Robert SearsRobert Sears

Adjunct Instructor of Music | Trumpet | Chamber Music | Jazz | Music Theory

Robert Sears enjoys an active career balancing his love of teaching and performing as both a classical and jazz musician. He is the second trumpet in the Millikin-Decatur Symphony Orchestra, member of the Afro-Caribbean Jazz Collective and regularly plays with Sycamore Brass, his own jazz quintet, and Transit Brass. Robert is the artistic director and a founding member of Transit Brass. Transit Brass is a brass octet that focuses on writing and performing original music in both classical and jazz genres. Transit Brass is as equipped to play in a concert hall as it is to play in a jazz club. In 2018 Transit Brass released its debut album Soundscapes.

As a performer Robert has played with the Illinois Symphony Orchestra, Heartland Festival Orchestra, Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra, Sinfonia da Camera Chamber Orchestra, Urbana Pops Orchestra and Iron Post Jazz Orchestra. He has been a soloist with Illinois Wesleyan University’s Wind Ensemble (2018), the University of Illinois Summer Band (2017 and 2016), and Brigham Young University-Idaho’s Symphony Band at the 2014 CBDNA conference in Reno, Nevada with the BYU-Idaho Faculty Brass Quintet. Robert was a member of the BYU-Idaho Faculty Brass Quintet from 2013-2014. Robert has also performed alongside jazz artists Chip Stephens, Glenn Wilson, Jeff Halsey, Jim Pugh, John Clayton, Ernie Watts and Doc Severinsen. In 2018 he was a featured soloist and clinician at Illinois Wesleyan University’s Jazz Festival, and in the summer 2019 Robert arranged and recorded the horn section parts for gospel, R&B and soul artist Julius Adams. He has also recorded with Indy rock and soul guitarist and vocalist Dan Hubbard. He can be heard playing trumpet on Hubbard’s latest CD Attention released May 2019.

At Millikin University Robert oversees the trumpet studio, directs Jazz Band II, co-directs the jazz combos with Professor Chris Nolte, coaches a brass quintet, and teaches classes in music theory and ear training.

In addition to performing and teaching, Robert is an avid composer and arranger, having studied jazz composition and arranging with Chip McNeill, former musical director for both Maynard Ferguson and Arturo Sandoval’s bands. Some of Robert's music can be purchased through his e-music publishing company Soundscape Music Press.

Robert holds a B.M. in Music Education from Brigham Young University-Idaho, a M.M. in Trumpet Performance and Literature from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and is near completion of a D.M.A. in Jazz Performance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His primary trumpet instructors include Tito Carrillo, Charles Daval, Ronald Romm, Dr. Ryan Nielsen, Dr. K. Newell Dayley and David Evans.

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