Charles Lewis

Associate Professor
Affiliated Departments
Faculty Bio E-Mail

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Career Highlights
  • International classical and jazz solo trumpet performances with the Boston Jazz Repertory Orchestra, the Boston Orchestra and Chorale, the Boston Pops, the Dartmouth College Wind Ensemble, the Duke Ellington Orchestra, the Naumburg Award–winning Empire Brass Quintet, the New Japan Philharmonic, the New York Philharmonic, the Rhode Island Pops, and Gunther Schuller on the Grammy Award–winning Red Back Book of Scott Joplin
  • Recordings include Season of Light with Carol Comune, Paradox with the Commonwealth Brass Quintet, Sol ~ Surfer with Big Bang, Bug Music with Don Byron, and 100=46 with David Amram and the Leite Concert Winds
  • Coauthor, with Tiger Okoshi, of the Berklee Press title Berklee Practice Method: Trumpet
  • Recipient of the 2006 Teaching Excellence Award presented by the Performance Division
  • 2001 Brass Department Achievement Award
  • B.M., Peabody Conservatory of Music
  • M.M., New England Conservatory of Music
In Their Own Words

"I listen carefully to the student and, emphasizing complete breath support, I respond in earnest. I decide whether they are breathing correctly and make sure that their embouchure is in order—I'm known for resetting troubled embouchures. Getting to know a student is very important—learning their likes, dislikes, and desires. Desire, in my estimation, plays the biggest part in success, musical and otherwise."

"My mission is to help the student produce as good a sound as possible with the least amount of effort, and enable them to add their sound to any musical situation of their choosing. This musical flexibility involves the development of a fluid technique and a knowledge of a myriad of musical styles. Some students naturally have this chameleon-like ability to change styles. And others work harder to master this ability."

"When I was a graduate student, I played with the New England Conservatory Ragtime Ensemble on a recording of the Red Back Book of Scott Joplin, which won a Grammy. Gunther Schuller was the president of the conservatory at the time and the conductor of that group. He invited me to come to Boston."

"I also played for Leonard Bernstein when he conducted Bruckner's Ninth Symphony at Tanglewood. The following year I played first trumpet on his Mass at the opening of the Kennedy Center. That was really the beginning of my career. From there, I was hired to play the New York Shakespeare Festival production of Much Ado About Nothing for Joe Papp, a production that later went to Broadway and CBS television. Also, I was a founding member of the Empire Brass Quintet, the first brass group ever to win the Naumburg Chamber Music Award."

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