Background Information
Performer Bios

Poet/Composer Bios

Additional Information

Biographies of Performers: Main Page | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z
Explanation | Acronyms | Missing Biographies | The Sad Corner

Monarch Brass Ensemble (Brass Ensemble)

Founded: 1996 - USA

The Monarch Brass Ensemble is a nationally recognized all-women brass ensemble whose members are outstanding women brass players from North America’s top symphony orchestras and universities. Performers include Susan Slaughter and Amy Gilreath on trumpet, Laurel Bennert Ohlson on French horn, Jeannie Little on trombone, and Velvet Brown on tuba.


Susan Slaughter (Trumpet)

The American trumpeter, Susan Slaughter, is a graduate of Indiana University and a Delta Omicron alumnus of Alpha Beta Chapter. She studied with Herbert Mueller, Bernard Adelstein, Arnold Jacobs, Robert Nagel, Claude Gordon, and Laurie Fink.

Susan Slaughter joined the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra in 1969 and four year later became the first woman ever to be named Principal Trumpet of a major symphony orchestra. She appears regularly in area recitals and programs and is a frequent soloist with the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra and other national ensembles. Her work is represented on a number of the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra releases including the highly acclaimed recording of Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 5, Gershwin’s Piano Concerto in F, Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, Samuel Barber’s Capricorn Concerto, and John Adams’ Doctor Atomic.

In 1992, Susan Slaughter founded the International Women’s Brass Conference, an organization dedicated to provide opportunities and recognition to women brass musicians. As a fund-raising effort to support the Brass Conference, she produced the very popular St. Louis Holiday Brass Concerts that are now in their second decade and are performed each December in St. Louis’ Cathedral Basilica. In 1996, she founded the Monarch Brass Ensemble which has toured the USA and Europe to critical acclaim. The group has recently released its first CD entitled “Monarch Brass”.

Amy Gilreath (Trumpet)

The American trumpeter, Amy Gilreath, has studied with Arnold Jacobs, Vincent DiMartino, Susan Slaughter, Ray Sasaki, Michael Tunnell, and Rich Illman. She holds D.M.A. and Masters degrees in Performance from the University of Illinois and a B.M.E. degree from Eastern Kentucky University, where she was honored to receive their Department of Music Outstanding Alumni Award.

Amy Gilreath enjoys an active professional career as both a performer and university professor. She holds positions of Principal Trumpet with the Illinois Symphony Orchestra, the Peoria Symphony Orchestra, the Illinois Chamber Orchestra, the Sugar Creek Symphony and Song Orchestra, plays as extra sub with the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, and serves as the brass faculty of the Orvieto Musica Chamber Music Festival in Orvieto Italy. Amy has been a past member of the Dallas Brass, Brass Band of Battle Creek, Velvet Brass, Keith Brion’s “New John Philip Sousa Band.” She has soloed with the Illinois Symphony Orchestra, Peoria Symphony Orchestra, and the Illinois Chamber Orchestra, Orvieto Musica Chamber Orchestra, as well as with many university and high school bands. Along with performances in Italy, France, Germany, England, Austria, Spain, and Hungary, Amy has been an invited soloist and clinician at the Sounds News Music Festival in Canterbury, England, the Hans Marteau Brass Festival in Hof, Germany, the Exploring the Trumpet Festival in Kalavrita, Greece, the International Women’s Brass Conference, International Trumpet Guild Festival of Trumpets, and as a finalist in the Ellsworth Smith International Trumpet Competition. Amy has received numerous praises for her solo CD “Enjoying Life”.

Amy Gilreath joined the faculty of the School of Music at Illinois State University in 1990. There she has been honored with the 2007 College of Fine Arts Research Award, the 2007 School of Music Research Award, the 2000 College of Fine Arts Research Award, the 2000 School of Music Research Award, the School of Music Research Initiative Award, and the Outstanding Teacher Award. She has served on the Board of Directors for the International Trumpet Guild and as co-host of the 2003 and 2006 International Women’s Brass Conference. Amy is a Delta Omicron alumnus of Alpha Eta Chapter and currently serves as Faculty Sponsor for Omicron Omega Chapter.

Laurel Bennert Ohlson (Horn)

The American horn player, Laurel Bennert Ohlson is a graduate of Boston University's School for the Arts, where she majored in horn performance with a minor in mathematics.

Laurel Bennert Ohlson, Associate Principal Horn of the National Symphony Orchestra since 1980, has appeared as a soloist with the National Symphony Orchestra, and in numerous solo engagements in Washington, D.C., Boston, Long Island, and across South America. She is an active performer and teacher through the National Symphony Orchestra’s Fellowship Program, Summer Music Institute, and annual State Residencies. She is a member of the Eclipse Chamber Orchestra and the Capitol Woodwind Quintet. She premiered Truman Harris’ Concertino for Horn and Chamber Orchestra with Eclipse in 1999 and recorded the Concertino for Naxos in 2006.

Laurel Bennert Ohlson has delighted both young and not-so-young audiences with her “History of the Horn” lecture-demonstrations in which she performs on eleven different horn-related instruments including the Alphorn and ever-popular garden hose. She has also presented Wagner tuba clinics and horn recitals at International Horn Society Workshops and International Women's Brass Conferences across the USA. Ohlson has been on the Board of Directors of the International Women’s Brass Conference since 1991 and is Vice-President of that organization. The accomplishment closest to her heart is having raised a beautiful daughter, currently a physics major at MIT.

Jeannie Little (Trombone)

The American trombonist, Jeannie Little, received her degrees from Northwestern University and The Florida State University. Her principal teachers include Jay Friedman, Frank Crisafulli, Charles Vernon, Arnold Jacobs, John Marcellus, John Drew, and William Cramer.

Jeannie Little has served as principal trombonist of the Long Beach Symphony Orchestra, Charlottesville Symphony Orchestra, the Illinois Chamber Symphony, Chicago Sinfonietta, Elgin Symphony orchestra, and the FSU Marching Chiefs. In addition, she has performed with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Honolulu, Alabama, Chautauqua, and New Mexico Symphony Orchestras and has toured and recorded with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under Leonard Bernstein.

Jeannie Little was a founding member of the highly acclaimed, award-winning trombone quartet, PRISMA, which toured extensively throughout the USA and Europe and has been featured at International Trombone Workshops and the International Women's Brass Conference. As a clinician, she is active organizing trombone workshops and presenting recitals and master classes throughout the country, with recent performances and clinics at the International Trombone Festival, the International Women's Brass Conference, the Eastern Trombone Workshop, Trombone Day LA 2005 & 2007, the Oberlin Conservatory, and the Arizona Low Brass Symposium. She has also appeared as guest conductor and performer in the International Women's Trombone Choir at the International Trombone Festival.

Previous teaching positions include Music Specialist with the Los Angeles Unified School District, Trombone Professor at James Madison University, and Instructor of Low Brass at the Interlochen Arts Academy and the University of Hawaii. Currently, Jeannie Little is trombone professor at Louisiana State Unive

Velvet Brown (Tuba)

The American tuba player, Velvet Brown, enjoys a professional career as an international soloist and chamber ensemble performer, recording artist, conductor and orchestral player. She has made regular appearances throughout Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Finland, France, England, Hungary, Slovenia, Russia, Japan, Canada and the USA. She is currently the principal tubist of the Altoona Symphony Orchestra and the New Hampshire Music Festival Orchestra. She has served as principal tuba with the River City Brass Band and as substitute or additional tubist with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Women’s Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Fort Wayne Philharmonic. In 2004, Brown joined Howard Johnson’s “Gravity” Tuba Jazz Ensemble as lead tuba. She has also garnered high praise as a founding member of the Monarch Brass Quintet and Brass Ensemble, the Junction Tuba Quartet, and the Pennsylvania Brassworks (Faculty Brass at Penn State). She has released three solo CD’s with Crystal Records and a CD for Nicolai Music. She can also be heard on Albany Records in her interpretation of John Williams’ Tuba Concerto.

Velvet Brown is professor of tuba and euphonium at The Pennsylvania State University. Prior to joining the faculty at Penn State in 2003, she taught at Bowling Green State University (Ohio), Ball State University (Indiana), and served as an Associate Director of University Bands at Boston University. Currently she is a member of the ITEA Board of Directors and has served as the secretary of the Executive Committee for the International Tuba and Euphonium Association (2001-2007). She is also a board member of the International Women’s Brass Conference. Brown is noted for receiving the 1999-2000 William Fulbright Fellowship Vinciguerra Award.


Source: Delta Omicron International Music Fraternity (July 2009)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (October 2010)

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works




Under their name

Brass Ensemble

BWV 118

Links to other Sites

2009 Centennial Conference: Artist Concert to Feature The Monarch Brass Ensemble (Delta Omicron International Music Fraternity)

ITG 2006 - Monarch Brass Concert: Monarch Brass
Velvet Brown (Wikipedia)

Biographies of Performers: Main Page | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z
Explanation | Acronyms | Missing Biographies | The Sad Corner


Back to the Top

Last update: Monday, May 29, 2017 15:06