BrassChix has welcomed several leading female brass players to share their expertise with us: Ellen Dinwiddie Smith (Minnesota Orchestra),  Lynn Erickson (Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra), Takako Seiminya Senn (Metropolitan Symphony), Lauren Husting (Metro Brass), Gretchen McNamara (Wright State University), Mary Ahern (Brava Brass), Buffy Larson (Capital City Brass), Becky Jyrkas and Vicki Wheeler (Eidelweiss Alphorn Duo), and Laurel Chapman (instrument repair) among others.

This year, our BrassChix session leaders will share their expertise in instrument breakout sessions, focused tutorials, and large group sessions. Improvisation will be a feature focus throughout the forum.

Elaine Burt is a recent arrival to the Minneapolis/St Paul, Minnesota music community after 23 years in New York City. Elaine’s career has taken her all over the world performing with various bands and artists. In New York City, Elaine shared the stage with such greats as Bernadette Peters, Reba McEntire and Idina Menzel. She also performed on Broadway hits, national television programs, studio recording sessions, and with premier jazz orchestras. Elaine frequently tours with Paul Anka and is a member of the band for the Tony Award winning revival of HAIR.

Sarah Schmalenberger teaches courses in music history and literature, as well as studio French horn at St. Thomas. Currently, Dr. Schmalenberger is engaged with several areas of research, from a book chapter on all-female rock bands to a forthcoming journal article on Frank Zappa.  Her national research on the occupational and medical well-being of musicians after breast cancer has been published in medical journals.  She has also published extensively on the history of Black American women in classical music. Dr. Schmalenberger also maintains an active schedule as a freelance hornist, both the modern and the valveless horns. She is currently busy with two chamber ensembles and an all-female jazz band.  This spring, she is excited to perform as a guest horn soloist with the Farmington High School bands. 

Lauren Husting, trombone, is a local educator and freelancer in the MSP Metro. You can see her performing with Brass Lassie, the Adam Meckler Orchestra, and the Twin Cities Symphony. She values innovation and musicianship above all else.