IWBC Awards 

    7th International Women’s Brass Conference: Kalamazoo, Michigan June 2012

    IWBC Pioneer Awardees

    Formerly principal horn of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra for 25 years, Julie Landsman is a distinguished performing artist and educator who has served as faculty at The Juilliard School since 1989. She received a bachelor’s degree from Juilliard in 1975 under the tutelage of James Chambers and Ranier De Intinnis.

    A native of Brooklyn, New York, Landsman achieved her dream of becoming principal of the MET in 1985 and held that position until 2010. She has also spread her talent to many other ensembles within the city as a current member of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and having performed and recorded with the New York Philharmonic. Additionally she has performed with numerous groups, including her co-principal position with the Houston Symphony, substitute principal position with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and performances with the Philadelphia Orchestra.

    She has recorded for RCA, Deutsche Gramophone, CRI, Nonesuch and Vanguard labels, and is most famous for her performance of Wagner’s “Ring” cycle as solo horn with the MET Opera under the direction of James Levine. Landsman has performed as a chamber musician at many festivals and concert series, including the Marlboro Music Festival, Chamber Music Northwest, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Sarasota Music Festival, La Jolla Summerfest, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where she appeared as a guest artist with the Guarneri Quartet. This coming summer she will perform and teach at the Music Academy of the West, and the Aspen Music Festival.

    World renowned as a master teacher, Julie Landsman holds teaching positions at the Juilliard School, Bard Conservatory, and teaches frequently as a guest at the Curtis Institute. She has given master classes at such distinguished institutions as Colburn School, Curtis Institute, Eastman School of Music, Mannes College of Music, Manhattan School of Music, University of Oklahoma, and University of Southern Mississippi. She is a visiting master teacher at the New World Symphony in Miami.

    Her international presence includes master classes in Norway, Sweden, and Israel.

    Her students hold positions in the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Opera and Ballet Orchestras, Washington National Opera Orchestra, Dallas Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, New Jersey Symphony, Colorado Symphony, and the American Brass Quintet. She recently received the “Pioneer Award” from the International Women’s Brass Conference and was a featured artist at the International Horn Society Conference in 2012 and 2015.

    Her recent series of Carmine Caruso lessons on Youtube have lent to further fame and renown among the current generation of horn players. Landsman currently resides in Nyack, New York.


      Laurie Frink has been a freelance trumpet player in New York City since the 1970’s.

      She has played with Benny Goodman, Gerry Mulligan, Mel Lewis, Bob Mintzer, John Hollenbeck, Dave Liebman, Andrew Hill, Kenny Wheeler, and Maria Schneider.

      In addition to her active private studio, she is a member of the faculties of New York University, New School University, Manhattan School of Music, and New England Conservatory.

      She and John McNeil co-authored “FLEXUS” –Trumpet Calisthenics for the Modern Improvisor.

      Since the publishing of her biography here, Laurie Frink passed away in 2013.


        IWBC Posthumous Awardees

        Helen Kotas Hirsch (1916-2000) was Principal Horn of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra from 1941-1947.

        Born in Chicago, she became Principal Horn of the Women’s Symphony of Chicago while still a senior in high school (1932-33).

        She attended the University of Chicago, where she majored in psychology and studied horn with Louis Dufresne, Principal Horn of the NBC Radio Symphony in Chicago.  When Rodzinski took over as music director in 1947, he re-hired Philip Farkas as Principal Horn, which demoted Hirsch to section playing. She left the CSO at the end of that season.

        From 1950-58 she played Principal Horn in the Grant Park Symphony and was the original Principal Horn of the Lyric Opera of Chicago from 1954-59.  From 1960-65 she played third horn in the Lyric Opera section.

        She was a passionate teacher, serving on the faculty at the American Conservatory of Music, Wheaton College, and the Sherwood Conservatory of Music.


          Ernestine “Tiny” Davis (1907-1994) grew up in Memphis, TN. At 13, after hearing the trumpets in the school band, she asked her mother for one. She got her only instruction in school and practiced “two or three hours a day.” Later, Louis Armstrong became her biggest influence; she would listen to his records and play along with them.

          She moved to Kansas City, then a hotspot of jazz, played in nightclubs for “two dollars a night” and listened to other musicians around town. During the mid-1930s, she toured with the Harlem Playgirls. In 1941 Jesse Stone recruited her for the International Sweethearts of Rhythm, then the best-known and most touted all-female big band.

          Nicknamed “Tiny” because of her large size, she became a feature attraction, singing and playing trumpet with them for almost 10 years. In 1947 she left the band to form her own group, Tiny Davis and her Hell Divers. They played the Apollo and other New York clubs. After touring Puerto Rico, Jamaica and Trinidad, she settled in Chicago and kept on playing. “Never done nothin’ else but blow the trumpet,” she said.

          She and her partner Ruby Lucas owned Tiny and Ruby’s Gay Spot in Chicago during the ’50s. Tiny & Ruby: Hell Divin’ Women, a 1988 film about them directed by Greta Schiller and Andrea Weiss won Best Documentary at the San Francisco Film & Video Festival.  She died in 1994.

          See this website for more information: http://archives.susanfleet.com/documents/international_sweethearts_of_rhythm.html


            Dorothy Miriam Ziegler (1922-1972) distinguished herself in her career as a trombonist, pianist, opera coach, and conductor.  She was born in Muscatine, Iowa and her father was a musician, bandmaster, and music store owner.  Her mother taught music and played piano, clarinet, and oboe and her younger brother, Frederic, played tuba and drums while serving in the United States Navy.

            In 1943 she earned a bachelor of music degree with distinction, with a double major in trombone and piano, from the Eastman School of Music.  Her performances on trombone in the All-America Youth Orchestra under Leopold Stokowski during 1940 and the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra under Serge Koussevitzky from 1941 to 1942 paved the way for her first professional job as trombonist with the National Symphony Orchestra for the 1943-1944 season.

            In 1944, she won the Principal Trombone position with the St. Louis Symphony.  At the same time, she continued to study with pianist Earl Wild, and in 1946 she received a master of music degree in piano performance from the University of Southern California.  In 1947, she earned a performance certificate from the American Conservatory in France.

            In 1947, she was hired as the St. Louis Grand Opera Guild’s accompanist.  Thereafter her most significant work was as a vocal coach and conductor, primarily of opera.  In 1955, she became the guild’s conductor and artistic director, a post she held until 1964.

            During her twenty years with the St. Louis Symphony, Ziegler taught at the St. Louis Institute of Music, Washington University, and the University of Southern Illinois, but in 1964 she left St. Louis to teach at Indiana University, where she directed the Indiana University Opera Theater.  From 1966 to 1971 she taught at the University of Miami, primarily as director of the University of Miami Opera Theatre, but she also played trombone in the University of Miami faculty brass quintet.

            Ziegler died of cancer on March 1, 1972, in South Miami, Florida at the age of forty-nine.


              IWBC Lifetime Service Awardee (Inaugural Year)

              Jan Duga is a freelance tubist and educator in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. She served 30 years in The United States Air Force Band, Washington D.C., until her retirement in 2013 as a Chief Master Sergeant. In addition to her performing duties, Jan was a tour manager for the Concert Band and in charge of several organization-wide duties including personnel, administration, auditions and marketing/outreach.

              Jan graduated from The Ohio State University in 1980 with a Bachelor of Music Education degree and a Master of Music degree in solo tuba performance from Arizona State University in 1982. Her teachers include, Robert LeBlanc, Raymond Nutaitis, Arnold Jacobs, Michael Bunn and Paul Krzywicki. She also taught in the Chillicothe, Ohio public school system. Jan has been a featured soloist at both the 1992 and 1998 ITEC. A charter member of the Board of Directors of the International Women’s Brass Conference (IWBC), she served as secretary for 3 years, and was honored at the 2012 conference with the first Lifetime Service Award. She is the current Conference Co-Chair for IWBC and Manager of Monarch Brass.


              About IWBC Awards

              PIONEER AWARD

              At each conference, beginning with the first in 1993, the IWBC has recognized women who have been pioneers in the top levels of brass performance, breaking down barriers and living their lives effecting change for those who have followed. Each awardee’s career and spirit exemplify the goals and traditions of the IWBC.

              BEACON AWARD

              The Beacon Award was first introduced at the 2014 conference, and given to women who have been beacons of light for those around them, both in the fields of performance and education.  These women influence so many generations of musicians through their careers sharing the art of performance, and standing for the values of equity, perseverance, and excellence.


              At the 2014 conference a special group of women who made an important impact on the lives of many were honored. These women answered the call of our nation, and beginning in World War II served our country as musicians.  When it became clear that the war was going to involve the service of all available men, the United States government enlisted women to take over many jobs on the home front.  Playing music was one of those jobs.  Bands were formed in the Army, Navy, Coast Guard, and Marine Corps.  Shortly after the war, the Air Force also formed a band of women.  While most of these women served only for the duration of the war years, some bands remained active.  The women’s band programs concluded in the 1970s. The Circle of Excellence Award is given to all women from all services who served as musicians during and after World War II.  The IWBC salutes their service. The biographies of three women who served, and attended the 2014 conference are included here.


              The Lifetime Achievement Award was first introduced at the 2014 IWBC conference, and is given to honor those who have achieved a high level of success in the field of music, through a career dedicated to the highest level of performance, education and outreach. The life work of these women has touched so many generations of audiences, students, and fellow musicians through their careers sharing the art of music. Our Lifetime Achievement Awardees are outstanding examples of dedication, professionalism and integrity.

              PRESIDENT’S AWARD

              The IWBC President’s Award honors those who have been steadfast supporters of our activities and mission on this our twenty-fifth anniversary. We salute these award winners for showcasing true professionalism, and living their lives with a dedication to equality and service. 


              The Susan Slaughter Award for Leadership is being presented for the first time at our 2017 conference, to a true legend in the field of music. Marin Alsop has been a champion of equality, and her career sets the highest example of professionalism and outreach. This award is given by IWBC Founder Susan Slaughter in grateful appreciation for a career spent making a difference for women in music through a lifetime of service.


              The Penny Turner Young Artist Award launched in the spring of 2018. The award is a scholarship competition created by IWBC Board Member Ginger Turner in honor of her late mother, Penny Turner. The competition is open to all female brass players between the ages of 12-18; their music teachers or private instructors may nominate competitors.  


              If you’d like to nominate someone for recognition, please submit your nomination to Joanna Hersey at [email protected]