Brass Ensemble I

I.     Course Prefix/Number: MUS 141

       Course Name: Brass Ensemble I

       Credits: 1 (0 lecture; 2 lab)

II.    Prerequisite

Consent of instructor.

III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course studies advanced brass solo and ensemble music. Of value for those who intend to major in music and need the knowledge of brass instruments. Recommended: two years of private instruction on brass instruments, experience in beginning ensemble music or two years of high school band/orchestra/jazz ensemble.

IV.   Learning Objectives

  1. To differentiate the various styles of music written for Brass ensembles.
  2. To develop skills as a brass player, improving tone production, technique and musicality.
  3. To demonstrate good ensemble skills including awareness of articulation, intonation, rhythmic accuracy, and balance.
  4. To play styles of music written for Brass Ensembles.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

  1. Sight-reading of musical materials.
  2. In-depth practice with specific pieces, identifying individual and ensemble problems in performance.
  3. Work in small groups (quintets) to gain experience in playing in a group without a conductor.
  4. Listening sessions consisting of tapings of professional Brass groups and our own Brass ensemble rehearsals

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Instruction is given within a rehearsal context, with students asked to play their parts individually and in instrument sections to help identify problems, and solidify student's understanding of style considerations.

Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

  1. Attendance at all rehearsals unless by prior arrangement with instructor.
  2. Individual practice of musical materials used during rehearsals.
  3. Participation in class discussions about style considerations, performances, practices, and ensemble unity.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

Representative Literature:

  1. Music written for Brass Ensembles; such as selections from the following pieces:
    1. Three Dances - Susato
    2. This Old Man March - Robert
    3. Sharagan and Fugue - Alan Hounaness
    4. Motet and Royal Fanfare - Josquin des Press
    5. Book of Favorite Quintets, Intermediate level, by Canadian Brass
  2. Music from Oakton Brass Ensemble Library.
  3. Handouts on various related topics.

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

  1. Attendance at rehearsals
  2. Improvement in following areas:
    1. Individual performance of music used in rehearsals.
    2. Ensemble awareness and adjustments.
    3. Participation in class discussions.

XI.   Other Course Information

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.