Brass and Percussion

Brass and Percussion

The Department of Music at Pittsburg State University is dedicated to providing career preparation for those students interested in all types of musical endeavors. Today's musicians face challenges in musical styles, educational goals, and teaching opportunities which are far different from those of just 10 years ago. They must be prepared to perform in diverse styles ranging from classical music to jazz and commercial styles. From swing to salsa, Bach to Stravinsky, and band to chamber music, musicians must have a well-rounded background in order to successfully compete in the world of music and music education.


The brass and percussion areas at Pittsburg State University offers the trumpet, horn, trombone, euphonium (baritone horn), tuba or percussion student the opportunity to study with a trained specialist. The department assists students in acquiring the necessary skills to meet the demands of today's professional and education worlds. Each student, upon graduation, should be able to function at a high level of competency on his or her instrument and to understand the musical and technical workings of music and their instrument. The requirements of the brass and percussion areas are a reflection of the demands made upon today's professional performers and teachers.

Private Study

One-on-one analysis of playing ability is vital to the development of the overall musicianship needed as a performer and/or teacher. The Department of Music's program of applied lessons is custom tailored to the student's needs and abilities. Instruction includes the basic fundamentals of performing and interpreting musical styles. Students also interact with other members of our teaching/performing faculty outside of their own performance area.

Performance Opportunities

Pittsburg State University offers a wide variety of music opportunities, including: concert band, jazz ensembles, jazz combos, marching band, orchestra, choir, chorale, and various chamber music ensembles such as the Pittsburg Posaunen (trombone) Ensemble, trumpet ensemble, tuba ensemble, mixed brass ensembles, and percussion ensemble. Several of these groups have performed at various professional events such as the Kansas Music Educators In-Service Workshop, the Midwest trombone and trumpet workshops, the International Trumpet Guild Festival, and regional tuba festivals. All of these groups are open to music majors and non-majors alike. Students should contact the director of each ensemble for further details.


In addition to receiving stipends for Marching Band and Pep Band, qualified students may apply and audition for Music Department Scholarships. The University administers a major financial aid program that includes other scholarships, grants, and loans.


For additional information, contact us or call (620) 235-4466.

  • Horn Studio
  • Percussion Studio
  • Trombone Studio
  • Trumpet Studio
  • Tuba Studio

Horn students at Pitt State enjoy a collaborative and supportive environment where everyone strives for high levels of success together. Pitt State offers performance opportunities in a variety of areas of interest to the developing horn player – wind ensemble, orchestra, marching band, and chamber ensembles.

Students are encouraged to engage with their local, regional, and international communities through outreach performances as well as professional workshop performances and competitions. Private lessons focus on fundamental techniques, etude study, large ensemble excerpt and audition training, and solo repertoire.

By studying at Pitt State, you develop not only your playing abilities, but also your pedagogy skills – preparing you for the multi-faceted 21st century musical profession. Come be a Gorilla, where we make life better through education!  

For more information about Pittsburg State or to schedule a sample lesson, contact Dr. Marie Smith or the Music Department. 


Hear Dr. Marie Smith Perform!

If you’re looking to become a music educator, percussion performer, percussion enthusiast, or just think you would really enjoy the thrill of participating in a college marching band, PSU is the place for you!

Percussionists wishing to set up an audition time should email Dr. James Clanton or the Music Department. For audition requirements and information go to Scholarship Audition Guidelines.

Other times are also available by appointment. 

Percussion opportunities

2021-09-29 Jazz_Percussion

Performance opportunities for percussionists at PSU are numerous and include: Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Percussion Ensemble, The Pride of the Plains Marching Band, S.E.K Symphony Orchestra, Jazz Band, Jazz Lab Band, and Jazz Combo. Also active in the campus community is the percussion student organization “Apex.” This organization provides both on and off campus performance opportunities for its active members, as well as a forum for all percussionists and percussion minded students at PSU to get together and discuss everything percussion!

Percussionists at PSU are provided with a systematic, extensive study of percussion instruments during their weekly lessons with the percussion faculty. During these lessons, percussionists are provided with detailed instruction of all major Western percussion instruments including snare drum, timpani, two and four mallet marimba, vibraphone and drum set. Percussion lessons also include a solid foundation in various genres of world music from the drums of Africa and the Middle East to the marimbas of Southern Mexico. 

The Percussion Studio also has an organized weekly studio class that provides students with supplemental instruction on everything from tambourine and djembe to orchestral excerpts and performance practice. These studio classes also provide an opportunity for percussionists to get together to share ideas and to perform for one another.  

Cymbal Player Marimba Player in Wind Ensemble 2 Percussion in Wind Ensemble Tambourine Player








2022-23 Percussion Studio Members:

Annika Anzjon (Sophomore, Music Minor)
Luke Buchanan (Junior, Music Performance)
Anthony Easom (Junior, Physics)
Samuel Embry (Sophomore, Music Minor)
Caden Hughes (Junior, Music Minor)
Arlo Kinsey (Junior, Music Education)
Dakota Lapping (Senior, Music Minor)
Nicholas Muskrat (Sophomore, Music Minor)
Josh Ortolani (Sophomore, Music Minor)
Dawson Richardson (Freshman, Music Education)
Chase Shaw (Senior, Music Education)
Bekah Sheward (Sophomore, Music Minor)
Fayne Speer (Senior, Music Education)
David Torres (Junior, Music Education)

Watch the PSU Spring 2021 Percussion Ensemble Concert

Visit the Percussive Arts Society

Gus on the PSU Bell TowerWelcome to the Pittsburg State University Trombone Studio web page. The studio members are active as performers, students and teaching of young trombonists in the region. Activities include not only the regular university ensembles, but also the trombone choir, trombone quartets, and jazz combos. Some players are members of the Crossroads Jazz Orchestra, an area professional jazz ensemble.

Past students have participated in the Kansas Intercollegiate Band, The Kansas Intercollegiate Jazz Ensemble, the National Intercollegiate Band, and trombone choirs at the International Trombone festivals.

Our graduates are teaching at various public schools throughout the region, and have been members of our armed service bands and other professional groups. LCDR Patrick Sweeten is the past Director of the U.S. Navy Academy Band in Annapolis and a former Gorilla Bone. Here is little bit about him and what he does.  Here is his advice for music students

Soloists and Master classes

PSU has hosted a variety of master classes affording our students valuable opportunity to work with world renowned performers and pedagogues including Mr. Joe Alessi, Principal Trombone with the New York Philharmonic, Trombones de Costa Rica, Danish trombonist and recording artist Carsten Svanberg and many more.

International Trombone Association Website

Visit Dr. Hasting's Website!!

Listen to Dr. Hastings Play

Meet PSU Trumpet Studio students - past and present!

Video 1

Video 2

Video 3

Midwest Trumpet Festival

















About the studio


The tuba-euphonium studio at the Pitt State has a really strong collective work ethic and an unusually strong sense of community. Current students hail from Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Hawaii.  Because of our Gorilla Advantage program, students from all across the country qualify for out low in-state tuition.

The atmosphere in the studio is one of friendly competitiveness- everyone wants to do well, but nobody wants to do well at someone else’s expense. All members of the studio participate in a weekly studio class.  What we do in this time together ranges from playing tuba/ euphonium ensemble music, individual masterclasses, topics presented on pedagogical matters, and sometimes just chit-chat.  We regularly have social get-togethers... known affectionately as Tuba-ques.

The tuba-euphonium studio regularly travels to attend conferences of the International Tuba and Euphonium Association and compete in solo and chamber music competitions.  Additionally, we host many events on campus such as our annual Octubafests and Holly Jolly Tuba Concerts.


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