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New Book - Advice from 57 Noted Brass Players

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The Brass Player's Cookbook is a collaboration of 57 noted brass players from various countries. The name "cookbook" denotes that all the contributors can offer tips to "brew up" some very fine playing. Articles are related to topics such as brass playing, tips on a specific brass instrument, musicality, or performing in an ensemble.


The book is now available in Kindle as well as hard copy.

The various brass instruments are well covered. Contributors include:

Euphonium players:
Demondrae Thurman, Steven Mead, David Werden

Tuba players:
Kenneth Amis, Roger Bobo, Velvet Brown, James Gourlay, Toby Hanks, Daniel Perantoni, Jon Sass, Deanna Swoboda

Trombone players:
Ralph Sauer, Douglas Yeo, Charles Vernon, R. Douglas Wright

Horn players:
Dale Clevenger, Gail Williams, Froydis Ree Wekre

Trumpet players:
Jeffrey Curnow, Ronald Romm, John Wallace, Warren Vache

...and more than 30 other authors.

The cookbook can be ordered from Amazon via this link:

Or from Sheet Music Plus:

Review from the International Tuba-Euphonium Association Journal, Volume 34 Number 2:

The Brass Player's Cookbook Creative Recipes for a Successful Performance edited by Kenneth Amis. Meredith Music Publications, A Division of G.W. Music, Inc. 4899 Lerch Creek Ct, Galesville, MD 20765. ISBN: 1-57463-075-X. 2006. $24.95.

When I received this book to review for the ITEA Journal, I had no idea what to expect. I have known of Kenneth Amis for some time and have heard his excellent tuba playing with Empire Brass. What I now know is that he has managed to assemble some of the greatest brass players of our generation to contribute gratis a recipe for becoming a better musician. Indeed, all profits derived from the sale of this book are donated to the American Music Conference, which supports music education around the world. A total of fifty-seven contributors, each presented in alphabetical order, have each submitted their own recipe towards excellence. Tuba and euphonium contributors include Kenneth Amis, Roger Bobo, Velvet Brown, James Gourlay, Toby Hanks, Dave Kirk, Craig Knox, Steven Mead, Daniel Perantoni, Jon Sass, Deanna Swoboda, Demondrae Thurman, and David Werden. All of our esteemed colleagues have interesting and informative topics that range from specific how-to strategies to global musical considerations.

Overall, the topics are as varied as the performers themselves. Each vignette is typically a page or two long and includes the ingredients and who it serves. For example, John Clark's recipe How to Improve Your Playing Without Practicing (…But I Didn't Say You Should Never Practice) has the following recipe: Ingredients: an audio player; Cooking Time: as long as you like; Serves: Yourself, and all the listeners in the audiences you'll ever play for in your life; Serving Suggestions: Like leftovers, you can just pop these out of your fridge anytime and nuke them.

Many of the recipes, which are all in a pretty condensed format, include standard topics like warm-up and routine, breathing, practice tips, range building, and interpretation, which are most of the recipes served up by our tuba and euphonium colleagues. However, there are also many other fascinating topics like Jack Gale's Writing for Brass Quintet, Mark Lawrence's Interpreting Composer' Markings: Relative or Absolute, Brad Michel's Making That Audition Tape—Professional Quality on a Budget, Gregory Miller's How to Impress a College Faculty Search Committee, and Frøydis Ree Werke's Developing and Programming Your Inner Coach and Guide to name a few.

All of the recipes are informative, to the point, and written in the author's own words. I found the book to be a quick read but full of a lifetime of applications! As well, the contributor's own words are also a fascinating insight into not only the performer but also the person! This is truly a unique book for brass players and part of a series of books by Meredith Publishing that also includes The Music Director's Cookbook: Creative Recipes for a Successful Program that Mr. Amis contributed to previously. It is also the perfect master class textbook for the university curriculum as each topic can quickly turn into a research thesis for further study. Each topic can also be the focus of a concentrated lesson or part of an overall career seminar. I know this text will be in on my desk for some time to come as I read and re-read each recipe and their implications for practical application.
~Mark Nelson, Pima Community College
Many of the authors used the cookbook idea to write in a manner similar to recipes, but the talk is all about music in some form or other. Just as a collaborative cookbook is a collection of ideas from different cooks about making the best and most interesting food, the Brass Player's Cookbook is an assortment of ideas about making the best and most interesting music. The various players' efforts were assembled and encouraged by the tireless efforts of tubist Kenneth Amis (Empire Brass).

According to the publisher, The Brass Player's Cookbook is "A stimulating collection of unique concepts on becoming a successful performer by fifty-seven of today's most outstanding brass professionals. Contains to-the-point, thought-provoking ideas proven successful by master teacher-performers. Problem-solving tips, philosophical concepts, and technique-building exercises, all in one easy-to-read collection. An ideal source of exciting strategies for all levels of development."

Other authors are Jeff Adams, Lisa Bontrager, John Clark, Abbie Conant, Kurt Dupuis, Peter Ellefson, Laurie Frink, Jack Gale, Wycliffe Gordon, Dick Hansen, Kevin Hayward, Lesley Howie, Gregory Hustis, Alex Iles, Ingrid Jensen, Dave Kirk, Craig Knox, Mark H. Lawrence, John Marcellus, Raymond Mase, Brad Michel, Gregory Miller, Bob Montgomery, Jennifer Montone, Marc Reese, Mike Roylance, Susan Slaughter, Phyllis Stork, David Taylor, Kenneth Thompkins, Rick Todd, Adam Unsworth, Tom Varner, Bill VerMeulen, and Jeremy West.

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Updated 02-20-2020 at 06:10 PM by davewerden

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