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Trumpet Studio

The trumpet studio at West Virginia University is an inclusive musical community of students from wide variety of majors at undergraduate and graduate levels. Students are encouraged to be entrepreneurial minded, versatile, and open to creating musical experiences and opportunities for themselves and others. Trumpet study is catered to support each student's individual interests and goals.

Life in the WVU Trumpet Studio

Music majors study with Dr. Robert Sears in a private lesson setting, in addition to participating in trumpet studio classes.

All Trumpet Studio

All trumpet students meet weekly to perform for one another, learn from prominent guest artists, discuss pedagogy, literature and significant historical trumpet related topics, etc.

Performance Trumpet Studio

Performance majors additionally meet regularly for a second studio class that covers a variety of repertoire and concepts. (i.e. Classical Performance Majors perform orchestral, chamber, and military band excerpts as a trumpet section when applicable; Jazz Performance Majors discuss tune learning, harmonic and rhythmic improvisational choices/options, jazz composition and arranging techniques).

Teaching Philosophy

With the arts in a constant state of change, students pursuing music careers should have an understanding of performance techniques appropriate for a variety of musical styles. Cross-pollination of musical styles can be found in orchestral, wind band, jazz, pop and many other settings. Although deeply exploring one specific style or aspect of music is important as students advance through graduate degrees, a broad knowledge base of musical styles (i.e. baroque, classical, contemporary, swing, salsa etc.) during undergraduate study aids in the development of well-rounded musicianship.

I strongly believe that the twenty-first century trumpet player needs to be versatile and able to adapt. Students are strongly encouraged to participate in both classical and jazz ensembles, gain experience arranging and composing, and learn how to self-promote their work through website design and social media usage. Becoming a well-rounded, versatile performer and educator increases music collaboration opportunities and marketability for employment.

Command of the trumpet is essential for versatility and finding one’s musical voice. World renowned pedagogue and tubist Arnold Jacobs said, “The main function of teaching is to develop artistry.” Artistry is not musical superficiality. It is a deep understanding of yourself as a human being and how you relate and connect with the world and others around you.

As a mentor, I help guide students as they search for their musical voice. This is done in part by regularly taking time to assess students’ musical and non-musical interests and career aspirations. Additionally, I emphasize the development of strong music fundamentals to help equip students with the necessary tools and techniques required to express themselves musically. The end goal is to help students become continuous learners throughout their respective careers.

Studio News

  • Joe Walczyk (Current DMA in Performance) - Recorded trumpets parts for NBC’s 2023 Big Ten Saturday Night sports theme. Every time you tune into a Big Ten Saturday Night football game on NBC this season (Fall 2023) you will hear Joe and some members of his virtual brass group Cinematic Brass.
  • Joe Walczyk (Current DMA in Performance) - Advances to the final round of the Johnstown Symphony Orchestra's principal trumpet audition (Fall 2023).
  • Cj Rhen (BM Jazz Performance Spring 22) - Releases his original composition for big band "It'll Be Alright" on major streaming platforms (October 2023).
  • Phillip Wilfong (Current BM in Music Education) and Cj Rhen (BM Jazz Performance Spring 22) - Complete summer tour with Aristotle Jones "Appalachian Soul Man."
  • Michael Robinson (MM Jazz Pedagogy Spring 23) - Releases debut jazz album "Sounds of the Past | A Requiem."
  • Michael Robinson (MM Jazz Pedagogy Spring 23) - Awarded Graduate Assistantship for D.A. program at the University of Northern Colorado.
  • Vanderbilt Singleton (Current DMA in Performance) - 2nd Chair in the 2023 National Intercollegiate Band (Orlando, FL)
  • Garrett Gorby (BM Performance Spring 22) - Accepted into MM program at Carnegie Mellon University.
  • David Riggs (BM Performance Spring 21) - Accepted into MM program at Cincinnati Conservatory of Music.


Any student interested in studying trumpet at WVU is encouraged to reach out to Dr. Robert Sears at to schedule a complimentary lesson and discuss the program.

Learn more about Dr. Sears

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