Charles Decker has appeared as a clinician, performer, conductor, adjudicator and arranger at major music conferences and festivals in 13 states. He has written articles for the Instrumentalist, Tennessee Musician, International Trumpet Guild Journal, NACWPI Journal, BD Guide and other publications. More than 10,000 copies of his trumpet and brass publications have been sold and students and professionals in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Russia have performed his arrangements.
He is first trumpet of the Bryan Symphony Orchestra at Tennessee Tech University, a professional orchestra in residence, and is a frequent faculty recitalist and soloist with TTU ensembles. As the first trumpet in the Brass Arts Quintet (TTU faculty brass), he has recorded three CD’s and appeared in nationally broadcast public television concert specials. With a grant from Tennessee Tech, he recorded an album of recital and contest solos for trumpet.
He is a former member of the Eastman Wind Ensemble, Eastman Philharmonia, Colorado Philharmonic, Berkshire Music Center Orchestra, Austin Symphony, University of Texas Faculty Brass Quintet, and Knoxville Symphony. He was solo cornet and trumpet soloist with the U.S. Army Field Band of Washington, D.C., the touring concert band for the Pentagon. Prior to joining the Tech faculty, he taught at Bemidji State University in Minnesota. He holds degrees from Eastman School of Music, Northwestern University, and the University of Texas at Austin, where his teachers were respectively Sidney Mear, Vincent Cichowicz, and Raymond Crisara. As a fellowship recipient at Tanglewood, summer home of the Boston Symphony, he studied with Armando Ghitalla and Roger Voisin.
Students are strongly encouraged to participate in the jazz ensembles and study improvisation with trumpeter Chris McCormick, Professor of Jazz Studies. Mr. McCormick directs two jazz ensembles and teaches jazz improvisation, jazz arranging, jazz history, Harmony, Ear Training, and Computer Applications in Music. He is an active clinician, and adjudicates at festivals throughout the United States and Canada.
An active performer in both jazz and classical style, he has performed all over the United States as well as Canada and Mexico. At TTU he is a member of the Bryan Symphony and the Brass Arts Quintet. In addition to playing in groups such as the Kadillacs, Jazz Arts Group, Nashville Jazz Orchestra, Paul Ross Orchestra, Top Brass, Jimmy Dorsey Band, and the Guy Lombardo Band, he has worked on cruise ships and backed such artists as “The Temptations” and the “Four Tops.”
Mr. McCormick is an active composer and arranger whose compositions include works for small and large jazz ensembles, and for brass quintet. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Capital University, and a Master of Music degree from the Eastman School of Music.