Dr. Thomas Muehlenbeck-Pfotenhauer

Dr. Muehlenbeck-Pfotenhauer
Professional Title
Associate Professor, Trumpet/Jazz

Dr. Thomas Muehlenbeck-Pfotenhauer is Associate Professor of Trumpet at UMD, where he also teaches Brass Techniques, liberal education courses, and coaches chamber ensembles. Dr. Muehlenbeck-Pfotenhauer studied trumpet with Armando Ghitalla at the University of Michigan, completing a Masters degree in 1993, and holds a Bachelors degree in music from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in trumpet performance from the University of Kansas. While at the University of Kansas, Dr. Muehlenbeck-Pfotenhauer studied with William Campbell and Christopher Moore and was a member of the Kansas Brass Quintet. Prior to his appointment at the University of Minnesota Duluth, he held positions at the University of Wyoming and the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.

Dr. Muehlenbeck-Pfotenhauer's performance experience is extensive and varied. In addition to his studies on the modern trumpet, he has studied Baroque trumpet with Kris Kwapis and Susan Williams and has performed with numerous professional early music ensembles throughout North America, including the Lyra Baroque Orchestra, the New York Collegium, Tempesta di Mare, the American Opera Theater, the Chicago Opera Theater, the Oregon Bach Festival, and the Montana Early Music Festival. He is currently the second trumpet with the Minnesota Bach Society and third trumpet with the Portland Baroque Orchestra. From 1994-2002 he performed for numerous professional productions presented at the critically acclaimed Weidner Center for the Performing Arts in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Dr. Muehlenbeck-Pfotenhauer has played lead trumpet and section trumpet in pit orchestras and in back-up bands for musicals such as: West Side Story, Some Like it Hot, the Sound of Music, Copacabana, Fiddler on the Roof, Camelot, South Pacific, the Scarlet Pimpernel, Saturday Night Fever, and Parade; and for artists such as: Robert Goulet, the Manhattan Transfer, Peabo Bryson, Bernadette Peters, Johnny Mathis, and Shirley Jones.

Dr. Muehlenbeck-Pfotenhauer’s research interests include the study and performance of music for the trumpet written by female composers. He was a featured soloist at the 2008 Beijing International Congress on Women in Music and his CD recording “Stories for Our Time”, which consists entirely of compositions by female composers, was released on the MSR Classics label in 2016. He remains an active jazz performer as well, frequently featured with the UMD Jazztet and has performed with an array of guest artists at the annual Head of the Lakes Jazz Festival.

Dr. Muehlenbeck-Pfotenhauer has also performed with numerous professional and regional orchestras, including the Colorado Music Festival Orchestra, the Cheyenne Symphony, the Fort Collins Symphony, the Kansas City Symphony, the Battle Creek Symphony, the Green Bay Symphony, the Pamiro Opera Company, the Green Bay Civic Symphony, and the Fox Valley Symphony. He currently holds the third chair position with the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra. Dr. Muehlenbeck-Pfotenhauer has appeared as a soloist and clinician at festivals and conferences in Wyoming, Colorado, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Kansas, Missouri, and Texas.