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Frost School provided ‘endless musical laboratories to experiment in’

Terri Rauschenbach, a member of the Stamps Brass Quintet, has also performed with the Florida Grand Opera and Palm Beach Symphony.
Terri Rauschenbach
Terri Rauschenbach majored in instrumental performance at the Frost School of Music, specializing in classical trumpet. 

Instrumental performance major Terri Rauschenbach embodies the values of the Phillip and Patricia Frost School of Music.

The Texas native is an extraordinarily talented classical trumpet player, who received a full scholarship as part of the Stamps Brass Quintet, performed with the Frost Symphony Orchestra, and has jumpstarted her career by playing with the Florida Grand Opera and Palm Beach Symphony.

She’s engaged with the University of Miami community as a student council representative.

Rauschenbach is also a passionate, thoughtful musician and kind person beloved by her peers and her mentors; professor Robert Carnochan, chair of instrumental performance, calls her “a spectacular human—warm, sincere, compassionate.”

Read about her experiences at the University and what lies ahead.

Where are you from originally, and what is your major?

I’m from Dallas, Texas. My major is instrumental performance, specializing in classical trumpet.

Why this major? How’d you get interested in the topic?

I began playing the trumpet in middle school through my public school system. I don’t come from a musical family, and none of my friends at that age were interested in learning an instrument; I literally woke up one day in the summer before sixth grade and decided that I just had to join band. Since it was past sign-ups, there were only two instruments left—oboe and trumpet. I decided to go with the instrument with only three buttons instead of the oboe’s 20.

I stuck with the trumpet throughout middle and high school and gradually became very attached to practicing and performing. It made up most of my day, and it felt natural to try and make a career out of it.

What attracted you to the Frost School?

Frost was on my radar as I neared my senior year of high school, but it wasn’t until I met Robert Carnochan, director of the Wind Ensemble here at Frost, that I developed a special interest in this program. The summer before my senior year, I was performing at the Interlochen Arts Center, where Carnochan was making a guest conducting appearance. We were rehearsing Ottorino Respighi’s “Pines of Rome” one day, a piece that includes a beautiful, lyrical offstage trumpet solo. After we rehearsed the solo section, I came out from backstage, and Carnochan was standing at the entryway (decked out in UM gear, of course). He told me about an upcoming opening in the Stamps Brass Quintet, a special full-ride scholarship offered to five incoming brass musicians and urged me to visit the campus and take a trial lesson with trumpet professor Craig Morris.

I made it down to UM later that fall and was instantly struck by the beauty of the campus. I immediately connected with professor Morris in our trial lesson and knew that this was my dream school!

What kept you here?

Frost provides opportunities of all kinds to its students. I have a deep appreciation for the school’s commitment to innovation and cross-pollination; this program has made it so easy to meet and work with peers and faculty from all walks of life and creative fields. I’ve never felt out of performance opportunities or avenues to explore during my time here.

Involvements while at the University?

While at UM, I have been a member of the Stamps Brass Quintet, performed in the Frost Symphony Orchestra and Wind Ensemble, and hosted two full solo recitals. Outside of performance, I have served as the Instrumental Performance Department’s student council representative for two years and am a Foote Fellow.

This past year, I was hired as second trumpet with the Palm Beach Symphony and Florida Grand Opera orchestra. Performing with these local ensembles while finishing my degree presented a significant workload, but I have grown tremendously as a musician, and I look forward to furthering my professional performance skills with these ensembles next season.

How did the Frost School help you to identify a career choice or path?

I think many young classical, orchestral-focused musicians have a difficult time explaining why they’re so drawn to performing symphonic music and what making a career out of that means. That was certainly my case when I arrived here.

Though I love performing in an orchestra, I grappled with the fairly restrictive nature of symphonic music—I am typically performing music that I did not create, with people that I did not necessarily choose to perform with, in a manner or style that I am not wholly dictating. “Expressing yourself” on the orchestral stage never fully resonated with me. There’s honestly not too much room for individual expression.

So why do I love it? Why am I so attached to practicing, honing my craft, and sharing it before an audience? Frost asked me these questions and gave me endless musical “laboratories” to experiment in. The answers will be ever-changing, but during my studies here, I have learned that in order to deliver music that is aesthetic and compelling, I have to bring myself to a state of deep calm and focus. This takes tremendous practice and complete devotion to a piece, and with every performance, I am humbled and refined by this process. I believe that is a major part of why people are drawn to live, orchestral performances—watching a stage full of people shed their personalities and absolutely, vulnerably immerse themselves in a piece of art, together.

A quote from composer Steve Reich (learned in one of my Frost classes) sums up this experience nicely:

"The pleasure I get from playing is not the pleasure of expressing myself but of subjugating myself to the music and experiencing the ecstasy that comes from being part of it.”

How has the Frost School prepared you for the future?

My experiences at Frost prepared me first and foremost to thrive in a professional orchestral environment, both musically and interpersonally. I have additionally been introduced to countless creative and academic avenues that I am eager to explore as my career develops.

Who or what made a great impact on your collegiate career at the University?

The mentors and peers this school has introduced me to have instrumentally shaped my journey. To name a few, my primary professor, Craig Morris; my ensemble directors and mentors Gerard Schwarz and Robert Carnochan; and my early studio colleagues Bobby Gallagher and Kevin Karabell. These people have spent hours teaching me, correcting me, and giving me the space to grow as a musician and a person.

What experience or accomplishment are you most proud of?

Performing with former Frost graduate students Kevin Karabell and Bobby Gallagher in the Frost Symphony Orchestra, led by Gerard Schwarz, are some of my fondest and most enriching musical memories. These colleagues really took me under their wing and gave me a chance to perform at a very high level with them. Those performances hold such a special place in my heart.

What is your favorite: campus experience, tradition, memory, spot on campus, etc.?

I love Lake Osceola. It was my first memory of UM, and it never fails to take my breath away. It has remained such a still and beautiful landmark during my ever-changing four years here.