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Center Stage Brass (CSB) visited Stephen F. Austin University in Nacogdoches, Texas on November 11, 2018. The day included CSB members, Michael Attaway, Vernon Richter, Megan Bailey, Jason Williams, Ruben Perez, Megan DeRubeis, Amanda Kana, Brett Wyatt, Jason Oliver, and Jung-Moo Lee.MORE
Shenandoah Conservatory has appointed Mary Elizabeth Bowden as assistant professor of trumpet beginning August 2019. Bowden succeeds Professor of Trumpet and Conducting Scott Nelson, who retires at the end of the 2018/19 academic year after more than 30 years of service at Shenandoah.MORE
In memoriam: Laurie Frink (1951-2013)
Laurie Frink was known as a trumpet performer and brass teacher to many musicians.
She began her career as a section player, but she often performed both lead and section roles, working with the Benny Goodman Orchestra, the Mel Lewis Orchestra, and Gerry Mulligan’s Concert Jazz Band. Frink was one of the first female trumpeters to perform in the Broadway pit orchestra circuits in New York City. She was a successful and in-demand freelancer. Trumpeter John McNeil described her as, “one of the most accurate trumpet player’s I’ve ever heard.” Composer Maria Schneider recalled, “When I wrote these subtle inner parts, I would always give them to her. I knew she was the person who would really spin the heart into the line.”
More recently, Frink worked with acclaimed big bands such as the John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble, Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society, and Ryan Druesdell’s Gill Evans Project. Frink performed on every album recorded by the Maria Schneider Orchestras, two of which won Grammy Awards.
Laurie Frink was born in Pender, Nebraska, to James and Carol Frink. She studied with Dennis Schenider, who was the principal trumpet with the Lincoln Symphony at the University of Nebraska. She moved to New York in her early twenties when she met Carmine Caruso. Although a saxophonist, Caruso developed a series of calisthenic trumpet exercises. Frink became Caruso’s protégée, as well as his romantic partner for more than a decade.
She became more involved with teaching, and for the last twenty-some years was a leading brass instructor for jazz musicians. Attracting students from around the world, Frink taught at NYU, the New School, the Manhattan School of Music, and the New England Conservatory. She maintained a private studio and gave online lessons through video chat. Students describe how she tailored lessons to each student’s specific needs. They talk about her warmth, sharp wit, and nurturing qualities. She served as teacher, mentor, and affectionately called her “trumpet mother.” Professionals and students alike came to her to solve potentially career-ending playing problems.
Ten years ago, Frink and colleague John McNeil, another
Caruso student, wrote Flexus: Trumpet
Calisthenics for the Modern Improvisor, which aims to help improvisors
especially improve their physical facility. Last year she received a lifetime achievement award from the
non-profit Festival of New Trumpet Music. She was a featured artist at several ITG conferences and recently served on the board of directors.
Laurie Frink is survived by classical violist Lois Martin, her partner of twenty-five years, and her brother James.
Photo source: NYU website http://steinhardt.nyu.edu/music/brass/people/faculty/frink