Ball State University "Heavy Brass" Festival
Ball State University's inaugural "BSU Heavy Brass" event was held October 15-16, 2022, featuring guest artist, Marie Speziale.
Stephen C. Campbell conducts the festival ensemble
BSU faculty titled the festival "Heavy Brass" because a composer identified the trumpets and trombones and the "heavy brass" of the orchestra.
The event began on the evening of October 15 with Marie rehearsing the BSU Wrecking Crew Tattoo on the end of Act 2 of Die Walkure by Richard Wagner, transcription by Stephen C. Campbell, which was to be performed at the final event concert. The students were instantly captivated by Marie's enthusiasm and zest for music. The majority of the studio remained well after the end of rehearsal to meet Marie and get pictures.
The next morning began with a "touch-up" rehearsal of the Wagner, followed by a brief mass trumpet/trombone ensemble rehearsal for all BSU students and event guests. This rehearsal began with an intonation activity, followed by an arrangement of The Road Home by Stephen Paulus, arr. Campbell.
After lunch, Marie lead a two-hour masterclass featuring a student brass quintet performing Eric Ewazen's Frost Fire which was directed by graduate assistant Jeffrey Doll; the Ball State Symphony Orchestra trombone section performing Brahms Symphony No. 2 in D Major; two solo trumpeters; and ending with a brief Q&A session.
Guest artist Marie Speziale with students
Immediately following the masterclass was the final event concert. This program consisted of a variety of configurations of trumpets and trombones featuring both students and faculty. The program included:
Now is the Month of Maying - Morley arr. Snedecor
Grover's Corner from 'Our Town' - Copland
Rising Tide - Jack Wilds
So You Want to Write a Fugue? - Gould arr. Campbell
Christus Factus Est - Bruckner
Disney Love Medley - Ray arr. Campbell
End of Act 2 of Die Walkure - Richard Wagner, arr. Campbell
The Road Home - Paulus, arr. Campbell
(Source: Stephen C. Campbell, Ball State University)