Resident Artists in the UNCSA School of Music are renowned professionals in their field that work throughout the year leading performances or productions, teaching classes, offering solo instruction and often performing alongside students and/or faculty. Connecting students to today’s music industry is one of the most important parts of the UNCSA School of Music experience, and together our talented Faculty and Resident Artists form a cohesive and dynamic learning experience that is important for the emerging artist.
Mary Elizabeth Bowden is a Resident Artist in the Brass Department of the UNCSA School of Music. Her focus on creative entrepreneurship has led to a burgeoning career as a soloist and chamber musician. She is founder and leader of Seraph Brass and the Chrysalis Chamber Players.
Classical Trumpeter and Gold Medal Global Music Award Winner Mary Elizabeth Bowden has been described by Gramophone Magazine as “brilliant” and “radiant in new repertoire for trumpet.” Bowden, a Yamaha Performing Artist, released her debut album “Radiance” on Summit Records.
Following summer debuts with Montana’s Big Sky Festival and the Lieksa Brass Week in Finland, Bowden’s 2017-18 performance highlights include solo performances with the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra, Chrysalis Chamber Players, and the Bonita Springs Concert Band in Florida. Mary is founder and leader of Seraph Brass, with whom she will perform over 30 concerts throughout Mexico and the U.S. Seraph will release their debut studio album through Summit Records in January 2018.
Bowden is the First Prize winner of the 2012 International Women’s Brass Conference Trumpet Competition. She has performed as a soloist with the Peninsula Symphony (California), Laredo Philharmonic Orchestra, Croatian Army Wind Band, Festival Amadeus Strings (Montana), Fifth Avenue Chamber Orchestra in Naples, Springfield Symphony (MO), Naples Symphony, Richmond Philharmonic Orchestra, San Juan Symphony, Springfield (OH) Symphony Orchestra and New Haven Chamber Orchestra, among several others.
Bowden is the founder and leader of Seraph Brass, which performed as a featured ensemble at the 2017 International Women’s Brass Conference and at the Lieksa Brass Week in Finland. She is also a founding member of the Chrysalis Chamber Players, a recipient of a Yale Alumni Grant. She has collaborated in chamber music programs at the Marlboro Music Festival, Lakes Area Music Festival, The Banff Centre, and at the Sydney Opera House. She has served on the adjunct faculty of Virginia Commonwealth University and at The Curtis Institute of Music’s Young Artist Summer Program. She has also performed many dates on Adele’s 2016 North American tour.
An experienced orchestral musician, Bowden is currently Principal Trumpet of the Artosphere Festival Orchestra. She has served as Principal Trumpet of the Sarasota Opera Orchestra, Lakes Area Music Festival Orchestra, New Zealand’s Auckland Philharmonia, the Daejeon Philharmonic in Korea, and with Seraphic Fire’s Firebird Chamber Orchestra and the Lucerne Festival Academy in Switzerland. She is a member of the Richmond Symphony and the Des Moines Metro Opera Orchestra.
Bowden began full-time college studies at the age of 14, receiving an Associate degree from the Joliet Junior College. Subsequently, she earned her Bachelor of Music degree 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 degree in 2006 from the Yale School of Music where she studied on a full scholarship with trumpeter Allan Dean.