quintet continues to be commissioned for several works of the genre including collaboration with Indiana University Alumnus Clint Needham.  The piece for Brass Quintet and Wind Symphony will be premiered with The Ohio State Wind Symphony in spring 2016. The Mirari Brass Quintet also has several residencies at universities, including the University of Missouri Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance.


More information here:

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Mike Walker (DM) appointed Visiting Lecturer II at the University of New Mexico

Walker_Mike_squareThe Indiana University Jacobs School of Music Horn Area is excited to announce that
Mike Walker (DM) has been appointed to a Visiting Lecturer II at the University
of New Mexico. Mr. Walker will be teaching the horn Studio, brass pedagogy and
performing with the faculty woodwind and brass quintets. Mr. Walker studied with Jeff Nelsen while pursuing his DM degree in horn. Mr. Walker commented that, “I feel extremely well prepared to step into this environment with
amazing new colleagues and students. Indiana University was a great training
ground for my new position and I cannot wait to share some Hoosier traditions
among my Lobos students”.

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Former Jacobs professor dies at 96

By Carolyn Crowcroft

Professor Emeritus William Adam of the Jacobs School of Music died Nov. 25 at the IU Health Hospice House in Bloomington. He was 96 years old.

Adam, a renowned trumpet pedagogue, taught at Jacobs for 42 years, from 1946 to 1988.

Born in 1917 in Kansas City, Kan., Adam began playing the trumpet at age seven. He took his first lessons from Ben Foltz, a former cornetist with the John Philip Sousa Band.

Adam’s determination to master the instrument carried on throughout his childhood. According to a Jacobs press release, he used to take rides from his Fort Collins, Colo., home to Denver to study under Denver Symphony Orchestra trumpet player John S. Leick. At the age of 16, he left home to play professionally in the Hal Kemp Orchestra in California.

During his time in California, Adam also played for the Lucky Strike Hit Parade and the Los Angeles Civic Orchestra as well as a number of radio shows. He also attended Pasadena Junior College and the University of California-Los Angeles.

During World War II, Adams returned to Colorado to join the army at Ft. Logan in Denver. Though he failed to pass the physical examination due to a previous injury, Adam worked for the Remington Arms Munitions Factory.

Following his service, Adam completed his studies at the University of Colorado at Denver and Colorado State University in Ft. Collins, earning a bachelor’s degree in trumpet performance.

Adam taught music in high schools in Colorado and performed in hotels and radio orchestras. In 1948, he earned his master’s degree in music theory and composition from  Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y.

In 1946, Adam began his career as a professor at Jacobs, where he worked until the late 1980s.

John Rommel, a trumpet player and professor of music at Jacobs, studied privately under Adam.

Though he was already playing professionally when he started taking lessons with Adam, Rommel said he was feeling discouraged by his trumpet playing, and it was Adam who helped turn his attitude around.

“He always said you can accomplish whatever you want if you just stay positive and focus on a task,” Rommel said. “He changed the way I thought about pretty much everything, but definitely the trumpet. His outlook kept me in music.”

Rommel said over the years, Adam’s earned a devoted group of students who were touched by his influential teaching skills.

“There have been a lot of great teachers at Jacobs, and he’s one of them,” Rommel said.

A celebration of Adam’s life will be at a later date. Members of Adam’s family have requested memorial contributions to be made to the William Adam Trumpet Scholarship through the IU Foundation.

Condolences can be shared online at  as well as on the Jacobs School’s blog.

© Indiana Daily Student 2013


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