Known for her versatility and probing musicianship, Elisa Koehler is a trumpeter, conductor, 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. 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 since 2002, she was elected to the ITG Board of Directors in 2017 and as ITG Secretary in 2019.
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.
A Second Interview with Elisa Koehler (Trumpet Journey Blog, February 2021)