Mason Summer Brass Academy

Summer 2021 registration now open!

Trumpet, Trombone, French Horn, Tuba & Euphonium


COVID Safety Guideline: Please be assured that all in-person programs will follow strict safety protocols required by George Mason University and are subject to pivoting to all virtual platforms if health and safety conditions warrant. Required protocols will include masks, social distancing, daily health checks, and more. Please visit our COVID Safety Guidelines for all in-person programs. We will be routinely updating the information as it evolves. Stay informed by visiting our website and looking out for email alerts and other Academy communications.



It’s been a long year of playing in front of your computer screen with your friends. Do you miss the sound of a brass section playing together in person? If so, come spend the week with us at the Mason Arts Academy’s Brass camp! Join camp directors Dr. Alan Carr and Professor James Nickel as we explore all things brass in person. We will start the day with group warmups to get you ready for playing in brass duos, trios, quartets, and large ensembles. Each day we will focus on a different brass instrument, what makes that instrument special, and what players of the other instruments can learn from them. We will have a trumpet day, a horn day, a trombone day, and a tuba/euphonium day. On each of those days, we will have a special guest artist lead a masterclass where you can perform for each other. You will also get to hear faculty performances from some of the best musicians in the country. We look forward to you joining us!

Note: French horn students may also join us for the Summer French Horn Academy Online (June 28-July 2). Trombone students could join Dr. Alan Carr for a week of Summer Trombone Academy Online (June 28-July 2).


Ages:  13 – 18
Dates:  June 14 – 18, 2021
Times:  9:00 am – 4:00 pm (M-F)
Tuition:  $445
Location:  Mason Fairfax Campus, deLaski Performing Arts Building
*After Care not available for Summer 2021



4 spaces left!

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Co-Director: Dr. Alan Carr
Mason School of Music Professor
Read about Dr. Carr

Dr. Alan Carr, bass trombonist, is the Director of Brass at George Mason University. Previously, he was on the music faculty at Bates College, the University of Maine at Augusta, and Concordia University Wisconsin. Dr. Carr has performed with orchestras throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. He has worked with the Alabama, Baltimore, Dubuque, Hartford and Portland Symphony Orchestras, the Juilliard Orchestra, Ensemble Connect at Carnegie Hall, and the AIMS Festival Orchestra in Graz, Austria. As a chamber musician, Dr. Carr has performed and recorded with the American Brass Quintet, the Isthmus Brass Ensemble, and the King’s Brass. He can be heard on several recordings on the Albany, Naxos, Summit and Peer 2 record labels.

Dr. Carr performed at the 2016 and 2018 International Trombone Festivals and has also been an adjudicator for the Donald Yaxley International Bass Trombone Solo Competition. He has appeared as a guest clinician at Duquesne University, the Ohio State University and Ohio University and has been a guest soloist with the Concordia University Symphonic Wind Ensemble and the Madison Area Trombone Ensemble. Dr. Carr is an advocate for new music and enjoys working with composers to generate compositions for trombone. In 2015, he assembled the first-ever bass trombone consortium to commission the Kleinhammer Sonata for bass trombone and piano by John Stevens. The consortium commission is backed by musicians in the Atlanta, Boston, Detroit, Metropolitan Opera, National, and St. Louis Symphony Orchestras, among several others.

Dr. Carr is a graduate of the Peabody Conservatory (BM), The Juilliard School (MM), Yale University (AD), and, the University of Wisconsin-Madison (DMA), where he was a Paul J. Collins Distinguished Fellow.

Co-Director: James Nickel
Mason School of Music Professor
Read about Professor Nickel

James Nickel has served as Third horn with the National Symphony Orchestra since 2008. Previously, he was the Assistant Principal horn with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, and Associate Principal Horn with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra. He has also served as guest Principal hornist with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra on their European tour in 1998, and performed with the orchestras of Houston, Detroit, Fort Worth, Rhode Island, and the Boston Philharmonic. He can be heard on recordings by the National, Dallas, Detroit, and Montreal symphonies, and also with his horn colleagues from the Dallas and Houston symphonies on their Crystal records CD Texas Horns.

Professor Nickel has been featured as a soloist with the National Symphony, the Dallas Symphony, the Florida Orchestra, the Southeast Iowa Symphony Orchestra, and the New England Conservatory Symphony Orchestra. While performing with the SE Iowa Symphony he participated in a two week residency of Iowa performing 3 school concerts a day, recitals, and soloing with the orchestra.

In the summertime Prof. Nickel has participated in the Stellenbosch International Chamber Music Festival in Stellenbosch, South Africa, the Music in the Mountains festival in Durango, CO, the Sun Valley Summer Symphony in Idaho, the National Repertory Orchestra, the Spoleto festival, the American Wind Symphony, the Texas Music Festival, the and Sarasota Music Festival.

In addition to his performing, Mr. Nickel is adjunct professor (Applied Lessons, Horn) in the School of Music. He also serves on the faculty of Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

Professor Nickel earned his B.M. from the New England Conservatory of Music. He is a native of St.Petersburg, Florida, but now lives in Virginia with his wife Julianna and their two children.




Full Camp List