Teachers around the world:

Jason Dovel

Trumpet at Clarino Collective. Trumpet at Charlottesville Opera Orchestra. Assistant Professor of Trumpet at University of Kentucky. Principal Trumpet at Lexington Chamber Orchestra. Trumpet at Quintasonic Brass (United States).

«Rhythm and sight-reading are common problems»

2019-01-15

Today, in "Teachers around the world," we have Jason Dovel, a professor of the "Chicago School", who has taught and played in the Oklahoma and Arkansas areas for 6 years, until becoming the trumpet professor at the University of Kentucky in 2013. In addition, he is a true lover of the Baroque trumpet. Do not miss this interview, you will learn a lot from him. Dovel doesn’t just include an exercise in efficiency of the attack, but he also shares a warm-up exercise for the Baroque trumpet!

Up close and personal
  • Age: 37.
  • City of birth: Shenandoah, Virginia (USA).
  • A hobby: Exercise and fitness.
  • A food: Pasta.
  • A drink: Chai Tea.
  • A book: Teaching Brass (Kristian Steenstrup).
  • A film: A Beautiful Mind (Ron Howard).
  • A place: 1 In the United States, southern California; in the world, the mountains of Greece.

Musical roots

Where do you come from? That is, we would like to know 1) where you grew up as a trumpeter, 2) who were your most important teachers, and 3) what your professional and pedagogical trajectory has been until today.

Early trumpet teachers were James Kluesner (classical) and Chuck Dotas (jazz) at James Madison University; also highly influential was Greg Oaks, my high school band director (and trumpeter) in Shenandoah, Virginia. I was a first-generation college student and was so fortunate to have these teachers all so close to me as a young student.

All my teachers were important, but probably my most influential trumpet teachers were Keith Johnson, George Novak, and Charlie Geyer. I like to think that my teaching is (hopefully) a lot like Keith’s and Charlie’s. Keith was important to me for fundamentals of sound production, respiration, and the importance of being a well-rounded musician and person. Charlie was (is!) the master at teaching orchestral excerpts and preparing for auditions. George is really important because he believed in me, encouraged me to pursue my dreams, and continues to this day to be one of my closest mentors and friends.

Pedagogically, you might call me a “Chicago” school teacher, with an infusion of science and physics as well as Alexander Technique (and a passion for early music/performance practice).

Professionally, I taught (Northeastern State University) and performed (Tulsa Symphony, Arkansas Philharmonic, Symphony of Northwest Arkansas, et al) in Oklahoma and Arkansas for six years prior to my appointment at the University of Kentucky in 2013. I’ve also been a member of the Charlottesville Opera Orchestra since 2012 (summer orchestra in Charlottesville, Virginia) and have started my own chamber music projects such as Quintasonic Brass, Clarino Collective, and Sonitus Clarissima. In 2017 I started the UK Summer Trumpet Institute and UK’s Certificate in Baroque Trumpet. I also do a lot of traveling to teach and perform at other universities/festivals and have recorded three solo compact discs, two on modern trumpet and one on the valveless Baroque trumpet. I really love period instruments and early music, and recently have performed as principal Baroque trumpet with the period-instrument groups Bourbon Baroque (Louisville, Kentucky), Mountainside Baroque (Cumberland, Maryland), and Le Château de la Voix Baroque Orchestra (Champaign, Illinois).

Every trumpeter has his methodological preferences. What type of exercises or methods do you emphasize when practicing and teaching, and why?

For me, this varies widely from student to student. I want my freshmen trumpet players to have Arban, Clarke, and Bordogni/Rochut. (I can give you a PDF that I give to my teaching assistants which explains the importance and strategies of using each of these three books.) I also heavily use the French etude books like Maxime-Alphonse, Charlier, and Bitsch. For Baroque trumpet students, I have them get Edward Tarr’s The Art of Baroque Trumpet Playing series. For jazz trumpet students, I like Snidero’s Jazz Conception.

Day to day with the trumpet

Could you tell us what your daily trumpet routine consists of?

  • Breathing bag studies.
  • James Kluesner long tones.
  • More breathing bag.
  • All scales to full range of instrument.
  • More breathing bag.
  • Brief articulation studies.
  • More breathing bag.
  • Richard Shuebruk Graded Lip TrainersGrade 2: Business Players, exercises #1 and #2.
  • More breathing bag.
  • Various Clarke technical studies, usually #1 and #4.

This all takes me about 45 minutes and I do it just about every day!

What brands of trumpets and mouthpieces do you use? Do you use them for any particular reason?

I have been playing a Laskey 70MD w/ #26 throat for use in my B-flat and C trumpets for more than 15 years.
I play a Laskey 70C for E-flat/D trumpet.
I play a custom mouthpiece made by Peter Pickett for my piccolo trumpet that’s a middle-of-the-road medium-small mouthpiece.
My Baroque trumpet mouthpiece is an Egger SI-6R for most things.

I play a Bach Stradivarius 43/43 B-flat trumpet, a Yamaha New York C trumpet, and the rest of my fleet is mostly Yamaha.
I play an Egger 3-hole Baroque trumpet.

Do you use any equipment that is beyond what we would consider normal? (E.G. a Delrin top, bent mouthpiece, bent trumpet receiver, different bell configuration, etc.)

I play valveless Baroque trumpet and the wooden cornetto, if those count!

The teaching center

Where can a student, that would like to study with you, find you? Where do you teach?

I teach at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, Kentucky. I can be reached at Jason.Dovel@uky.edu, or through my website, www.JasonDovel.com.

What can a student expect from you? And what do you expect from the student?

I expect the student to be present, curious, and eager to learn. The student can expect me to show up and do my best to help them!

In your experience, what is the one common problem young players have today?

Rhythm and sight-reading are common problems. In the United States, an overemphasis on marching band sometimes leads to a lack of exposure to both quantity and quality of musical repertoire.

Sharing exercises with Trumpetland

Do you have any exercise you would like to share with the Premium members of Trumpetland?

Sure. I have a hoo/poo attack PDF I can share with you, as well as a Baroque trumpet (ensemble) warm-up method PDF.

Free download:

Exercise by Jason Dovel (PDF 103,99 KB) [Only Premium members]