about us


About us

Committed to creative collaboration, the Spectrum Brass works with innovative performers to enrich and enliven the chamber music experience.  With a singular focus on musical artistry, Spectrum has been entertaining diverse and enthusiastic audiences since its inception in 2008.  

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After the release of their debut CD, Rhapsody: The Music of George Gershwin, Spectrum Brass received numerous accolades for their engaging and musical performance. “Spectrum Brass makes spectacular things happen…one of the best!!” (American Record Guide).

Spectrum recently commissioned Seattle based composer Anthony DiLorenzo to write COSMOS for brass quintet, and presented the World Premiere performance on July 25, 2020.  Previously, they worked closely with composer/arranger James Stephenson on the development of his Latin-themed show for brass quintet and orchestra, Salsa Metales, and performed the premiere on November 14, 2009.  In 2010, Spectrum formed a consortium of fourteen leading universities from around the United States to commission a new work by James Stephenson for brass quintet and wind ensemble, Dodecafecta.  Spectrum performed the World Premiere with the Grand Symphonic Winds on December 16, 2010, at the Midwest Clinic in Chicago, IL.

The members of Spectrum Brass are leading freelance musicians in the industry who have performed with an impressive collection of orchestras and chamber groups, including: American Brass Quintet, Boston Brass, Burning River Brass, Cincinnati Symphony, Cincinnati Pops, Colorado Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Grand Rapids Symphony, Hong Kong Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, Louisville Orchestra, Motor City Brass Quintet, New York Chamber Soloists, Orchestra of St. Lukes, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Singapore Symphony, Summit Brass, and Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble.

brian buerkle


Brian Buerkle currently serves as Principal Trumpet of the Sinfonia Gulf Coast (FL) and Kentucky Symphony Orchestra (KY), and has previously held positions as Acting 4th/Utility Trumpet with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (2006-2007), 2nd/Sub-Principal Trumpet with the West Virginia Symphony (2007-2010), 2nd Trumpet with the Lexington Philharmonic (2000-2001), and 2nd Trumpet with the State of Mexico Symphony Orchestra (1999).

As an active freelance musician, Brian has traveled the world performing and recording with some of America’s finest orchestras; including the Pittsburgh Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony and Pops, Columbus Symphony, Colorado Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Grand Rapids Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, Louisville Orchestra, and Dayton Philharmonic. 

Brian is also a member of several innovative chamber ensembles; including the Spectrum Brass, Canterbury Brass, Pittsburgh Brass, and the Queen City Brass.  His recordings can be heard on the Telarc, PentaTone, BrassJar, Exton, Centaur, Albany, Summit, PSO, and AWSO record labels.  Brian is currently an Artist-in-Residence at the Bay View Music Festival and is a former faculty member of the prestigious Boston University Tanglewood Institute (BUTI).

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In addition to his skills as a trumpeter, Brian is also an accomplished conductor and arranger.  His publications have been performed and recorded by groups worldwide, and his conducting experience ranges from brass ensembles to vocal choirs to symphony orchestras.  Over the years, Brian’s guest conducting appearances have been with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Suburban East Coast Music Festival Honors Orchestra, Kentucky Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Brass of the Spectrum Brass Seminar, Sinfonia Chamber Brass, and in 2018, he made his overseas conducting debut with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.

Brian received a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Performance from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and a Master’s Degree in Music Performance from Duquesne University.  In 2010, he was featured in an article of the International Trumpet Guild Magazine, recognizing his many achievements as a professional musician.  He is a music critic for the American Record Guide, and the Owner/President of the Southern Ohio Music Company.  During his free time, Brian can be found doing a number of activities including playing tennis, racquetball, golf, baseball, darts, billiards, and ping-pong.  He is also an avid audiophile and maintains an extensive collection of classical music recordings.  Brian resides in Cincinnati, OH, where he enjoys an active and diverse musical career.

Scott Thornburg


Trumpeter Scott Thornburg has performed as a soloist and chamber musician around the world.  Following undergraduate and graduate study at the University of Miami and the Juilliard School, Mr. Thornburg lived in New York City where he was Principal Trumpet with the New York City Symphony, the Summerfare Opera Orchestra, Philharmonica Virtuosi, the Stamford Symphony, Musica Sacra, and the Hartford Symphony Orchestra.  He has performed at the Caramoor Festival as Principal Trumpet with the Orchestra of St. Lukes, and toured throughout South America, Europe, and the U.S. with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra.

As a chamber musician, Mr. Thornburg is a member of the Spectrum Brass and New York Trumpet Ensemble, and has performed with the Canadian Brass, Parnassus, and the New York Brass.  He was also invited to fill in for one of the regular members of the American Brass Quintet who was on leave during the fall 1997 season.  Mr. Thornburg spent two months performing around the country with the group and conducting masterclasses and chamber music coaching at the Juilliard School where the American Brass Quintet is in residence.  For four years he toured the U.S. and Canada for Columbia Artists with the trumpet and organ duo Toccatas and Flourishes.  He has also appeared as soloist with the Vermont Mozart Festival Orchestra, Philharmonia Virtuosi, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, the St. Lukes Chamber Ensemble, the Juilliard Symphony, the Brass Band of Battle Creek and, most recently, on U.S., European, and South American tours with the New York Chamber Soloists.

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Mr. Thornburg’s highly acclaimed solo recording with pianist Silvia Roederer was released in 2001, and he has also recorded with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, the Orchestra of St. Lukes, Philharmonia Virtuosi, the New York Trumpet Ensemble, and organist Richard Morris.

Since the fall of 1989, Mr. Thornburg, his wife Sue Larsen and their three children, Laura, Lee and Eric, have lived in Kalamazoo, Michigan where he is a Professor at Western Michigan University, as well as a member of the Western Brass Quintet and the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra.  In the summer, he teaches and performs as an Artist-in-Residence at the Bay View Music Festival in Bay View, Michigan.

Erich Peterson

french horn

Erich Peterson received both his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Horn Performance from Northwestern University, where he studied with Dale Clevenger, Norman Schweikert, and Gail Williams.

Erich joined the Grand Rapids Symphony as Assistant Principal/Second Horn in March 2004. In addition to his playing duties, Erich has served as Personnel Manager of the orchestra since July 2007. Every August, Erich can be found in Door County, Wisconsin where he is the Second Horn in the Peninsula Music Festival orchestra.

Before moving to Grand Rapids, Erich was a member of the national tour of Les Misérables, performing in more than 1,500 shows in more than 40 states and Canada over a period of six years. Erich also was active as a studio musician, recording hundreds of television/radio commercials and video game soundtracks. Erich is a member of Spectrum Brass, the Majestic Brass, and a regular substitute with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. He has also performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic, Ravinia Festival Orchestra, and Chicago Opera Theater.

Erich maintains an active teaching schedule both at home and as an adjunct faculty member at Calvin University. When not playing or teaching, Erich can be found birding or solving puzzles of all kinds. Erich is married to Grand Rapids Symphony Principal Librarian Sarah Bowman Peterson, and they enjoy life in Grand Rapids with their daughters, Amelia and Violet, and their cat, Minnie.

Andrew Mitchell


Andrew Mitchell has appeared as a soloist and clinician throughout the United States and Europe.  In 2018, he joined the faculty of Youngstown State University as Assistant Professor of Trombone, and was previously Assistant Professor of Trombone at Ball State University.

Mitchell is a member of Spectrum Brass, and is Second Trombone of the Canton Symphony Orchestra.  He frequently performs with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and many other ensembles in his native Metro Detroit; including the Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings, the Michigan Opera Theatre Orchestra, and the Motor City Brass Quintet.  He has previously held positions in the Sinfonia Gulf Coast, the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, the Midland Symphony Orchestra, and the Saginaw Bay Symphony Orchestra.  Mitchell has also performed with the Brass Band of Battle Creek, CityMusic Cleveland, and the orchestras of Kalamazoo, Toledo, Tallahassee, Flint, Lansing, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids, Erie, and Youngstown.

Featured solo appearances have included the Big 12 Trombone Conference, the Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts (Brno, Czech Republic), and the Ohio Music Education Association Conference in Cincinnati (with the Youngstown State University Wind Ensemble).  During the summers, he is an Artist-in-Residence at the Bay View Music Festival. 

Mitchell earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Michigan, a Master of Music Degree from Florida State University, and a Bachelor of Music from Western Michigan University.  He is an artist for the Edwards Instrument Company.

Matthew Lyon


Matthew Lyon is currently Associate Professor of Tuba and Euphonium and Brass Area Coordinator at Ball State University.  He was previously the Instructor of Low Brass at the University of Windsor, and holds degrees from DePaul University, The University of Michigan, and the Interlochen Arts Academy.  He was the first tuba player to receive the New Horizons Fellowship at the Aspen Music Festival and the Dean’s Creative Endeavor Award at Ball State University

Professor Lyon has performed recitals and held master classes in South America, China, Canada, Austria, as well as throughout the United States.  He has been a featured soloist with the Interlochen Arts Academy Band, the Ball State Symphony Orchestra and Wind Ensemble, and is a regular guest artist at various national and international music conferences.  As a chamber musician, Matt serves as tubist with the Spectrum Brass, and has performed with MusicNOW, the Buselli-Wallarab Jazz Orchestra, the Motor City Brass Quintet, Today’s Brass Quintet, the Da Camera Brass Quintet, and the Great Lakes Brass Quintet.  He is also a founding member of the Peninsula Brass.