Steven Felix, Brent Selby Join Music Department

The Department of Music is delighted to welcome two new musicians as lecturers for the 2024–2025 academic year: trumpeter Steven Felix and cellist Brent Selby. For Fall 2024 through Spring 2025, Felix, who is principal trumpet of the Berkshire Symphony, will teach Individual Instruction Program (IIP) courses in trumpet. Selby, who is principal cello of the Portland Symphony, Boston Lyric Opera, and the Rhode Island Philharmonic, will teach IIP courses in cello. We congratulate Steve and Brent and wish them a warm welcome to our musical community. 

Dr. Steven Felix is the newly-appointed lecturer of trumpet at Dartmouth College. He also serves as the artist associate in trumpet at Williams College, where in addition to teaching applied trumpet, he also co-directs the Williams Brass Ensemble and is principal trumpet of the Berkshire Symphony. Prior to his appointment at Dartmouth, he served as an interim lecturer of trumpet at his alma mater, the University of Massachusetts Amherst, from 2019 to 2020. An avid soloist, Dr. Felix has performed in competitions on the national and international level, having been awarded first place in the graduate solo division of the 2015 National Trumpet Competition along with a second place award in the undergraduate solo division in 2011. More recently, Steve was a featured performer at the 2024 International Trumpet Guild conference in Anaheim, Cal., giving the virtual world premiere of John Isaac Mange's Sonatina for Trumpet and Organ. During his time at Eastman, Dr. Felix was a highly active substitute trumpet with both the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and the Syracuse Orchestra and has been active with the Albany Symphony Orchestra since 2013. As much as he enjoys both solo and orchestral performance settings, Dr. Felix's most beloved pursuit lies in chamber music. Alongside his former brass quintet, Flower City Brass, Steve has amassed an extensive collection of invaluable chamber brass experiences. Highlights of his chamber career include a 2021 fellowship in the American Brass Quintet seminar at the Aspen Music Festival, an invitation to compete in the 2019 inaugural Philip Jones Brass Ensemble Competition (of which FCB was the only American ensemble selected), and an entire summer spent studying with the world-renowned Stockholm Chamber Brass at their 2018 academy in Leksand, Sweden.

In addition to teaching at Dartmouth, Dr. Felix maintains a private studio comprising primary and secondary level students throughout Massachusetts, with many of his former students having been the recipients of all-district and all-state chairs in both wind band and orchestra. At the collegiate level, Dr. Felix has given masterclasses in both applied trumpet and chamber music at such institutions as the University of Rhode Island, the University of Massachusetts, and Methodist University (Fayateville, N.C.). While a doctoral student at Eastman, Dr. Felix co-coordinated and co-hosted a two-day regional trumpet festival, helping bring the esteemed talents of Mark Gould, Brian Shaw, Bob Malone and Wayne Tanabe (Yamaha USA), and Samantha Glazier (S.E. Shires) to the greater Rochester and Eastman communities.

Throughout his career, Steve's primary teachers have included Paul Sundberg at Williams College, Eric Berlin at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and James Thompson at the Eastman School of Music.

Brent Selby, cellist and teacher, is from the small town of Bath, North Carolina, where he was raised on a farm. Up until age eleven he thought he would end up farming crops like his father, but after seeing Yo-Yo Ma perform on PBS, he decided he was interested in music and learning to play the cello. Luckily, Doris Hamilton, a retired violinist, had recently moved to the area and agreed to teach him until she could find him a cello teacher. He eventually went on to study with Wendy Bissinger and then at seventeen he studied with Emanuel Gruber, cello faculty of East Carolina University. Mr. Selby earned his bachelor's degree from the New England Conservatory studying with Natasha Brofsky and then went on to study privately with violinist Mela Tenenbaum. In 2018, Mr. Selby joined the Rhode Island Philharmonic's cello section, and in 2021 he was appointed assistant principal cellist of the Portland Symphony Orchestra. In 2022, Mr. Selby was appointed principal cellist of the Rhode Island Philharmonic, and in 2024 he was appointed principal cellist of both the Boston Lyric Opera and the Portland Symphony. Although he never took up farming, his wife Jackie, who is also a cellist, often ropes him into weeding her ever expanding garden.