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Meet the Classics Under the Stars Musicians


A native of Columbus, GA, Will Pratt is an active performer and instructor in the DFW area. In addition to playing second trumpet with the Abilene Philharmonic, Will plays principal trumpet with the McKinney Philharmonic and Sherman Symphony Orchestras. Will has also performed with The Dallas Opera, Louisiana Philharmonic, Wichita Falls Symphony, and Richardson Symphony Orchestras.

Will is the Adjunct Instructor of Trumpet at Tarrant County College in Arlington, TX, and Austin College in Sherman, TX. Most recently, he served on the faculty for the inaugural North Texas Brass Week in Frisco, TX. Will’s students have earned placements in Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas all-state bands, and have been recognized as semi-finalists and quarter-finalists of the National Trumpet Competition solo divisions. Will holds a Bachelor of Music from Columbus State University, a Master of Music from Southeastern Louisiana University, and a Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of North Texas.

Brent Phillips is Professor of Trombone at Baylor University. Prior to his position at Baylor, Mr. Phillips was assistant principal trombone of “The President’s Own” US Marine Band in Washington DC and is currently principal trombone of the Abilene Philharmonic and the Waco Symphony Orchestra. He was the principal trombone of the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra for 15 seasons while concurrently performing in the Marine Band. Mr. Phillips has performed as a soloist with the “President’s Own” on numerous occasions to include a national concert tour, and has been a featured soloist with the Harrisburg Symphony on five occasions to include the world premiere of “TARKUS” by Scott McAllister which received rave reviews and was featured in articles by the New York Times, Classically Hip and NPR.

He has been an invited soloist at the 2005 and 2007 Eastern Trombone Workshops in Washington DC, the 2013, and 2019 International Trombone Festivals in Columbus GA and has given recitals in Ostend Belgium, Santa Fe Argentina, Fasano Italy, Panama City and throughout the US. He has toured with the Dallas Symphony on two occasions, performed with the DSO in the Bravo Music Festival in Vail and is the director of the Mountain Light Music Festival in Pagosa Springs Colorado. His recording credits include numerous recordings with the Marine Band, Shark Week with the Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, two premiere CDs with Stentorian Consort, two CD’s with Baylor Brass, Mahler Three and Mahler Six with the Dallas Symphony and three solo recording projects. Mr. Phillips performs regularly with the Houston Symphony, Tulsa Symphony, and Baylor Brass Quintet. 

Mr. Phillips received his bachelors and masters from the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University under Houston Symphony bass trombonist, David Waters. He has been on the faculty at Baylor since 2004.

Ben Fairfield, a native of Staunton, VA, is the Principal Trumpet of the Abilene Philharmonic, Co-Principal Trumpet of the Midland-Odessa Symphony, and a member of the Lone Star Brass Quintet.  He frequently performs as a guest in orchestras throughout the United States including the Ft. Worth Symphony Orchestra, New Mexico Philharmonic, Santa Fe Symphony, and Boulder Philharmonic.  Prior to his time in Texas, he performed in the orchestras of the Florida Grand Opera and the Miami City Ballet in Miami, FL. 

Ben is a veteran of the United States Army, serving as a member of the United States Continental Army Band at Ft. Monroe, VA.  He currently resides in Arlington, TX and holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from James Madison University and graduate degrees (MM, DMA) in trumpet performance from the University of Miami Frost School of Music.

Ben is a Vincent Bach performing artist, a division of Conn-Selmer.

Jeffrey Powers, Principal Horn of the Abilene Philharmonic Orchestra and former Professor of Horn, Baylor University School of Music, holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with “Honors in Music” from Austin College in Sherman, Texas and a Master of Music in Horn from The Cleveland Institute of Music. His major instructors were James London of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Albert Schmitter and Myron Bloom of The Cleveland Orchestra, and Roy Waas of the Buffalo Philharmonic. Having begun his career as second horn in The Hong Kong Philharmonic, Mr. Powers then served as second horn in the New Jersey Symphony, fourth horn in the Philharmonic of Caracas, Venezuela, and fourth horn and Wagner tuba in The Cleveland Orchestra. He then played Principal horn for sixteen years with the Royal Philharmonic of Flanders, Antwerp, Belgium and taught horn, chamber music, and transposition at the Lemmens Institute in Leuven, Belgium. Presently Mr. Powers is also Principal Horn with the Waco Symphony Orchestra as well as the Abilene Philharmonic. Mr. Powers is known for his clinics and masterclasses. He has five solo CD’s released to date.  “Let All That Hath Breath Praise the Lord – Music of Praise for Horn”, “Into the 21st Century – Music for horn and piano by Baldwin, Bentzon, Pilss and Vignery”, “In a Lyrical way – Music for Horn and Piano by Flemish Masters” and “Steppingstones for Horn, Volume I and Volume II.

William Mitchell, principal tuba of the Abilene Philharmonic, has served the orchestra in this position since 1995.  He is on the private music staff of the Plano I.S.D. where he teaches applied lessons, presents weekly masterclasses and coaches chamber music.  As a freelance musician he has performed with the Shreveport Symphony, the Waco Symphony, the Longview Symphony, the Dallas Winds, the Texas Wind Symphony and various chamber ensembles.  Dr. Mitchell has held faculty positions at East Texas Baptist University, Kilgore College, Texas A&M University – Commerce, was a Teaching Fellow at the University of North Texas, and was Low Brass Instructor for the University of Michigan All-State program at the Interlochen Arts Camp. He holds the Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from East Carolina University studying with David Lewis and Dr. Jeffrey Jarvis, the Master of Music degree in Performance from Baylor University with Dr. Michael Fischer, and the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Performance from the University of North Texas where he studied with Donald Little and Dr. Brian Bowman.