New author: Erin Ellenburg

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Hi! My name is Erin Y. Ellenburg, and I’m a trumpet player and private lesson instructor based in Charlotte, NC. I studied music at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC, where I earned a Bachelor of Music in Music Education and a Master of Music in Trumpet Performance. I studied primarily with Joe Phelps and the amazing Dr. Bill Jones.

A familiar story

My post-university story is similar to that of many music majors. After finishing school, I was exhausted, burnt-out, and at a loss as to how to make a career in music.

I have a very high regard for public school teachers — they have some of the hardest and most important jobs in the world — but I found that being a band director was not for me. So after I played my graduate recital, I put my horn in its case and stuck it in a corner.

I kept telling myself, “I’ll start playing again in a couple weeks, I’ll be less busy then.” A couple years passed.

New inspiration

One day I was in a local market, and a flyer on a notice board caught my eye; right in the middle of it, there was a picture of a trumpet. It was a recruitment poster for the Charlotte Pride Band, a brand new LGBT community band that was looking for members, and holding its first rehearsal in a couple weeks. On a whim, I took down the contact information, emailed the director, and went home to frantically attempt to work my chops back up.

Within a few weeks I was sitting first chair in this new band. Within half a year, I became the associate director. It was meant to be.

Rekindled love

My love for the trumpet has been rekindled. I now have a growing private lesson studio where I teach all brass instruments, and am busier than ever with church and wedding gigs. I spend a lot of time with the Charlotte Pride Band, which continues to grow, is involved in the community, and puts on amazing concerts. I still have a part-time non-music job, but I anticipate that I’ll be able to phase that out within the next year. I’m doing what I love — how lucky am I?!

Now I get the opportunity to do more of another thing I love — writing. I was always that strange person who looked forward to research papers. I can now look forward to writing articles for I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoy writing them!

If you want to find out more about me, you can check out the website I’m putting together at

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