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Berklee College of Music Brass Department collection by Tom Plsek, 1973-2003

Identifier: BCA-060

Scope and Contents

This collection comprises records relating to the activities of the Brass department of Berklee College of Music, compiled by Tom Plsek, professor of trombone (1972-2013) and Brass department chair (1989-2013). Materials include programs, flyers, and announcements for events such as clinics, recitals, and concerts by students and visiting artists, as well as annual events which the department organized or in which it participated, such as the trombone-centered Sackbut Week, Windsday, and the International Trombone Workshop and New York Brass Conference. The collection also includes some departmental newsletters, notes and event-related correspondence by Plsek and other faculty, newspaper reviews or features of departmental performances, and photographs. Of note, many of these records were compiled by Plsek during his tenure as chair of the trombone department before it was integrated in 1989 into the new Brass department.


  • 1973-2003


Biographical / Historical

Although the Berklee College of Music in its early days as the Schillinger House (1945-1954) and the Berklee School of Music (1954-1970) was not consistently organized into a strict division of departments, the central place of jazz in the curriculum ensured from the beginning the importance of brass. Trombone and trumpet were taught as principal instruments as early as 1955, and in 1989 an overall Brass department was formally established by merging the individual instrument departments. Tom Plsek, then chair of the trombone department, became chair of the new Brass department, a position he held for 25 years until his retirement in 2013.

One of the main activities of the trombone department was the organizing of Sackbut Week, an annual week of trombone-centered events and performances, usually held in April. It was first staged in 1973 by Tom Everett and Phil Wilson, who were joined the following year by Plsek in organizing the subsequent Sackbut Weeks. The last of these annual events was held in 1986. Another annual event organized by the Brass department was Windsday, held from approximately 1995 through 2002. Members of the Brass department and its predecessor also participated in several annual conferences as attendees and/or co-organizers, including the New York Brass Conference, the International Trombone Workshop, the International Trombone Festival, and the New England Brass Convention.


2 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials



Records compiled by Tom Plsek, professor of trombone (1972-2013) and Brass department chair (1989-2013), relating to the activities of the Berklee College of Music Brass department, formalized in 1989, with additional material maintained by Plsek while chair of the trombone department prior to its integration. Material primarily includes programs, circulars, and correspondence for events such as Sackbut Week and Windsday, visiting artist clinics, student recitals, and conferences.


This collection is arranged in five series: Sackbut Week (1973-1986), Windsday (1995-1999), Conferences (1986-2003), Student Recitals (1978-1996), and Other Departmental Events (1980-1999).

Custodial History

Records were maintained by Tom Plsek, chairman of the College's Trombone and later Brass department until his retirement in 2013. They were maintained by the interim and subsequent chairs until their transfer to the Archives in 2014.

Acquisition Note

Donated by Sean Jones, Brass department chair, 10/14/2014.

Processing Information

Processed by Oliver Hughes, graduate intern, Simmons School of Library and Information Science (SLIS). Some light reordering was imposed on this collection in order to reconcile the folders of the Windsday series, which by their labeling were clearly understood to belong together, but had been physically separated, and in order to arrange the folders of the Sackbut Week series and the Conferences series in chronological order according to their labels, in the few instances where this was disrupted in the original order. Addition actions taken included foldering loose documents and the occasional relabeling of a folder in cases where the original label seriously misrepresented the contents.

Berklee College of Music Brass Department collection by Tom Plsek, 1973-2003
Oliver Hughes (SLIS intern)
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Berklee Archives Repository

Berklee College of Music
1140 Boylston St
Boston MA 02215 USA