Shenandoah Conservatory appointed two new brass faculty for the 2018/19 academic year: Adjunct Associate Professor of Trombone Jeff Cortazzo, D.M.A. and Adjunct Associate Professor of Horn Geoffrey Pilkington, B.M.
For over 26 years Cortazzo was bass trombonist of The U.S. Army Blues, a component of The U.S. Army Band, “Pershing’s Own,” in Washington, D.C. With “The Blues” he has performed at many of the world’s foremost jazz festivals, including Monterrey, and has shared the stage with Clark Terry, Stanley Turrentine and The New York Voices as well as Liza Minnelli, Natalie Cole and Frank Sinatra Jr. He is presently bass trombonist of the National Philharmonic and The Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra and is contrabass trombonist of The Washington Trombone Ensemble and The Capitol Bones. He has performed as an extra or substitute with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Lyric Opera Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra and the Kennedy Center Opera Orchestra. As an educator, he has a large private studio and enjoys a long history of sending a litany of students on to top-tier music schools.
Pilkington was appointed principal horn of the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra in 2014, after ten years of holding the fourth horn position in the same orchestra. Pilkington completed his degree at The Juilliard School, studying with Julie Landsman, and spent a year abroad at the Royal Academy of Music in London studying with Michael Thompson and Richard Watkins. In 2011, he joined the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra as associate principal/third horn and was featured as a soloist, performing Schumann’s Konzertstuck for four horns and orchestra. An accomplished recitalist, Pilkington has been awarded grand prizes at the International Horn Competition of America, the Florida Orchestra Concerto Competition and the Royal Academy of Music in London. Additionally, he has performed with the National Symphony Orchestra, Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and as guest principal horn with the Philadelphia Orchestra. He was featured as a soloist in the 2016 Wagner Ring Cycles at the Kennedy Center, and has joined the San Francisco Opera for six complete Ring Cycles in 2011 and 2018.
Adjunct Associate Professor of Music, Tuba and Euphonium Andrew Hitz, B.M., who joined the instrumental faculty in January 2018, is an internationally renowned soloist, clinician and speaker, having appeared in over 40 states and 30 countries, including Japan, Brazil, Russia and Singapore. In 2014, he ended a 14-year tenure as the tuba player for Boston Brass. Hitz has also appeared with the National Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Alarm Will Sound and as a soloist with the Marine Band of Mexico.
Cortazzo, Pilkington and Hitz join Shenandoah’s acclaimed brass faculty including Auxiliary Adjunct Associate Professor of Jazz and Trumpet Craig Fraedrich, M.M.; Professor of Trumpet and Conducting Scott Nelson, D.M.A.; Adjunct Associate Professor of Trumpet Chuck Seipp, D.M.A.; and Matthew Niess, D.M.A., who together have more than 70 years experience in teaching and performing at Shenandoah, throughout the United States and around the world.
Shenandoah Conservatory’s annual Brass Day takes place on Sunday, Nov. 18, at Shenandoah University’s main campus. Highlights include general and instrument-specific workshops, masterclasses with Shenandoah Conservatory faculty, a concert with The United States Army Brass Quintet and sessions for brass parents. Registration is free and lunch is provided for all school-age participants. Visit www.su.edu/scinvites for more information and to register.