Low brass guru visits Lawrence

Kat Deas

Last Monday, this year’s recital season kicked off with an extraordinary guest: none other than one of Eastman’s top brass professors, Mark Kellogg.Although Mark Kellogg is considered top brass because of his well-recognized name within the music world, Kellogg’s formal specialty is actually low brass – trombone, to be exact. Along with having a distinguished position as an associate professor at the Eastman School of Music, Kellogg also performs as principal trombone for the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra.

If these coveted positions do not already speak of his reputation and skill, then perhaps the following points may be of interest:

-Along with playing principal trombone in the RPO, Kellogg also covers euphonium and bass trumpet. Yes, bass trumpet.

-Between 1993 and 1995, Kellogg performed in over 180 concerts as a co-founder of the widely known brass and percussion ensemble, Rhythm & Brass. Several of these performances took place in Carnegie Hall.

-Kellogg’s group frequently commissioned pieces from highly respected composers such as Karel Husa, Maria Schneider, and his former Eastman colleague – our very own director of jazz and improvisation – Fred Sturm.

The breadth of Kellogg’s musical accomplishments also includes jazz and pop solo performances, collaborations with big names such as Jeff Tyzik and Wynton Marsalis, chairs in several major orchestras and a significant number of chamber ensembles, as well as frequent appearances for clinics and master classes nationally and abroad.

According to an interview conducted by the Rochester Philharmonic, Kellogg enjoys performance because of the challenges laid in front of him. “It’s in trying to connect with the audience. Also, it’s a constant challenge to try to play a piece better than before.”

When asked what got him into the music business in the first place, Kellogg answered, “It was very inspiring to see how much fun my first teacher had playing and singing. I wanted to be like him!”

When Kellogg isn’t performing or teaching he can be found at his home in Pittsford, N.Y., with his wife, RPO flutist Joanna Bassett, and their son Robbie.