Winthrop University, Music Education, UNCG, Masters in Performance
Lead trumpet with Jon Faddis in SC All Star Band led by Dizzie Gillespie, Dynamic Breakers Beach Band, Connection Band, Big John Thompson & the Rhythm Brothers, CD with Larry Moore and the Shag Doctorz, Backup band for Percy Sledge, Backup band for Linda Carter (Wonder Woman), Pit bands, West Side Story, Wizard of Oz, Beauty & the Beast, Jesus Christ Superstar, Weddings, Church services, Studio recordings
About RUSS GAFFNEY
Those were the words spoken by my father to me forty-one years ago in 1976 and I've had a love affair with the instrument ever since.
I was a late beginner in music since my middle school did not have a band, meaning that it truly is never too late to take up playing any musical instrument. Even though I started late I excelled quickly and was co-principal trumpet of my high school band by my senior year.
Teaching music has been a passion of mine for a long time. My teaching style is reflective of my quote- methodical, yet creative. I don't believe that there is one true correct method of playing the trumpet. I will teach you the generally-accepted basics, but beyond that I want your style to be just that...YOURS. I will admit that I am not the most technical player on the market, but I can teach you how to achieve a full, rich, expressive sound in any register. Furthermore, I can show you how to take that rich sound and apply it to a variety of genres and styles from solo music to ensembles, to playing lead in a big band.
I will expect you to practice. However, I want your lessons to be fun and not something you dread. Sometimes life gets in the way, so keeping lessons flexible in those times (e.g. by playing fun duets) is important, too.
I attended Winthrop University for my undergraduate degree in Music Education where I held the position of principal trumpet in the wind ensemble all four years and played lead in the jazz ensemble all four years. While at Winthrop I was asked to be one of the founding teachers of Tillman Music in Rock Hill.
I moved to Greensboro in 1985 to pursue my Masters in Performance at UNCG and retained the position of co-principal in the wind ensemble and lead in the jazz band. I also continued private teaching as part of my graduate assistantship.
I have been very fortunate to have played with a variety of groups over the past forty-one years, including groups led by Dizzie Gillespie and backing up artists such as Percy Sledge.
With all this in mind I'd like to welcome you to my studio and invite you to call and schedule a lesson.