Named one of Canada’s “hottest 30 classical musicians under 30”, Chicago based tubist Jarrett McCourt holds the Principal Tuba chair of the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra and the Santa Fe Opera and is on faculty at Vanderbilt University. Prior to this, Jarrett was the Principal Tubist with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and a member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and the New World Symphony. Jarrett’s playing has been called “magnificent” by the Palm Beach Daily News and “warm, romantic and seamless” by the South Florida Classical Review. Jarrett has performed with a number of different ensembles, including the Berlin Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, Utah Symphony Orchestra, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, l’Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal, the National Arts Centre Orchestra and the Canadian Brass. Additionally, Jarrett has performed under classical conductors such as Michael Tilson Thomas, Kirill Petrenko, Valery Gergiev, Simon Rattle, and Yannick Nezet-Seguin, as well as alongside jazz heavyweights Esperanza Spalding and Wayne Bergeron.
As a soloist, Jarrett won the top prize in the brass category of the Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal’s Standard Life Competition in 2014, becoming the first tubist to do so in the competition’s 80-year history. Jarrett was also a finalist in the XVI Tchaikovsky Competition (the inaugural year for brass participants) in St. Petersburg, Russia, and the only North American tubist to participate in the live rounds. Jarrett has performed as a soloist with several orchestras including the New World Symphony, the Albany Symphony Orchestra, the Adrian Symphony Orchestra, the Windsor Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Toronto, the University of Western Ontario Wind Ensemble and Jazz Ensemble, and the London Concert Band. Jarrett’s first solo album, Golden Hour, was recently released on all major streaming platforms. During the summers, Jarrett has performed with the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, the Lakes Area Music Festival, the Verbier Festival Orchestra, the Lucerne Festival Academy Orchestra, the National Repertory Orchestra, the Spoleto USA Festival Orchestra, the Aspen Festival Orchestra and the Symphony Orchestra Academy of the Pacific.
Jarrett has been a guest on popular music-themed podcasts including The Brass Junkies, Sound Mind Musician, That’s Not Spit It’s Condensation, and The Mindful Musical Life Podcast speaking largely about ways to improve one’s mental health as a musician in the 21st century. In his spare time, Jarrett volunteers with the Crisis Text Line, a global not-for-profit organization providing free crisis intervention and suicide prevention via SMS message. Jarrett has also visited several colleges, universities and summer festivals to speak about mental health and suicide prevention, including the University of Akron, the University of Kentucky, Northwestern University, the University of Manitoba, the University of Windsor, the New World Symphony, and the Pokorny Low Brass Seminar. Jarrett is also a certified yoga instructor, and firmly believes in the positive effect of mindfulness on one’s life.
As an educator, Jarrett has previously held positions at the University of Memphis, the University of Manitoba and New World School of the Arts at Miami Dade College. Jarrett’s students have successfully auditioned for All-State ensembles in Michigan and Florida, summer programs including the Boston University Tanglewood Institute and Interlochen Arts Camp, and several undergraduate and graduate music programs across the United States and Canada including Yale University, Northwestern University and Boston University. Jarrett has presented masterclasses at several schools around the globe including the New England Conservatory, Cleveland Institute of Music, DePaul University, Northwestern University, the University of Western Ontario, the University of Calgary, Mount Royal University, the Universidad EAFIT and the Universidad de Antioquia in Colombia.
Jarrett earned a Bachelor of Music (Tuba Performance) and a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario in 2013 and two Masters degrees (one in Tuba Performance and the other in Chamber Music) at the University of Michigan in 2015. His principal teachers have been Brent Adams, Fritz Kaenzig, Craig Knox, Warren Deck and Gene Pokorny. Jarrett is a Miraphone artist and performs on a Petrushka 1281 F tuba.