Brian's Teachers

1. Miss Lois Breeding

Lois was the school band director at the Fort Worth, Texas elementary school Brian attended when he began his trumpet life. She was young, beautiful and an accomplished musician. She organized and led the first elementary school jazz band in the United States (according the Leonard Feather of Downbeat Magazine) in 1958, the year I began.

2. Mr. Frank Silva

Frank Silva was one of the two most accomplished musicians Brian has ever known. He conducted the Mills Jr. High School Band and taught Brian much about music and musicians. He could play every instrument in the band well enough to play first part in any composition. His students knew him as a woodwind man who could play them all (and did) professionally. His actual major instrument (they learned later) was violin. What an amazing musician and man!

3. Mr. Frank Curry

Frank Curry was the principal trumpet of the Strand Theater orchestra in New York City from 1898 to 1918. He was also a student of Herbert L. Clarke during that time. After the "talking movies" made theater orchestras irrelevant, Frank went on the road with the Ben Pollack orchestra as lead trumpet. Later, when the Ben Pollack orchestra was entrusted to the lead reed man, Benny Goodman, Frank continued as lead man for Mr. Goodman for another 10-15 years. He came off the road to play cruise ships for awhile, then settled down in Sacramento to teach students.

4. Mr. Bill Peron

Bill was active in Sacramento as the band director at C.K. McClatchy High School and as on-call trumpet for Cal-Expo and other professional commitments. His teaching expertise was playing easily to promote endurance. He was also a master technician and friend of fantastic Latin trumpet artist Rafael Mendez, who spent many days as guest at Bill's home when he was in town playing solo engagements.

5. Mr. Noel Smelser

After Frank Curry died, Brian studied for several years with Noel Smelser. Noel came back to Sacramento after a stint as cornet soloist with the Long Beach, CA City Band. Professor of trumpet at Sacramento State College, Noel was also principal trumpet of the Sacramento Symphony and "on-call" lead player for most of the leaders in Sacramento.

6. Mr. Laurie McGaw

Laurie was co-principal of the San Francisco Symphony while Brian was at 6th Army Band. Brian studied solo literature and technique with Laurie for the few years Brian was in San Francisco.

7. Mr. Robert Pomerleau

Bob Pomerleau was the trumpet instructor for the Advanced Course at the Naval School of Music. Brian studied jazz interpretation and technique with him during that time.