Frisch to pursue Master of Music at Boston Conservatory

May 4, 2017
Amanda Frisch

PLATTEVILLE, Wis. – Amanda Frisch, a senior music major with a bass trombone performance emphasis at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville from Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin, was recently accepted into the graduate program at the internationally-renowned Boston Conservatory at Berklee in Boston, Massachusetts, where she will pursue a Master of Music in bass trombone performance. She will begin the program this fall and will finish in spring 2019.

“This is one of the biggest accomplishments that one of our music graduates has had in many, many years and showcases our outstanding students and faculty as well as the value of our music program,” said Dr. David Earll, lecturer of music at UW-Platteville and Frisch’s primary trombone instructor. “The Boston Conservatory is an internationally renowned school of music, and I am so incredibly proud that a graduate from my studio is playing at a level competitive enough to win entrance to such a prestigious program.”

“I have had many great opportunities presented to me in my musical career so far, but this is, without a doubt, my biggest accomplishment,” Frisch said. “Boston Conservatory at Berklee is a world-renowned program and I couldn’t be more honored for this opportunity.”

Earll said that over the years, Frisch has tackled some very serious repertoire and has an immense drive and passion for the bass trombone. “Amanda is an incredibly dedicated and hard-working young musician,” he said. “I have had the pleasure of working with her for the last four years as she has practiced and developed her skill and musicianship, and I am so happy for this amazing opportunity to continue to develop her craft.”

Frisch auditioned for the 2016 Atlantic Brass Quintet Summer Seminar, an intensive, competitive two-week chamber music seminar hosted in Boston by the Atlantic Brass Quintet and the Triton Brass Quintet. At the seminar, she had the opportunity to work with Earll’s former tuba instructor, Sam Pilafian, emeritus professor of tuba/euphonium at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona, and tubist of the Boston Brass, who encouraged her to have several lessons with Angel Subero, one of the bass trombone professors at the Boston Conservatory. Subero was so impressed with Frisch’s playing and potential that he invited her to audition for his studio at the Boston Conservatory for graduate study.

“I was fortunate enough to study under a phenomenal bass trombonist who I made a true connection with,” said Frisch. “Professor Angel Subero introduced me to the idea of the Boston Conservatory and I was immediately interested.”

For her personal preparation, she performed five solo pieces from varying genres and time periods that were significant to the bass trombone and four standard orchestral excerpts. During the audition, she was tested on scales and arpeggios and had to sight read a piece of music that she hadn’t seen before.

Frisch began her musical journey on the euphonium, which opened the door to bass trombone, which she has been playing for about 6-1/2 years.

To Frisch, the trombone is more than a musical instrument. “I think of the bass trombone as a vehicle of self-empowerment,” said Frisch. “When I am behind the horn, I am my most confident self and I can convey the truest, most raw emotions. I feel that I can empower others by showing you can do anything you set your mind to. I want to show the world that you can be as successful as you want to, as long as you work hard and be a good person.”

Frisch noted that Boston Conservatory has recently merged with the renowned Berklee School of Music, which will benefit her. “I will be able to receive my classical training from the Boston Conservatory and I will be able to continue my jazz studies with some of the best jazz/contemporary teachers in the music world today,” she said. “My main goal as a musician is to be a competent musician and highly competitive in both the jazz and classical setting.”

She said one of the biggest challenges she will face is relocating to a new place that is very different from home. “I will be very far away from my family and friends,” said Frisch. “However, I think this also will be the most rewarding part of the experience because I am incredibly independent and thrive off exploring new opportunities. I really think this will catapult me into a professional and successful career in music.”

Frisch hopes to become a successful performer in either the jazz or orchestral realm someday. She also hopes to become a trombone professor so that she can help young adults who are driven and passionate achieve their dreams.

“I truly believe this experience will catapult me to the next point in my career,” Frisch said. “While I am pursuing my Master of Music degree, I finally will be able to hone in on my craft to set me up for a career of success. I am excited to network and make connections within a city of such great opportunities.”

Frisch said she is thankful for the support and encouragement she has received from UW-Platteville’s Department of Performing and Visual Arts.

“UW-Platteville’s Department of Performing and Visual Arts has given me so many opportunities to perform and connect with other great musicians,” Frisch said. “Every day, I have the chance to connect and pick the brains of some world-class performers and educators.”

She was very appreciative of the help she has received from Earll, her primary professor, who has taught her skills related to low brass as well as how to market herself and be a true entrepreneur. “The graduate school process is long and strenuous, but Dr. Earll constantly kept pushing me through the journey with tough love,” she said. “He has always been one of my biggest supporters.”

She also was appreciative of the help she has received from Allen Cordingley, director of Jazz Studies and professor of saxophone at UW-Platteville. “I was lucky enough to take jazz improvisation lessons from Allen and was able to pick his brain about all things jazz,” she said. “In Jazz I, I was able to really jump out of my comfort zone in such a new and exciting way. I am very proud of my jazz sound and I look forward to really refining this side of playing.”

Frisch also is advised by G. Dan Fairchild, professor of music at UW-Platteville, and Dr. David Cooper, associate professor of music at UW-Platteville.

Written by: Laurie A. Hamer, Communications Specialist, College of Liberal Arts and Education, 608-342-6191,


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