Brent Shires, French horn
Brent Shires is Associate Professor of Horn at the University of Central Arkansas (UCA), where he teaches horn lessons, serves as Brass Area Coordinator, directs and coaches brass ensembles, and teaches courses in pedagogy and music theory. Brent holds several performing positions including third horn with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra; acting principal horn of Texarkana Symphony Orchestra; principal horn with Conway Symphony Orchestra; regular theatrical work with national touring shows; and is the founding hornist of Pinnacle Brass, the resident quintet at UCA. In addition, Brent is adjunct horn instructor at Hendrix College, Central Baptist College, and the InterHarmony International School of Music. In the summer he teaches at Dixie Band Camp and Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Michigan. He is a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music in Music Teachers National Association (MTNA). Dr. Shires serves the International Horn Society (IHS) as the worldwide Regional Workshop Coordinator. He and the UCA Horn Studio hosted the 2018 Mid-South Horn Workshop.
Dr. Shires earned his Bachelor of Music Education along with the Performance Certificate at State University of New York - Potsdam; his MM in Horn Performance and Pedagogy at Northern Illinois University, and the DMA from the University of Illinois, with a research area focusing on original works for solo horn and wind band. He also spent one term studying at the Birmingham Conservatoire in England while concurrently student teaching. His horn teachers include W. Peter Kurau, Roy Schaberg, Norman Schweikert, Timothy Jones, John Fairfield, and Kazimierz Machala.
Brent has performed throughout the U.S., Europe, Australia and Asia; and has previously held positions with the Pine Bluff Symphony, Jackson Symphony, Green Bay Symphony, Champaign-Urbana Symphony, Peoria Symphony, and Sinfonia da Camera, among many. He has also performed with the Memphis Symphony, Les Misérables National Tour, Arkansas Repertory Theatre, Fort Smith Symphony, Hot Springs Music Festival, Evansville Philharmonic, Illinois Symphony, Illinois Philharmonic, Madison Symphony, and many other organizations. Internationally, he has performed as Principal Horn for the Haydn Festival Orchestra in Eisenstadt, Austria; served as Guest Principal Horn with the Fujian Symphony in Fuzhou, China; and has appeared multiple times as Guest Principal Horn or as soloist with the East China Normal University Symphony Orchestra in Shanghai. Other featured appearances include residencies at Shanghai Conservatory, Suzhou University, Anhui Normal University and Tianjin Conservatory in China; the 2nd International Albanian Brass Festival in Tirana, Albania; the University of Arts in Pristina, Kosovo; and in Taiwan at Taoyuan Municipal WuLing Senior High School, University of Taipei, National Taipei Normal University, FuJen University, and TungHai University. He currently performs on the Lukas Geyer model horn.
Brent was a winner in university concerto competitions at Northern Illinois University and the University of Illinois, performing as a soloist with the university orchestras. He was also a cash prize finalist in the National Young Artist Competition of Midland, Texas in 1997. Since then, Brent has invested considerable time and effort as a competition adjudicator. He presently serves on the Board of Advisors for the International Horn Competition of America, judging in the University Division. Dr. Shires strongly supports the MTNA competitions, and has hosted the Arkansas state level and adjudicated in the National Finals. Brent also serves as a judge for the ENKOR online solo and chamber music competitions and the new Music International Grand Prix competition.
Dr. Shires also actively commissions new musical works. In 2020 he has been awarded by the IHS Meir Rimon Commissioning Assistance Fund for Taiwanese composer Chia-ling Pan to write a new work for two horns and piano, based on Taiwanese musical themes.