Bell: 21st-Century Works For Solo Trumpet By Women: A Pedagogical Discussion

Additional Materials


Bell, Julia. "21st-Century Works For Solo Trumpet By Women: A Pedagogical Discussion." Lecture presented at the International Trumpet Guild Conference, Minneapolis, MN, May 31, 2023.


Women have historically been underrepresented in the field of trumpet, including as performers, trumpet pedagogues, and composers. For many collegiate trumpet studios, standard repertoire includes works predominantly written by men. This canon is self-perpetuating, as it is easy to obtain music from the standard repertoire and it is natural to perform and assign repertoire for study that is familiar. There are many works by women that can positively supplement existing repertoire taught in the collegiate trumpet studio setting and can contribute to a balance of standard and newer works. This project investigates the pedagogical value and uses of eight 21st-century works for solo trumpet by women: Fantasia by Lauren Bernofsky, Sonata for Trumpet and Piano by Elaine Fine, Trumpet Songs by Jennifer Higdon, Framed by Cecilia McDowall, Golden Hour by Cait Nishimura, Kupala Night by Elizabeth Raum, Stories for Our Time by Faye-Ellen Silverman, and Nostalgia by Barbara York. While there are countless valuable works composed by women to be studied, the works selected for this document are meant to represent a varied group of styles, difficulty levels, and potential pedagogical uses. Brief biographical information, including information from personal interviews, is given for each composer accompanied by a pedagogical discussion of their work, basic programming information, and potential use of each work in a collegiate trumpet studio setting.

This project is meant to serve as a point of reference, and perhaps a beginning, for educators and students alike looking for solos by women to introduce into their library of repertoire. The pedagogical descriptions and aspects of trumpet playing addressed in each piece allow educators to determine which works may be well-suited to the strengths and weaknesses of specific students. Each work was studied and practiced in conjunction with the creation of this project. Challenges regarding flexibility, range, endurance, technique, articulation, musicality, and coordination with accompaniment will be discussed and accompanied by advice to address these factors, as well as books, etudes, and exercises that pair well with the study of each work.

Introducing students to these works and encouraging the broadening of repertoire will help raise awareness of these works and make progress towards breaking the cycle of a canon that favors compositions by men. Many students studying trumpet in college will go on to perform or teach in some capacity, and students with a broad library of repertoire will go on to produce curious students with an even more expanded repertoire.


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