The Brass Department
Our brass studies programme aims to provide holistic training for students by developing their capacities in solo, chamber ensemble and orchestral performance, as well as providing professional development in the areas of community engagement, brass pedagogy, and musical entrepreneurship.
YST Conservatory has a deliberately small and highly selective cohort. As such, every student benefits from intensive personal attention from their studio teachers, as well as brass principals of the Singapore Symphony Orchestra and the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra. Additionally, the brass studies area includes multi-layered, team-taught brass courses that provides students with a broad exposure to the expertise of the entire brass faculty.
In their major study area, hornists, trumpeters, trombonists and tubists focus on individual development and performance excellence with their studio teacher; studies which are reinforced by the community of their student-colleagues, and critically explored through weekly studio classes as well as via self-reflection in their e-portfolio (an online reflective compendium of their pedagogical journey while at YST Conservatory. These performance studies culminate in regular individual performance opportunities, especially in their third and fourth-year solo recitals in the Conservatory Concert Hall.
During their time in the Conservatory, all brass players perform regularly with the large ensembles - the Conservatory Orchestra and the Conservatory’s new music ensemble, OpusNovus. Both ensembles provide training and performance opportunities, exposing students to the music of the 18th through 21st centuries.
Over the Conservatory’s history, the brass department has hosted dozens of world-acclaimed brass artists in masterclass and concert settings, and has developed ongoing relationships with a number of internationally recognised chamber ensembles. These have included innovative community engagement and outreach projects alongside the Boston Brass, and student composition creation and commission via the guidance of the Australian Brass Quintet.
Solo studies (8 semesters totalling 52 modular credits)
Orchestra (4 modular credits)
Chamber Music (3 semesters totalling 12 modular credits)
OpusNovus* (1 semester totalling 4 modular credits)
Brass Pedagogy (1 semester totalling 4 modular credits)
Free Choice (at least 4 modular credits)
* OpusNovus is a YST contemporary music ensemble dedicated to performing new repertoire.
Our core brass curriculum assures YST brass students of a thorough grounding in professional brass-playing skills by the time they graduate. Students begin with first-year Brass Class, where they are introduced to fundamental aspects of developing into a professional brass player, as well as a kaleidoscopic overview of the history of brass playing. The second-year Orchestral Brass Class exposes students to weekly readings of core orchestral brass repertoire. Finally, the third/fourth-year Advanced Concepts in Orchestral Repertoire prepares upperclassmen for professional orchestral auditions.
Throughout their four years of study, students have the opportunity to take part in Brass Chamber Music classes, where they can proactively explore small ensemble music making under the guidance of our brass chamber coaches. Engagement in the brass ensembles often inspires students to explore community and outreach projects in the broader Singaporean and ASEAN community together with their peers. Additionally, elective courses in brass studies allow students to create individual tracks to suit their developing strengths and professional aspirations - some examples have included compositional engagement from a brass-playing perspective, advanced brass chamber music and entrepreneurship, and brass pedagogy.