Chesapeake Silver Cornet Brass Band
PO Box 172, Hockessin, DE 19707
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Dr. Russell Murray
Music Director Russell Murray began his musical studies with the trumpet at the age of ten. Dr. Murray earned his Bachelor of Music Education from the University of Redlands and his Master of Music Education from the University of North Texas. He went on to earn his PhD in Musicology from the University of North Texas (UNT). He has taught music history and directed early music ensembles at the UNT, Texas Wesleyan University and the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University.
He is currently a Professor in the School of Music at the University of Delaware, where he is the director of the Collegium Musicum and is also on the Core Faculty of the Women’s Studies program. He has been at the University of Delaware since 1991. His research focuses on Music History with an emphasis in Renaissance Theory and Pedagogy.
Since 2007 Russell has served as Music Director and Conductor of the Chesapeake Brass Band. In addition to his duties as Music Director of the Chesapeake Silver Cornet Brass Band, Dr. Murray performs with Newberry's Victorian Cornet Band. He has also has arranged several Christmas pieces for brass band.
Susan M. Peo-Associate Conductor
Susan M. Peo is a native Delawarean and has been a freelance musician and professional music educator for well over 30 years. During her career as a fulltime teacher, Ms. Peo had the pleasure of working with young students in grades k-12 in both private and public school settings. She also taught adult and college level trumpet students privately and at Immaculata University in Pennsylvania.
Ms. Peo began developing her love of music when she started playing the trumpet in her elementary school band program and she’s been playing every since. While attending the University of Delaware, her academic pursuits included both art and music. Ms. Peo studied trumpet privately with Alan Hamant, the UD trumpet professor at that time. After receiving her Associate of Art degree in Visual Communications Ms. Peo continued on to complete her Bachelor’s degree in Music Education and Performance.
Ms. Peo began her professional career as a middle school band director in Maryland. A few years later, she returned to the University of Delaware to work on her Master’s Degree in Trumpet Performance and study trumpet privately with Frank Kaderabek (formerly the principal trumpet with the Philadelphia Orchestra). At the same time, Ms. Peo began teaching in the Red Clay Consolidated school district as an elementary band director. Interestingly enough, one of the schools she taught at was the very same school where she, herself, first learned how to play the trumpet. Several years later, Ms. Peo moved into a middle school band and choral position within the same school district. She recently retired from Red Clay, but is still actively pursuing her love of the visual and performing arts.
Ms. Peo is a professional freelance musician and performs regularly throughout the Tri-state area. In addition to her solo trumpet work, she has played with the Delaware Symphony, the Newark Symphony, the Delaware Repertory Symphony and numerous community bands throughout Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Maryland. She is currently a member of the Johannes Brass Quintet, the Atlantic Brass Band of New Jersey (a competitive brass band) and is the Principal Cornetist with the Chesapeake Silver Cornet Brass Band in Delaware.
Pamela Letts-Associate Conductor
Pamela Letts received her Bachelor of Music degree in Performance and Music Education from the University of Delaware and her Master of Music degree in Performance and Literature from the Eastman School of Music. She was a Band Director for 33 years in Delaware and Maryland. Currently, she is a field instructor for the University of Delaware and is on the faculty for the Community Music School there and serves as the director of their Summer Band Camp. Additionally, she is an instructor for the Delaware Youth Symphony Orchestra at the Music School of Delaware.
Mrs. Letts serves as a coordinator for the Delaware All-State program as part of the Delaware Music Educators Association and has served as a guest conductor for the All-County Middle School Band in Kent County, Delaware and as an adjudicator for the Maryland State Band Festival -- a two day event held in Baltimore, Maryland.
Mrs. Letts is also an active performer in the area. She is a member of the Renaissance Brass and has performed with the Delaware Symphony, the Harrisburg Symphony, the Brandywiner’s Orchestra, the Superior Ragtime Orchestra and the Chesapeake Brass Band. She has performed at the Playhouse Theatre and has worked with such celebrities as: Rosie O'Donnell, Nathan Lane, Frankie Valli, Nell Carter, Stephanie Powers, and The Temptations.