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Sept. 1, 2023

Northwest to host ‘Brass Day,’ U.S. Air Force Heartland of America Band Sept. 10

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Northwest Missouri State University music faculty and musicians with the U.S. Air Force Heartland of America Band will play a campus stage Sept. 10 in combination with master classes for high school musicians during the University’s Brass Day.

A quartet of Heartland of America Band members will perform at 1 p.m. at the Charles Johnson Theater in the Olive DeLuce Fine Arts Building.

With 15 total members, the band is known for its inspiring, patriotic performances that demonstrate Air Force excellence and precision. In collaboration with U.S. embassies, the band carries out its mission of sharing American culture, building partnerships, advancing international relationships and using music to motivate and unify coalition service members.

The ensemble began as the 402nd Army Air Force Band in 1943 at Ardmore Army Base in Oklahoma. After assignments at Andrews Field in Maryland and Selfridge Air Force Base in Michigan, it was assigned to Strategic Air Command at Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska, which has been the band’s home since 1948.

“We are very excited to host the inaugural Northwest Brass Day on our campus,” Professor of Music Dr. William Richardson said. “The brass players from Offutt Air Force Base are amazingly talented musicians, and this promises to be a fun and informative event for high school and university brass players.”

In addition to clinics and All-State music help sessions, the Brass Day will feature a final performance by Northwest faculty Richardson and Dr. William Sutton as well as an all-brass ensemble, beginning at 5 p.m.

Richardson joined the Northwest faculty in 1999 and teaches trumpet and various music courses at the University. In addition to directing Northwest jazz ensembles, he is a member of the St. Joseph Symphony and the St. Joseph Big Band, among other performance groups. A Fulbright Scholar and visiting professor of trumpet at the Jazeps Vitols Latvian Academy of Music in Riga, Latvia, in 2010,  he also has performed with trumpet ensembles at International Trumpet Guild Conferences and at the National Trumpet Competition.

Sutton joined the Northwest faculty in 2022 and performs on euphonium, tuba and trombone. With a doctorate in music performance as well as master’s degrees in music theory and music performance from Michigan State University and a bachelor’s degree in music education and performance from State University of New York at Potsdam, he has performed with a variety of orchestras and brass ensembles in Michigan and New York, as well as in the Midwest. Last spring, he played with the Kansas City Symphony in several performances of “The Planets” by Gustav Holst.

All of the performances are free and open to the public. For more information, including a complete schedule of Brass Day activities, visit


Dr. Mark Hornickel
Administration Building
Room 215