WORKSHOP: "The Natural Trumpet: Why Bother?"

"The Natural Trumpet: Why Bother?" is an interactive presentation that was created for Robert Sullivan's (Professor of Trumpet, Northwestern University) studio class in 2015. Designed for the intermediate to advanced brass player, it takes attendees on a time traveling journey throughout modern human history to examine the many significant roles the natural trumpet has played - in the courts, the military, the church, and in symphonic music. Using an engaging multimedia format, with several opportunities play natural trumpets throughout the presentation, trumpeters and non-trumpeters alike will gain a meaningful and lasting appreciation for the natural trumpet and its relevance in the performance of brass literature to this day.

The journey begins in New York City in the early 19th century, at a trumpet battle between English slide trumpeter, John Thompson Norton, and Italian cornetist, Allesandro Gambati, examining the reason for the altercation by putting it into historical context. From the studio of François Georges Auguste Dauverné at the Paris conservatory, to the first performance of Hector Berlioz' Symphonie Fantastique, by the Société des Concerts in 1830, this fascinating and pivotal period when brass innovation is being championed across Europe sheds a great deal of light on how the role of the trumpet evolved to what it is today. To better illustrate the factors that led to this trumpet battle, the presentation traces the origins and development of the natural trumpet from the 16th century onwards. We examine the music played by court trumpet ensembles that provided the foundations of trumpet literature to come, and then travel through the Baroque and classical periods, finally back to the 19th century to examine several examples of how the tradition of playing the natural trumpet and its literature permeates the brass music that is played across the world today.

Western Illinois University, March 2018

WORKSHOP: "Around the World in Twenty-One Trumpets: A Brass Odyssey"

Suitable for a general audience of any age, “Around the World in Twenty-One Trumpets: A Brass Odyssey,” takes participants on an interactive journey through history and across the globe. The workshop brings history and the history of lip-blown instruments to life from the Paleolithic period through to the fall of the Roman Empire. Participants experience the first bone trumpets and horns, blasts from the ancient past, and the shofar call, as well as learning about King Tut's trumpets, the Hindu sankh, and the spooky Peruvian pututus. Finally, participants are invited to take part in the Greek Trumpet Olympics. This 60-90 minute workshop is delivered by Chris Hasselbring and Kirsty Montgomery. Instruments are provided. If you are interested in having “Around the World in Twenty-One Trumpets: A Brass Odyssey” workshop at your institution, contact Chris Hasselbring at

BfB Founder, Chris Hasselbring, with Bison Horn