What is IWBC?

The International Women’s Brass Conference’s mission is to educate, develop, support, and promote women brass musicians while inspiring continued excellence and opportunities in the broader musical world. A nonprofit organization founded by Susan Slaughter in 1992, IWBC endeavors to promote inclusivity, diversity, and equity in the brass community.

Who is Susan Slaughter?

Susan Slaughter joined the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra in l969 and four years later became the first woman ever to be named Principal Trumpet of a major symphony orchestra. She has been on the faculty of the Grand Teton Orchestra Seminar, the National Orchestra Institute, The Texas Music Festival, and the Aspen Music Festival.

In 1992 Ms. Slaughter founded the International Women’s Brass Conference, an organization dedicated to provide opportunities and recognition for women brass musicians. As a fund-raising effort to support the International Women’s Brass Conference, Ms. Slaughter organized and has produced the very popular Holiday Brass concerts, which are now in their third decade, and are performed each December. Additionally, Baltimore, MD also produces a Holiday Brass concert to help support the ever growing International Women’s Brass Conference.

In 1996, Ms. Slaughter founded Monarch Brass, an all female brass ensemble which has performed in the United States and Europe to critical acclaim.  In 2003, they released their first recording titled ‘Monarch Brass.’

For more information about the International Women’s Brass Conference and the Holiday Brass Concerts, visit www.myiwbc.org, and www.holidaybrass.com respectively.

Ms. Slaughter retired as Principal Trumpet from the Saint Louis Symphony on September 1, 2010.

Who is Ginger Turner?

Ginger Turner retired from 27 year tenure performing with The United States Army Field Band. Her career has included playing principal trumpet, performing featured solos with the concert band, leading a brass quintet and presenting numerous master classes nationwide. She was the designer and coordinator of the widely-used instructional video, A Trumpeter’s Resource. Turner also developed the program “Building a Better Brass Section through the development of the Brass Quintet” which has been presented at major music conferences around the country. This program has created opportunities for students to excel while providing leadership training in one lesson plan, emphasizing individual responsibility in learning. A longstanding and active member of Monarch Brass, Turner has enjoyed playing and touring with the ensemble since 2008.

Passionate about education, Turner has been involved with the International Women’s Brass Conference since 2003.  She currently serves as a board member, chair of the Susan Slaughter Solo Competition and the Ginger Turner Ensemble Competition, and annually produces the Holiday Brass Concert in Baltimore, Maryland. 

Ms. Turner has studied with greats of the trumpet world such as Marie Speziale, Susan Slaughter and René Hernandez.  She holds a Bachelors degree in Music Education and a Masters Degree in Trumpet Performance from Arizona State, studying with David Hickman.

Who is Marie Speziale?

Acknowledged as the first woman trumpeter in a major symphony orchestra, Marie Speziale retired from the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in November of 1996 after having served as its Associate Principal Trumpet for thirty-two years (1964-1996). A graduate of the College-Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati, Ms. Speziale studied with Robert Price, Robert Braunagel, Eugene Blee and Arnold Jacobs.

Her tenure with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra included playing Associate Principal Trumpet with the Cincinnati Opera Orchestra, Cincinnati May Festival Orchestra, Cincinnati Ballet Orchestra and Cincinnati Pops Orchestra. Ms. Speziale has performed under the batons of Igor Stravinsky, George Szell, Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland, Eugene Ormandy, Eric Leinsdorf and Max Rudolf. Her very extensive performance experience includes solo appearances with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, with Duke Ellington, and with Dave Brubeck on the Johnny Carson NBC Tonight Show, on the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra European tour, and at the Interlochen Arts Academy.

Since retiring from the orchestra, she has remained active as a performer, teacher and clinician. She has served as Visiting Principal, Associate Principal and Second Trumpet of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, including their European tour, Carnegie Hall concerts and recording of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5. She has toured with DIVA (the women’s jazz band) and the Florida Symphony Orchestra. She performs with the Monarch Brass Quintet and Monarch Brass Ensemble, which she also conducted at the 1997 International Women’s Brass Conference. She has flown to California to do studio recordings for the television series Star Trek: Voyager, at Paramount and 20th Century Fox studios.

Ms. Speziale has been active as a clinician, a participant in numerous conferences and leader of master classes in Europe, Japan and throughout the United States. She was a featured guest artist at the 1993, 1997, 2000 and 2003 International Women’s Brass Conferences and the 1998, 1999, 2001 International Trumpet Guild Conferences. She has served as artist faculty at the 1998, 1999 and 2000 Summit Brass Mendez Institute, performing with Summit Brass, coaching ensembles, presenting master classes and conducting brass orchestral repertoire reading sessions. In 1999, she was one of six Americans (and the only woman) to be invited by the Tokyo International Music Festival to perform in its first Super World Orchestra. Ms. Speziale also served as adjudicator for the National Trumpet Competitions held at George Mason University in 2000, 2001, 2003 and 2004.

From 1979 to 2002 she was Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and was Professor of Music at Indiana University from 1999 to 2002.

In 2002 Ms. Speziale stepped down as President of the International Women’s Brass Conference and now serves on its Board of Directors. She has served on Board of Directors of the Northern Kentucky Symphony Orchestra and on the editorial committee of the American Music Teacher, the official journal of the Music Teachers National Association. A member of the American Federation of Musicians, Ms. Speziale has served as secretary and on the board of the directors of Local #1 in Cincinnati, OH. She is a member of the International Trumpet Guild, Sigma Alpha Iota, Pi Kappa Lambda and Cincinnati MacDowell Society. She has won many awards and honors, including Leading Women in the Arts Award from the Greater Cincinnati Coalition of Women’s Organizations, the Outstanding Woman of the Year in Music Award from the Tampa Tribune and the Sigma Alpha Iota National Leadership award.

Ms. Speziale has been a brass coach and has served on the audition adversity training panel with the New World Symphony. In 2005 she was invited to conduct their brass ensemble in their first concert of the season. In 2006, 2007 and 2008 she served on the faculty of the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music’s Opera Theatre and Music Festival in Lucca, Italy. She conducted the brass choir, taught brass orchestral repertoire classes and served as brass chamber music coach.

Ms. Speziale performs regularly with the Houston Grand Opera and frequently with the Houston Symphony Orchestra and Houston Ballet Orchestra.


Video highlights from the 2019 International Women’s Brass Conference held in Tempe, Arizona.  Video and photos courtesy of Cavitt ProductionsThe music soundtrack is courtesy of composer Paul Lovett-Cooper as performed by the Athena Brass Band.

IWBC 2017 Videos

IWBC 2012 &2014 Videos

Conference Pictures

Humber College
Toronto, Canada
Photos credit: Karen E. Reeves,
Photographer for the Canadian Opera Company

Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo, MI
Photos credit: Cavitt Productions

Northern Kentucky University
Highland Heights, KY
Photos credit: Cavitt Productions

Rowan University
Glassboro, NJ
Photos credit: Cavitt Productions

Arizona State University
Tempe, AZ
Photos credit: Cavitt Productions

University of North Texas
Denton, TX
Photos credit: Cavitt Productions

Past Conference Hosts

2022  Natalie Mannix, Stacie Mickens, and Raquel Samayoa 
2019 Deanna Swoboda
2017 Bryan Appleby-Wineberg
2014 Raquel Rodriguez
2012 Lin Foulk and Deanna Swoboda
2010 Joan Watson
2006 Sharon Huff and Amy Gilreath
2003 Sharon Huff and Amy Gilreath
2000 Marie Speziale
1997 Susan Slaughter
1993 Susan Slaughter