Applauded for his “gleaming trumpet work” (Hyde Park Herald), Justin Bland is a versatile musician, performing on both historical and modern trumpets. He specializes in early music, most notably in difficult high-register music for Baroque trumpet. Before formally studying Baroque trumpet, Justin won first prize in multiple historical instruments divisions of the National Trumpet Competition. Dr. Bland is now often sought as a principal/solo Baroque trumpeter by numerous ensembles throughout North America. He has performed on period instruments with Musica Angelica, Apollo’s Fire, the American Bach Soloists, Tempesta di Mare, Lyra Baroque Orchestra, Copenhagen Soloists, Bach Collegium San Diego, Baroque Band, Madison Bach Musicians, Handel Choir of Baltimore, Early Music Alberta, Magnolia Baroque Festival, Oregon Bach Festival, the Washington Bach Consort, Live Oak Baroque Orchestra, Scaramella, San Jose Baroque Orchestra, Chantry, Orchestra of the 17th Century, the Jubilate Orchestra, Choral Arts Philadelphia, Mannheim Rocket, and the Washington Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble. He is also establishing a reputation in Europe. For the 2015-2016 season, in addition to engagements in the U.S. and Canada, Justin will be performing on Baroque trumpet in Europe.
As a modern trumpeter, Justin has experience performing in orchestras, wind ensembles, jazz ensembles, pit orchestras for opera and musical theater, British brass bands, and numerous chamber ensembles. Before beginning his college career, he was principal trumpeter of the DC Youth Orchestra and had the opportunity to tour Japan as a trumpet soloist. He also performed regularly with the Prince George’s Philharmonic while in high school. More recently, he as appeared as a soloist with the South Dakota Symphony, the Firelands Symphony, and the Las Vegas Sinfonietta.
In addition to be being a trumpeter, Justin is also a countertenor and has sung with Apollo’s Fire and Opera Cleveland. While in Ohio, he was an alto section leader in the chamber and chancel choirs at Trinity Cathedral in downtown Cleveland and was the countertenor with Cantores Cleveland (now Contrapunctus). In addition, Justin briefly served as a bass section leader at Church of the Covenant in Cleveland. Justin also plays recorder.
Justin recently earned his DMA in trumpet performance from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He received his MA in early music performance practices from Case Western and his BM in trumpet performance from the University of Maryland. His primary trumpet teachers include Chris Gekker, Barry Bauguess, Steven Hendrickson, Steven Trinkle, and Justin Emerich. He has studied voice with Delores Zeigler, Ellen Hargis, and Aaron Sheehan. As a graduate assistant, Justin taught courses in ear training and music appreciation, and was a harpsichord tuner.
“It [the Baroque trumpet] is more difficult to play than its modern counterpart, but it’s a fascinating and arresting sound. The trumpet part in the second [Brandenburg] concerto is famous for its fiendish difficulties, and Justin Bland played it with aplomb.” (Edmonton Journal)
“Skilled [Baroque trumpet] players can play the notes of the harmonic series with such instruments. A very refined embouchure is needed to “lip” or flatten or sharpen the impure harmonics of the notes of the 11th and 13th harmonics. The most virtuosic could use such techniques to produce certain chromatic notes outside this series…Justin Bland made such skills seem effortless…” (Classical Voice of North Carolina)
“Onstage, the performers exhibited an astonishing level of virtuosity, both as an ensemble and in solos…Justin Bland, with a heraldic trumpet that lacked valves or keys, produced beautiful sounds in a work by Johann Melchior Molter.” (Gazette Newspapers)
“A good trumpet player is hard to find, and an excellent one harder still. It’s again still rarer to find a great player of the baroque trumpet, since the instrument is considerably harder to play than its modern counterpart (smaller embouchure, no valves) and this may explain why Justin Bland is so darn busy and why he plays with, well, basically everyone.” (The WholeNote)
“Add in the splendors of Baroque trumpets (with Justin Bland delivering nuanced playing in “The trumpet shall sound,”)…and our cup runneth over with highlights.” (Greg Hettmansberger, writer for Madison Magazine)