The University of Kansas Trumpet Studio is made up of undergraduate and graduate students who enroll in Applied Trumpet (Private Lessons) at KU. Most are music majors, pursuing degrees such as Bachelor’s degree in Performance (BM), Music Education (BME), Bachelor of Arts in Music (BA), Music Therapy, Master’s in Performance (MM), and Doctor of Musical Arts in Performance (DMA). There are a growing number of students choosing the Bachelor of Arts major along with a major outside of Music. This degree is designed to accommodate this “double-major” option and still graduate in 4 years, for those wanting to continue their musical studies while getting a degree in Engineering, Pre-Med, Business, Political Science, or liberal arts degree. The studio is also open to non-music majors as well, after a successful audition.
In the past 18 years under Professor Steve Leisring’s guidance, trumpet students have come to KU from more than 20 states, Puerto Rico, and the countries of Latvia, China, Costa Rica, South Korea, and Afghanistan. Professor Leisring’s former students have been appointed to significant positions in the national orchestras of Spain and Latvia, Beijing Central Conservatory in China, Dallas Brass, US Air Force Bands, US Army Bands, The US Navy Band in Washington, DC; Puerto Rico Conservatory, Harbin Symphony in China, the Central Conservatory Professional Orchestra in Beijing, Latvia Academy of Music in Riga, Charleston Symphony, Tokyo Symphony, Seoul City University in South Korea, Hansei University (Seoul, S Korea), Danish Naval Band, Superior Conservatory of Music in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, (Spain), and University of Musical Arts in Madrid. (Spain). KU trumpet students have attended national music festivals, been finalists in International Trumpet Guild student competitions, and the National Trumpet Competition. Many have gone on to become highly successful public-school teachers in districts throughout the USA. Others have gone on to be selected for the Disney All American College Band, the Grammy Band, Chicago Civic Orchestra, as well as becoming engineers, attorneys, medical professionals, MBAs, junior college instructors, university instructors, composers, sound engineers, and music producers.
KU Trumpet students have MANY performance opportunities. The trumpet studio generally has between 20 and 25 students. While at the University of Kansas as students, KU Trumpeters may perform in one of the 3 concert bands including the acclaimed Wind Ensemble, 3 jazz ensembles including the multiple Downbeat Award-Winning KU Jazz 1 Ensemble*, and multiple small jazz groups, brass chamber groups, new music ensembles, symphony orchestra, marching and athletic bands, including the well-known KU Men’s Basketball Band, and the KU Trumpet Ensemble. With these groups, KU trumpet students have performed in recent years on tour to China and in Australia, in European Jazz festivals including Montreux, (Switzerland), Jazz a Vienne (France) Umbria Jazz Festival (Italy), and in Germany, Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, Monterrey Jazz Festival in California, Jazz at Lincoln Center, as well as national music events such as major conferences. In 2013, the KU Trumpet Ensemble performed as the sole Kansas representative to the Presidential Inaugural Parade in Washington, DC, and have performed for Supreme Court Justices, KC Royals at Royals Stadium, on “LIVE” TV (ESPN) “Gameday” AND “Big 12 Championship” as well as many important events.
One important aspect about being a member of the KU Trumpet Studio is Professor Leisring’s approach that students should be encouraged to play in both classical and jazz/commercial styles, as well as becoming soloists and chamber musicians. Most KU trumpet students end up playing in many ensembles while at KU, and often multiple ensembles at the same time. Becoming a well-rounded musician is encouraged at KU by applied professors and ensemble directors. For more info about undergraduate and graduate openings, please contact Professor Steve Leisring, firstname.lastname@example.org
*Selected as “Outstanding College Jazz Ensemble” multiple times, 2015-2021 by Downbeat Magazine.