JJC Graduate Returns to Campus Stage for Concert Series

Award-winning trumpeter and Joliet Junior College alumna Mary Elizabeth Bowden returns to campus Sunday for a recital and to lead a master class.  

Bowden is currently playing a limited number of solo dates in the eastern United States while on a tour break from Seraph Brass, the all-woman brass ensemble she founded. Her April 8 visit to JJC coincides with the college’s spring 2018 Musica Viva Concert Series.

Bowden, who grew up in New Lenox, has a vast music education. She began studying at JJC at age 14.

“I loved attending JJC because of the selection of interesting classes and amazing teachers,” said Bowden. “I was very happy to choose my own schedule. My brothers attended JJC with me and this is where we became best friends. Some of my favorite classes were William Yarrow's Shakespeare class and jazz band. I felt like I was able to find my own creative voice at JJC.”

After receiving her associate degree from Joliet, Bowden earned her bachelors from The Curtis Institute of Music, where she studied with the principal trumpeter of the Philadelphia Orchestra, David Bilger. She was awarded her Master of Music in 2006 from the Yale School of Music where she studied on a full scholarship with trumpeter Allan Dean. Learn more about Bowden on her website.

Bowden’s performance at JJC will feature work from Mozart, Debussy, and Ravel, among other classical composers.

“I am very excited to come back 20 years later as a professional musician to share music with a school that shaped me as a young adult,” said Bowden.

“Our Fine Arts Department is always honored and thrilled to welcome alumni of our music program back from time-to time to appear on the series,” said Phillip Spencer, Fine Arts Department professor and Musica Viva Concert Series coordinator. “I am very excited to have the opportunity to hear her right here on our campus, and very grateful that she has also offered to follow her concert with a master class”

The April 8 event begins at 3 p.m. in the Fine Arts Theatre on Main Campus, 1215 Houbolt Road in Joliet. It is free and open to the public. The master class that follows is for music students of all ages. To request the opportunity to perform, email Phillip Spencer at pspencer@jjc.edu with information about your musical background and the piece(s) you wish to play with Bowden.