Hodgson School brass area concert honors former professor of trumpet Fred Mills

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The music of legendary trumpet player and former Hugh Hodgson School of Music faculty member Fred Mills is the focus of a special recital from the Hodgson School’s brass area in Ramsey Concert Hall on Wednesday, Oct. 18, at 8 p.m.

Mills was an early and long-tenured member of the world-renowned brass quintet Canadian Brass, playing with the ensemble from 1972 to 1996, when he joined the Hodgson School faculty as professor of trumpet, a post he held until his untimely passing in 2009. 

“I was lucky enough to spend a year working with Fred - he was a great mentor and friend to me,” said Brandon Craswell, associate professor of trumpet. “Jean Martin-Williams and David Zerkel worked with Fred for many years here at UGA, and Philip Smith collaborated with Fred and the Canadian Brass on many occasions.”

Mills’ legacy as a performer and an educator endures, and now a new dimension of that legacy has come to light.

“Fred had an immense collection of music and memorabilia which was gifted to the UGA Special Collections Library following his death,” said Craswell. “It has taken several years, but the collection is finally organized and accessible for our students.”

The collection, much of which is hand-written, unpublished music from Mills, figures to be a tremendous teaching tool for Hodgson School students. The admission-free concert, which aims to raise awareness of the collection’s availability, will feature original transcriptions by Mills for brass quintet.

Several undergraduate groups will perform, as well as the Bulldog Brass Society, an ensemble formed by Mills in 1996 that gathers some of the School’s finest graduate brass performers. Smith—the current holder of the professorship first given to Mills, the William F. and Pamela P. Prokasy Professorship in the Arts—will join that ensemble for a piece before joining other brass faculty for the closing work of the performance.

The Hugh Hodgson School of Music at the University of Georgia sponsors more than 350 performances each year. Go to music.uga.edu to view the school’s performance calendar, subscribe to the weekly email newsletter, and learn more about the School of Music.