graduated from Oberlin Conservatory in 1964 and went on to work with the
Boston Pops, Boston Symphony Orchestra and Boston Trombone Quartet in the
In 1978, he
joined the National Symphony Orchestra and sat on the Literature Committee of
the International Trombone Association.
the article “Winning an Orchestral Trombone Audition” to the ITA Journal’s Winter/January
1987 edition. While his sage
advice was still circulating, he was hand-picked as one of only five U.S. musicians to join the World
Philharmonic Orchestra for a series of concerts in Japan.
In 1992, he
appeared on the album, Light’s
Glittering Morn – A Musical Celebration. He and Phil Snedecor
co-founded the Washington Symphonic Brass in 1993.
He compiled “Essential
Orchestral Excerpts for Tenor Trombone” for the Winter/January 1995
issue of the ITA Journal. His expertise came in handy at the
1995 Mary Graham Lasley Scholarship Competition
at Northern Virginia Community
College, where he served as an adjudicator.
and 4th February 1997, he performed in one of the NSO’s Kinderkonzerts
entitled “Bravo, Brass!” at The Kennedy Center. The other musicians included horn
player Edwin Thayer, trumpeters Steven Hendrickson and Phil Snedecor, and tuba player David Bragunier.
He was the
guest recitalist at the 1998-1999 Illinois Honors Trombone Choir/Trombone Symposium
in Urbana-Champaign. It was the
Illinois Honors Trombone Choir Final Concert, and featured conductors David
Allen, Elliot Chasanov and Andrew Glendening, pianist Eric Dalheim,
and the UI Trombone Choir and Trombone Ensemble.
In January and
March 1999, he conducted the Washington Symphonic Brass at the St. Luke
Catholic Church in McLean,
Virginia, for a recording
titled Ancient Airs for Brass &
Organ. He recorded Melodius Accord in tandem with the Master
Chorale of Washington
on 14th November 1999 and it was released on CD in 2001.
and 13th February 2000, he directed the United States Naval
Academy Band Brass Ensemble in concerts at the Gordon
Center for Performing Arts in Owings Mills, Maryland,
and the Naval Academy Chapel in Maryland. Their program comprised Johann
Sebastian Bach’s “Passacaglia in C minor”, Leonard
Bernstein’s “On the Town”, and Modest Mussorgky’s
Pictures at an Exhibition.
February 2000, he performed in a Faculty Spotlight Recital at Gildenliorn Recital Hall on the campus of The
University of Maryland at College
Park, where he was joined by horn player Martin Hackleman, pianist Kelly Ker Hackleman,
and trumpeter Steven Hendrickson.
He and Chris Gekker performed a Faculty
Brass Recital at Ulrich Recital Hall on 2nd November 2000.
March 2001, he was back at the Naval Academy Chapel to conduct the USNAB
Brass Ensemble in concert with chapel organist, Monte Maxwell. He conducted the Washington National
Brass at the National Cathedral on 10th July 2001 in a concert
that included Carl Nielsen’s “Aladdin Suite”, “Short
Preludes for Organ”, with Douglas Major at the keys, and “Symphony
No. 3” (“Sinfonia Espansiva”).
recruited as Principal Trombone for the Super World Orchestra in 1999 and
2002 for a series of concerts in Tokyo,
April 2002, he led the University
of Maryland Brass Ensemble
in a concert entitled “The Planets and Beyond”, featuring Prism
Brass Quintet musician, Matthew Bickel. He and the rest of the NSO Brass
Quintet reprised their “Bravo, Brass!” Kinderkonzert
at the Kennedy Center Theater Lab on 4th and 5th October
February 2003, he returned to Gildenhorn Recital
Hall for a Faculty Spotlight Recital with timpanist, John Tafoya.
Principals Brass Quintet honoured its North
Dakota Residency in April and May 2003. Milton, horn player Martin Hackleman, trumpeters Steven Hendrickson and Adel
Sanchez, and tuba player David Bragunier educated
and entertained audiences at Beulah Middle School, Kenmare High School, North
Dakota College of Science, Red River High School and St. Paul’s Episcopal
Church in Grand Forks, the University of Mary in Bismarck, and West Fargo
High School. Their concerts
included: Morley Calvert’s
“Suite from the Monteregian Hills”;
Duke Ellington’s “Three American Jazz Classics”; Georg Frideric Handel’s “Hallelujah” and “Overture
W.C. Handy’s “Beale Street Blues”;
Gustav Holst’s “Second Suite in F”;
and, Peter Schickele’s “Fanfare to
the Common Cold” and “Variations on a Joke”.
In June 2003,
Milton and Summit Brass appeared the Rafael Mendez Brass Institute, which
was hosted by the University of Colorado in Boulder. Summit
Brass Live hit the shelves before the year was out.
January 2004, the NSO Principals Brass Quintet reprised their popular “Bravo,
Brass!” Kinderkonzert. They gave a concert at the Alden
Theatre in McLean, Virginia, on 7th March
2004. In May 2004, the NSO
performed “The Ring Without Words” by Richard Wagner, arranged
by Maestro Lorin Maazel,
at the Kennedy
Anthony Plog took turns conducting Summit Brass
at the International Trumpet Guild Conference Opening Concert on 15th
June 2004. Their program
included: Franz Biehl’s “Ave Maria”; Morton Lauridsen’s “O Magnum Mysterium”;
Anthony Plog’s “Concerto for Trumpet,
Brass Ensemble & Percussion” and “Summit Fanfare”;
Maurice Ravel’s “Alborada del Gracioso”; Dmitri Shostakovich’s “Four
Preludes”; and, Allen Vizzutti’s “Prism: Shards of Color for Brass and
winter of 2004 was over, Milton had performed with pianists Ted Guerrant and Rita Sloan and trumpeter Chris Gekker on the Eric Ewazen-David
Snow album, Winter, and conducted
the WSB on Dances with Brass. Dances
with Brass contained arrangements by Phil Snedecor
of Leonard Bernstein’s “On the Town”, Bjork’s
“Dancer in the Dark”, Manuel de Falla’s
“La Vide Breve”, Alberto Ginastera’s “Estancia”, Louis Prima’s
“Sing, Sing, Sing”, Richard Strauss’s “Dance of the
Seven Veils” from Salome, and
John Williams’ “Irish Wedding Dance”.
September 2005, the WSB appeared at St.
Anne’s Episcopal Church in a swingin’
affair entitled “Rhythm and Brass” that featured the music of
Bernstein, Ellington, Benny Goodman, and Harry James.
Milton conducted members of the WSB on the 2006
CDs, Sinfonia Festiva
and Voices of Brass. On 26th
March 2006, the NSO Principals Brass Quintet performed works by Bach,
Ludwig van Beethoven, Handel, Franz Joseph Haydn and Scott Joplin at the
George Washington Masonic National Memorial Auditorium.
offered up “No Strings Attached”, a program of traditionally
string works arranged for brass by Phil Snedecor,
on 10th May 2006 at First Christian Church in Hagerstown, Maryland. The evening included brass
renditions of Samuel Barber’s “Adagio for Strings”, Holst’s “St. Paul’s Suite”, Shostakovich’s
“Chamber Symphony”, Peter Ilyich
Tchaikovsky’s “Serenade for Strings”, and Ralph Vaughan
Williams’ “Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis”.
Milton presented a workshop entitled “Tune
it or Die!” at the International Women’s Brass Conference on 16th
June 2006. On 18th November
2006, The University of Maryland Brass Ensemble interpreted Leos Janacek’s
“Sinfonietta”, Tchaikovsky’s “1812
Overture”, and George Walker’s “Concerto for Trombone”,
The WSB raised
the curtain on “At the Movies” at the 2007 ITG Conference in Amherst, Massachusetts. Before the closing credits,
listeners had heard “Batman Returns” by Danny Elfman, “James Bond Medley” by John Barry,
Monty Norman et al, “John Williams Medley”, “O Fortuna”
from Carmina Burana by
Carl Orff, “Rocky” by Bill Conti, The Rite of Spring – Part I by Igor Stravinsky, and “West
Side Story” by Bernstein.
In July 2007,
Milton and the Summit Brass attended the Rafael Mendez Brass Institute at
of Denver. Upon his arrival, he wasn’t
feeling 100% and was taken to a local hospital. Apparently, he had suffered a heart
attack on the previous day and doctors inserted a stint. They released him and he went about
his business at the conference and took in that weekend’s concert by
the Summit Brass. On Monday, a
member of the hotel staff discovered him lying still in bed. He had died in his sleep.
service was held on Labor Day, 3rd September 2007 at the
National Presbyterian Church in Washington,
D.C. Fittingly, a trombone choir and the
Washington Symphony Brass supplied the music.
It was not the
last memorial, however. On 19th
November 2007, the University
of Maryland Student Brass Ensemble
and Trombone Choir dedicated their concert to him. The program included a piece of
music penned by Josh Perry-Parrish specifically for the occasion.
dedicated their 2008 album, A Summit
Brass Night: Live in Colorado
to their long-time collaborator.
is listed as an assistant producer in the credits.
In March 2008,
The Inter-Service Trombone Choir, which Milton
started, performed a concert tribute to their founder at Brucker Hall in Fort
under their new name, The Milt Stevens Memorial Trombone Choir.
Paul Hill Chorale recordings
O Come All Ye Faithful (Frederick
Oakeley/John Francis Wade)
Arranger – Jackson Berkey
Conductor – Paul Hill
Organist – Sondra Proctor
Capital Brass and Percussion Ensemble