Conservatory Student Melissa Muñoz’s Brass Out Loud Workshop Promotes Diversity in Brass

Melissa Muñoz

Colburn Conservatory student Melissa Muñoz co-founded Brass Out Loud, a workshop promoting diversity in the brass community.

Colburn Conservatory student Melissa Muñoz is a co-founder of Brass Out Loud, BOLD for short, a workshop created to promote diversity in brass seminars and the general brass community. After many conversations around diversity and inclusion in the brass community, co-founder Rebecca Karu said, “If we want to see this change, we need to be the change.” And the idea of a new workshop was born.

Melissa writes about the path they took to realize this vision and their goals for the future.

Founders Rebecca Karu, Kate Amrine, and myself began planting the seeds for this new online workshop in the summer of 2020. After four months of logistical planning, Brass Out Loud became a reality and launched in October 2020. Our mission statement is as follows: Brass Out Loud is an organization dedicated to uplifting and inspiring brass players everywhere. We are especially interested in supporting brass players who have felt underrepresented in the music world. In addition to celebrating the work of male players in our communities, we aim to elevate the work of Black, Indigenous, people of color, female, trans, and non-binary musicians. Our workshop will feature events that address the various needs and challenges faced by the brass community. The inclusive faculty and staff at Brass Out Loud will offer a new perspective on what it means to be a musician today.

Since the launch of Brass Out Loud mission, we have raised over $3,500 via Kickstarter and sponsors’ donations. These funds are being utilized to run BOLD’s first online workshop and to enable our growth as an organization as we pursue our goal of becoming a nonprofit. We are excited that several of our classes have been sponsored by Yamaha, Shires and Eastman, Robinson’s Remedies, and AR Resonance.

Brass Out Loud’s first virtual workshop will occur January 8–10, 2021. The workshop is designed for all brass players everywhere, with an inclusive faculty of all backgrounds, races, and genders. The classes offered range from instrument-specific performance seminars to discussion panels on how to be anti-racist in our current state as a society. These classes and panels will be led by amazing artists such as: Rodney Marsalis, Jennifer Marotta, William Purvis, Carol Jantsch, and Jeff Scott. Additionally, Colburn Horn Professor Andrew Bain will lead a warm-up class on Friday morning. We will also be offering classes that pertain to mindfulness and successful habits. Colburn alumna and BOLD faculty member Rachelle Jenkins will be presenting a class on Audition Preparation as it relates to her book, “Audition Playbook.” To view the full schedule, please visit

As a way to begin highlighting our faculty’s perspectives and experiences, Brass Out Loud started a new Facebook Live series titled, “BOLD Chats.” Each week the founders interview a different faculty member and learn about how they have persevered through social obstacles, dealt with the challenges COVID-19 has created, as well as how their ideal brass community looks and functions. Professor of Trombone at Texas State University and Brass Out Loud faculty member Martin McCain described his ideal brass community as, “being representative of the world—a rainbow of people.” Our hope is that our community will set aside any preconceived notions about a musician due to the way they look, and begin accepting each other’s different experiences to enhance our creativity and musicianship. We are fortunate to have a faculty that pushes for change and action. Legendary trumpeter Kiku Collins stated, “that’s one of the most important things whenever you get a spotlight on you—try and use it for good.”

For live updates from Brass Out Loud, please follow us on Instagram and like us on Facebook.
More information about Brass Out Loud can be found on