Dr. Amy Gilreath

Director of Trumpet Fest

Amy Gilreath has won the respect and praise of musicians and audiences the world over for her beautiful sound and expressive interpretations.  As a soloist and chamber musician, she has been invited to perform in Cuba, Italy, Mexico, Russia, England and given multiple other performances throughout Europe as well as appearances at International Trumpet Guild Conferences and International Women’s Brass Conferences.  Amy is a founding member and current member of Stiletto Brass Quintet, Monarch Brass Ensemble, and has been a past member of the Monarch Brass Quintet, Dallas Brass, Velvet Brass, Battle Creek Brass Band, the Consortium Brass Quintet, and Keith Brion’s New Sousa Band.  She has performed with many renowned musicians including Doc Severinsen, former band leader of the Tonight Show Band with Johnny Carson; Italian jazz trumpet artist Andrea Tofanelli.  Ron Romm, founding member of the Canadian Brass; and jazz trumpet artist Marvin Stamm.  Amy is a founding member of Stiletto Brass Quintet which has given performances at many festivals, performing art series, universities, and public/private schools.  Stiletto has also been guest artist with the Bradenton-Sarasota Pops Orchestra as well as the Heartland Festival Orchestra and released two recordings: Stiletto Brass Quintet with Doc Severinsen and Scarpe !.  Serving as Principal Trumpet of the Illinois Symphony Orchestra since 1999, Amy also holds the Principal Trumpet position with Sinfonia da Camera in Champaign Illinois. In addition, she has also performed as an extra and a sub with the St. Louis Symphony.  Amy can also be heard on her solo CD Enjoying Life and on various Sinfonia da Camera recordings released by Albany Records.  In 2010 the dream of traveling to Russia became reality and while there, she became the first woman soloist to perform at the International Romantic Trumpet Festival in St. Petersburg, Russia.  Amy also presented a recital and masterclass at the famed Moscow Conservatory.  

As a long-standing faculty member of Orvieto Musica, a chamber music festival held in Orvieto Italy and the current Director of the Festival’s Trumpet Fest, Amy has taught and performed with many trumpet professors and students from the US who have attended the festival throughout the years.  As the Director of TrumpetFest, she conducts the trumpet ensemble, presents master classes for the participants, and performs on the TrumpetFest concerts.

In 2021 Dr. Gilreath become a Trumpet Professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  Before this she held the position of Professor of Trumpet at Illinois State University from 1990-2019.  During her time at ISU she was the first faculty member to be awarded the Illinois State University Outstanding Creative Arts Award for her numerous national and international performances as a chamber musician, soloist and orchestral musician and many publications in international journals.  She was also a recipient of the Outstanding Teacher Award in the School of Music.  Her students have also won numerous awards, teach throughout the United States at universities and public schools, and are performing in Canada, Portugal, Finland, and Saudi Arabia, and in the United States Army Band, the United States Coast Guard Band, and numerous military field bands throughout the US. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the International Women’s Brass Conference and has served twice on the Board of Directors for the International Trumpet Guild.  Amy has also been a featured artist in the highly acclaimed international brass magazine “The Brass Herald.”  

Growing up in a time when young girls did not play the trumpet, let alone pursue a musical career in trumpet, Amy is proud of her role of helping break the glass ceiling of this long-time stigma.  After receiving her Doctor of Musical Arts and a Masters in Music Performance from the University of Illinois, Amy was one of the few women to hold a full-time university trumpet professor position in the 1990’s, the first woman trumpet professor at Illinois State University, and now the first brass professor at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.  


Velvet Brown

Director of Tuba-Euphonium Fest

Velvet Brown is the David P. Stone Endowed Professor for the School of Music at Penn State and the Associate Director of its School of Music for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. Also, she is an Artist Faculty member at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University.

Brown enjoys a career as professor, international soloist, composer/arranger, chamber ensemble performer, recording artist, conductor, and orchestral player. She has performed and taught in Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Finland, France, England, Hungary, Slovenia, Russia, Japan, Cuba, Canada, and the United States. Brown is currently the principal tubist of the New Hampshire Music Festival Orchestra. Brown was honored to be principal tuba with the Hope and Harmony Ensemble which recorded a video of fanfares for the 2021 Presidential Inauguration conducted by Marin Alsop.

She has served as principal tuba with the River City Brass band, guest principal with the Lahti Philharmonic in Finland, the Detroit Symphony, San Francisco Women’s Philharmonic Orchestra, and as substitute or additional tubist with the Saint Louis Symphony and Fort Wayne Philharmonic.

Velvet Brown has been an invited solo artist or tuba solo artist adjudicator at the International Tuba and Euphonium Conferences since 1998. She has also served as guest conductor for festivals in the United States in Maine, Kentucky, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Ohio, Indiana, and Pennsylvania as well as abroad in Austria, Finland, Italy, Slovenia, Japan, and Canada. Brown is a founding member of Boston Brass and is founder and current member of Stiletto Brass Quintet, Monarch Brass Quintet and Brass Ensemble, the Quintet of the Americas, and the Pennsylvania Brassworks.

Moreover, she is also a founding board member of the International Women’s Brass Conference. Velvet also serves as the Artistic Director of the Chromatic Brass Collective.

She has released five solo CDs and has collaborated on several other recordings as a soloist and ensemble member, such as Stiletto Brass Quintet featuring Doc Severinsen, trumpet, on one of her original compositions, Testimony (Howard Johnson and Gravity) as lead tuba, and a solo tuba jazz recording, Lonnie’s Lament with the Cleveland Jazz Ensemble. Velvet Brown is a Buffet/Crampon Performing Artist, performing on the MW 2250 and 2182 F tubas, and the MW 2000 and MW 3450 CC tubas. She is also a performing artist for Denis Wick mouthpieces, mutes, and accessories.