News & Events

Beloved Member Martha Bixler Dies at 93

It is with great sadness that we announce the death by natural causes of founding member Martha Bixler at the age of 93. Martha has been a key figure in the growth of the American recorder and early music movement since the 1950s.

She held Bachelor degrees from Smith College and the Yale University School of Music and a Master's degree from Brooklyn College. She has long been active with the American Recorder Society (ARS). She was a member of the Board of Directors, twice President of the organization, editor of the Members' Library Editions and active on various committees. Her personal story of the first fifty years of the American Recorder Society, The American Recorder Society and Me; a Memoir, is available on the ARS web site.

She taught recorder, harpsichord and early dance at various colleges including Wagner College and Sarah Lawrence College, as well as at innumerable recorder and early music workshops around the United States, Canada, England and Ireland. As a performer, she played with a number of prominent early music ensembles including the New York Pro Musica, Musica Sacra, the Bach Aria Group and the Berkshire Bach Society.

She was the editor of a number of arrangements for recorders and recorded for Columbia Records and Decca Gold Label.

She also enjoyed playing viol and sackbut and was a regular participant at our Historic Brass Festivals. She, along with her good friends Susan Wilcox and Charlotte Leonard, were known at the annual Historic Brass Festivals as the "Sackbut Sisters".

Click on the title of this article to read the full version including some memories of Martha by the two remaining "Sackbut Sisters".

Proposal for a New HBS Publication with New Opportunities for Members

11/29/2020 UPDATE: There will be an information session and brain storming discussion on December 12 at 1:00 PM EST (UTC -05:00)

To receive the meeting link and password, send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. (Deadline December 12 at 12:00 PM EST)


Possible New Publishing Opportunities with the HBS!

Would you like more opportunities to be involved with publishing with the HBS?

We are very excited to announce the formation of an Exploratory and Planning Committee for a possible new online publication and are looking for members who would be interested in working on the planning, creation and running of this publication. Read this article to learn more!

Jeremy Montagu 1927-2020

montaguJeremy Peter Samuel Montagu (1927-2020), one of the foremost authorities on musical instruments of our time, has died peacefully surrounded by family following a short period of illness. Like the extensive collection of musical instruments and the library that he amassed in his Oxford home, Montagu’s multifaceted career as a scholar, author, musician, and curator was notable for its global purview and interdisciplinary breadth.

Announcement of HBS Elections and Restructuring

The Board of Directors is pleased to announce that the Historic Brass Society is being restructured with additional opportunities for participation and elections are scheduled for November of 2020. The Board has been working over the past year to rewrite the By-Laws and promote greater participation among the HBS Membership and provide regular turnover in the senior leadership positions.

For details, please read this document and refer to the HBS Leadership and Staff Positions and Committees page for details on leadership, editorial, staff and committee positions.

Deadline for nominations for elected positions was October 15, 2020.

Update - October 17, 2020 - FINAL:

The slate of candidates for elective positions has been updated once again and finalized. No further nominations for ELECTIVE positions will be accepted, but there are still openings on the Membership and Events committees as well as the New Publication Exploratory Committee.  Click here to view the list of candidates.  

Important: Ballots will be sent to 2020 members of record as of 10/17/2020 THIS WEEK and voting will be open for a period of one month. The email with your unique link to the voting system will come from so you may wish to white list this domain in your email to ensure that your ballot does not go into your spam filter.

Update - September 9, 2020:

The Board of Directors has completed its revisions to the By-Laws. There will be a ballet item on the November ballet to approve the adoption of the new By-Laws. To learn more and to review the proposed By-Laws, see the By-Laws of the Historical Brass Society page.

Also, the nominations process is off to a good start with a few nominations for all positions plus a few requests for postings to the various staff positions and committees in our announcement. There is still time to throw your hat into the ring for Vice President, Secretary or Director, and we still have plenty of opportunities on committees and on staff to help run various aspects of the organization so please submit your name or the name of someone else for consideration to the Nominating committee.

It's Election Season 2021!!

Voting for the 2021 election is now closed and the results are in. This is an archival news item.

All 2021 members of record as of 11/7/2021 will receive a ballot from on 11/15/2021 with a unique code and link.  Use that link to vote for the positions below.

Click here to view the full slate of candidates with their CVs and candidacy statements.

Vice President

As you know, our founder and longtime President Jeff Nussbaum is stepping down at the end of this year so we held elections a year ago for new officers including vice president.  The vice president, who is also the "president-elect", normally serves for two years, assisting the president and "learning the ropes", and then steps into the role of president for two additional years. Stan Curtis was elected and is serving one year in that role instead of two since Jeff wishes to step down at the end of 2021, and will become president in January for two years. In this election we have only one candidate on the ballot, Elisa Koehler.


Among the other changes made were term limits for officers and members of the Board of Directors. Directors now serve 3-year terms and may be run for re-election for one additional consecutive term. To accomplish the new rotation, two members of Board who had been appointed prior to last year's election needed to volunteer to have their terms end this year and a single Board position would be open for election this year. Those Board members are Steven Lundahl and Arnold Myers. They are both running for reelection (no other candidates applied) but there is now only one position open in this election cycle.

NEW!! Member, Editorial Board of the Historic Brass Journal

Executive Editor Stew Carter, the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors are excited to announce changes in the composition of the Editorial Board as well as a new internship program! (Watch for more on that later...)

To further promote transparency, accessibility and diversity, Editorial Board procedures have been revised to enable the membership of the Historic Brass Society to nominate and elect 50 percent of the Editorial Board members. Members may nominate themselves or others for candidacy. To ensure the continued expertise and capabilities of the Editorial Board, nominees should meet the main criteria outlined on our website. All nominations will be reviewed by the Nominating Committee and a slate of candidates who meet the job specification criteria will be presented to the membership during the upcoming Board Election cycle.

We will soon post details of those changes as well as of the new internship program.

Elections are now Open!

The Nomination Period was open through November 7. Nominations closed on 11/7 and electronic voting is open from 11/15 to 12/15. You must be a member of record for the 2021 membership year by the end of November 7th to vote. All members of record by the close of 11/7/2021 will receive an email on 11/15/2021 from with their unique ballot link.

You can view the descriptions and requirements of each position here: Leadership and Staff Positions and Committees

As always, we continue to seek additional volunteers for staff positions and committees. In particular we need additional help with membership and website and other technical assistance.

HBS Launches Youtube Channel

For those interested in viewing some of our recent activities (concerts, conferences, etc.) we've started placing videos on Youtube. The first videos are from the recent James Reese Europe conference. We've got a page (listed under "features" and "additional content" on the menu) on our website by clicking here. The videos are on our new Youtube channel too, so you can subscribe or view them by clicking this link.

John Wallace online Brass Camp (July 2020)

John and the Wallace Collection, in conjunction with St. Andrews University, are hosting a FREE online Brass Camp for students of all levels and ages, anywhere in the world on 3 Saturdays July 11, 18 & 25. 2pm BST (9am EDT). It includes historical information sessions with Arnold Myers and Peter Holmes, as well as playing sessions leading to a final virtual concert.
More details and registration at:

Vienna Talk 2020 Postponed

Vienna Talk 2020, at which the HBS was scheduled to present a special lecture session, has been postponed due to coronavirus. Originally planned for September 2020, organizers are tentatively planning on moving it to September 2022. For further information and updates visit

Peter Ecklund (1945–2020)

Longtime HBS member trumpeter Peter Ecklund passed away on April 8, 2020 after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. Peter was a rare musician who possessed a reserved personality, sharp wit, inquisitive mind, and was one of the most inventive and brilliant cornet players in the early jazz world. He was eager to explore a wide range of musical genres from natural trumpet, English slide trumpet, 19th century cornet repertoire to the world of early jazz, where he was a true star.

Edward H. Tarr (1936-2020)

tarrtarr2Edward H. Tarr (1936–2020), the pre-eminent baroque trumpeter of the twentieth century, has died at 83 following a period of illness.  Tarr’s long career as a brilliant and expressive performer, a tireless scholar, and devoted teacher was of enormous influence in shaping the revival of historic brass instruments.  His recordings and concerts stimulated considerable interest in the natural trumpet, an interest that he furthered with numerous editions of trumpet works, a rich body of pedagogical and musicological publication, and close work with the instrument makers Ewald Meinl and Rainer Egger in the reconstruction of instruments inspired by Wolf Wilhelm Haas, Hans Hainlein, and Johann Leonhard Ehe III.  But crowning all of this was his beauty of sound and a highly cultivated sense of style that would entice and inspire generations of players and listeners throughout the world.

April Symposium Cancelled

In light of the coronavirus pandemic, with the difficulty of travel and the importance of social distancing, we have cancelled our April 17 Symposium.

We are already working to reschedule, with a very possible date in late May of 2021 in the greater New York area. Please be patient as we coordinate with other organizations to bring this together. We will put out a new Call for Presentations as soon as we have a date and location confirmed, and will continue to update both the website and the Facebook page with additional details. Meanwhile, we hope everyone stays healthy and safe, and we look forward to seeing you all in the future.

UNESCO Application and Conference

The programme of the International Conference that will take place at the Venaria Reale Palace (Centro Conservazione e Restauro "La Venaria Rele") on February 20-21 is available for download. The works will be followed by a concert open to a wider public (Feb. 21st 17.30 h) in the Hall of Diana. The Hall is decorated with the original cycle of paintings (1659-1661) by Jan Miel which depict various phases of vènerie at the court of Savoy, showing about 20 circular horns. The paintings are quite possibly the earliest european iconographical source for the employment of circular horns in hunting.

The practice "The musical Art of Hunting Horn players" will undergo UNESCO evaluation in the year 2020 (for details on the application click here). The international application (Belgium, France, Italy and Luxembourg)  refers to the nomination of the art in the UNESCO representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanities. In this phase the application only refers to the french hunting horn, trompe de chasse, but the common origin of the instrument and practice at 17th century europen courts hunting ceremonial, and the parallel impact in diffferent musical contexts, as art music, might involve, hopefully, a further more inclusive application.