Reflections Recital, 201420+ years of trumpet…

Dr. Brittany Hendricks began her professional career as Assistant Professor of Trumpet at Ball State University, a position that she won during the final month of her doctoral degree. While at Ball State, she became the only applied faculty member in School of Music history to receive the university’s Excellence in Teaching Award (2016), a campus-wide honor that required her to be nominated by her students. In April of 2017, Dr. Hendricks resigned from this position in order to join her husband (trombonist Bruce Faske) in Jonesboro, Arkansas, where she now works on the faculty of Arkansas State University in an adjunct role alongside trumpet professor Dr. Chris Wilson.

As a teacher, Dr. Hendricks’s primary interests include the pedagogy of private instruction and studio management; efficient embouchure function and correction; and the teachings of Vincent Cichowicz, whose methodology was the subject of her doctoral research. Her own teachers include Barbara Butler (B.M. Northwestern University, 2007), David Hickman (M.M. Arizona State University, 2009), Eric Yates (D.M.A. University of Alabama, 2013), Richard Giangiulio (primary study, 2000–2003), Charles Geyer (periodic study, 2003–2007), and Christopher Martin (intermittent study, 2005–2007). As a soloist, she is dedicated to the promotion of works that challenge the expressive boundaries of her instrument; to contemporary compositions for soprano trumpets; and to the promotion of music by living composers.

…and a lifetime of writing.

Music is actually the second of two creative pursuits that have dominated Dr. Hendricks’s life. Drawn to fiction and poetry from her earliest years, Dr. Hendricks was undoubtedly more surprised than anyone else when, in the spring of 2013, she found herself in possession of a terminal degree in music; a published dissertation bearing the scintillating title, Pedagogical Methods of Vincent Cichowicz as Witnessed by Larry Black, 1964–1966: A Case Study; and the early drafts of what would become her first published mainstream work, Limited Range Etudes for Trumpet (Ensemble Publications, 2017).

Not that her fiction-writing self had not reared its head to help her along her way. Dr. Hendricks was admitted to Northwestern University partly based upon the strength of her admissions essay, which described the woes of two hapless pistachios who get swept away out to sea, only to wash up on the shores of an island inhabited primarily by noodles and controlled by an evil tortilla. She left Northwestern with a minor in fiction writing, which might have turned into a second degree if not for the deterrent of Northwestern’s astronomical tuition. (As it was, the coursework for the writing program, to which Dr. Hendricks had to apply and gain separate admission, was at least identical insofar as the major and the minor were concerned.) During her master’s degree she wrote little enough of her own work, but did assume primary responsibility for copy editing both the full text of and book proposal for a close friend’s nonfiction manuscript. She likewise adopted the habit, helped by her Northwestern roommate but eventually sustained singlehandedly, of periodically creating mystery-dinner-style murder mysteries, which invariably required participants to run across college campuses in the dark, seeking out hidden clues and interviewing suspects who themselves knew only their portions of the story. (Dr. Hendricks has engaged in this behavior on four separate occasions, the last rendition of which involved her Ball State trumpet students and was so popular that some of them have threatened to drive south to Arkansas should this kind of event reoccur in the future.)

Having finally quit her day job, so to speak, Dr. Hendricks’s writing self has been pleased to find that it now has free rein to work on whatever it wants, since her trumpet-related commitments have finally ceased to consume upwards of fifty hours each week. Since it takes quite a long time to get large works published, anyone curious about this second pursuit should either settle in for a Rip Van Winkle-style wait or visit ditchtheramen.com, which, in spite of not being fiction, is at least proof of Dr. Hendricks’s current commitment to writing on a regular basis.