Known for her versatility and probing musicianship, Elisa Koehler is a conductor, trumpeter, and author with professional experience as both a soloist and an ensemble musician. Currently Chair of the Music Department and Professor of Music at Winthrop University, she was previously Professor of Music and the Director of the Center for Dance, Music, and Theatre at Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland and Music Director and Conductor of the Frederick Symphony Orchestra. She has appeared as guest conductor with the Charlotte Civic Orchestra and the Rock Hill Symphony Orchestra, as well as an adjudicator and clinician. 

As a trumpeter, she has performed with the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, the Lyric Brass Quintet, and as the solo trumpeter of Baltimore’s Bach Concert Series. Dr. Koehler has performed and recorded on period instruments with the Bach Sinfonia, the Handel Choir of Baltimore, the Washington Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble, and Newberry’s Victorian Cornet Band. A member of the editorial staff of the International Trumpet Guild Journal from 2002-2019, she was elected to the ITG Board of Directors in 2017 and as ITG Secretary in 2019. In 2021 she was elected Vice President (President-Elect) of the Historic Brass Society.

Also an active researcher, Elisa Koehler is the author of Fanfares and Finesse: A Performer’s Guide to Trumpet History and Literature (Indiana University Press) and A Dictionary for the Modern Trumpet Player (Rowman & Littlefield). In 2016 she edited new performing editions of the Haydn and Hummel trumpet concertos with historical commentary for Carl Fischer Music. She can be heard as cornet soloist with Newberry’s Victorian Cornet Band on the album, Thomas Coates: The Father of Band Music in America.  Dr. Koehler has presented at national and international conferences, and produces the YouTube channel, Brass from the Past, which features educational videos concerning historic brass instruments. Her articles have appeared in numerous publications including the Conductors Guild Journal, Heritage Band Encyclopedia, The Brass Herald, and The New Grove Dictionary of American Music.

Elisa Koehler earned a doctorate in orchestral conducting from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, a Master’s degree in trumpet performance from the University of Tennessee, and Bachelor’s degrees in both music education and trumpet performance from Peabody. In 2009 the University of Tennessee honored her as a Distinguished Alumna and in 2014 she received Goucher College’s highest faculty honor, the Caroline Doebler Bruckerl ’25 Award, which honors an exemplary faculty member in the areas of teaching, scholarly activity, and service.




Interview about Newberry’s Victorian Cornet Band on KYMN Radio (July 2022)

Interview on Diversify the Stand Podcast (February 2022)

A Second Interview with Elisa Koehler (Trumpet Journey Blog, February 2021)

Interview on (January 2018)

Interview on Trumpet Journey Blog (November 2012)

7 thoughts on “BIO

  1. Elisa:
    Enjoyed watching the performances on Utube, the sound and video quality are quite good. You are missing all the fun here with the Artic-like weather, oh well. I know it will be hard to leave that wonderful place at Paderdon. We look forward to having you back. Have a safe trip.

  2. Hi,
    Realy liked your video about the development of the horn! It’s a great educational material. I don’t remember seeing any video like this about the horn.

    Could you please open the possibility to add translations? Would really like to show this to my horn students…

  3. Fantastic Trumpet Playing
    Ps Today I got your book fanfare and Finesse at the Conservatory Luzern
    Thank you very much
    Marku s

  4. Greetings from Westminster Conservatory, Princeton!
    Well done indeed! Your introduction to natural trumpet (on YouTube) is a clear, concise yet thorough gem of solid and useful information: Historical context and instrument design/construction; harmonic-series principles; performance practices and techniques; practical concerns and suggestions; suggestions for further study and discovery; plus your excellent performances of instructive musical examples, and more. All within about 20 minutes! Beautiful!
    Your valuable detailed overview of the natural trumpet will find resonance and practical application in the studies of any interested novice, any current young scholar and all experienced players of the modern trumpet who wish to expand their musical skills to include a growing facility in this rich tradition of clarino trumpet performance.
    I’ve noticed a distinct improvement in strength and precision in my regular Bb or C trumpet playing, regardless of the genre, the more I practice to develop what is required to play on the natural and baroque trumpets.
    Now, we wait for the Covid-virus to vanish so that public performances of music can once again be scheduled and musicians can gather together to manifest their art.

    1. Thank you so much for your extremely kind words, Michael. I am especially touched by what you wrote because I worked very hard to make the video concise yet full of substance.

      I know exactly what you mean about how playing the natural trumpet can strengthen skills on the modern trumpet. Hope you are safe and well during these challenging times. We all await the return of live performances. Again, thank you for your comment with my very best wishes!

  5. Elisa- I don’t have your email address- I want to talk about some research issues. Also text/phone 612-308-6857

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