Dr. Sean Butterfield is currently Instructor of Trumpet and Aural Skills at the University of Idaho. He is also principal trumpet with the Steamboat Springs Symphony Orchestra and a founding member of the Northwest Brass, a brass quartet featuring faculty members from universities throughout the Northwest. From 2011 to 2012, Dr. Butterfield held a one-year appointment as Instructor of Trumpet at Washington State University.
Dr. Butterfield keeps an active orchestral freelancing schedule and has performed regularly with many orchestras, including the Colorado Ballet, Colorado Music Festival, Boulder Brass, Greeley Philharmonic, Colorado MahlerFest, Idaho Bach Festival, Emerald City Opera, and Michigan Bach Collegium. Beginning in 2006, Dr. Butterfield spent two years in the Apollo Chamber Brass, a professional touring brass quintet specializing in educational outreach.
In 2011, Dr. Butterfield graduated with a Doctor of the Musical Arts from the University of Colorado-Boulder. His dissertation, Influences in American Orchestral Trumpet Playing, was a survey of the teaching and musical styles of orchestral trumpeters. For one year, he had the pleasure of studying with almost every member of the major U.S. symphonies—New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Chicago, and Los Angeles. This document was awarded a $25,000 Devaney Dissertation Fellowship, an award given to one student per year across all fields of study.
Dr. Butterfield completed a Master of Music in Brass Performance and Pedagogy (2005) at Western Michigan University, where his teachers were Scott Thornburg and Steven Jones. Born and raised in rural Colorado, he attended the University of Colorado-Boulder and received a Bachelor of Music with highest honors (2003) emphasizing jazz performance and pedagogy. His other primary trumpet mentors are Eric Berlin and Christopher Still.