Published on September 29, 2021 by Ashley Smith  

Since 2013, Demondrae Thurman has been sharing his expertise of low brass with Samford students.  He has an outstanding international reputation as a euphonium soloist, having performed in Europe, Asia, and through North America. Recently, Thurman was named a School of the Arts Davis Artist in Residence, in which he will continue to teach and mentor Samford students as well as pursue professional opportunities beyond the Samford campus. 

Thurman is also a professor at Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, performs with Sotto Voce, Brass Band of Battle Creek and the newly formed 20/59 Quartet. 

The 20/59 Quartet recently performed for the Division of Music weekly music seminar and shared some of their professional insights with students.  The new quartet is dedicated to expanding the sonic concept of the low brass quartet (as well as the repertoire) by utilizing the entire spectrum of timbres within the low brass family. The members of the group are adept performers on a variety of instruments including alto, tenor, and bass trombones as well as tuba, euphonium, baritone, and bass trumpet. 20/59 seeks to perform a wide range of music including transcriptions, arrangements, and new compositions that exploit the full stylistic potential of the low brass instruments.

The members of 20/59 are Dr. Jonathan Whitaker (University of Alabama), Dr. Jeremy Crawford (University of Alabama), Dr. Demondrae Thurman (Indiana University, Samford University), and Dr. Adam Johnson (University of Louisiana at Monroe).

As a teaching artist, Thurman sees a direct correlation to his work and its effect on his students by bringing high-level professional experiences back to his studio to serve as a basis for his teaching. “My students realize that the professional connections that I make away from campus could lead to opportunities for them in the future,” said Thurman.

Thurman enjoys teaching and performing.  “It's fun for me to talk about music and help students solve the mysteries of their instruments. It's also quite gratifying for students to leave the Samford and continue their quest for a life filled with music,” said Thurman.  “Performance is the ultimate gift for music and it's always a pleasure to give in that way,” said Thurman.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.