Welcome!  Please sign my Guestbook and share your thoughts about Roy Stevens.

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(35) jack brady
May 09, 2018, 06:38AM

I was always a big fan of Roy using his teaching techniques in my own students.
In 1978, I lived in the Brownstone across from Colon Music Store, and next door to the Mid-town Jazz center where Roy had his studio and taught lessons. Every morning I would wake up to triple "Cs". It was a real treat to wake up that way. There are those of us out here who still carry on Roy's legacy to our students. I was so happy to land here on your site. thank you!

(34) Zan D Waller
Dec 23, 2017, 02:47PM

It is great getting to read and listen to all of this historic and first hand information! It's like a little time machine.

You have done allot of work to put this to gather, hat's off to you.

Thank you

(33) Mac Gollehon
Dec 30, 2012, 03:06AM

I went to a Roy Stevens clinic when i was 10 and later had some lessons with Dr Elmer White and in the late 70s a couple of lessons with Roy in NYC. this method was a strong influence in helping me bring about my technical aspects of playing trumpet. Thanks for presenting a great site for this major contributor to the science of brass playing.

(32) Ron Martorano
Oct 28, 2012, 03:21AM

As a high school kid I had the good fortune to attend summer jazz workshops with the Stan Kenton Orchestra in the 70's. At one of the workshops, a trombone player in the Kenton band took me aside and said there is a teacher in NYC you should check out named Roy Stevens. My mother took my brother & I the next summer to NYC and we booked lessons with Roy Stevens. I will never forget this fabulous experience, it changed my life. One day during a lesson a young man came into the studio and Roy asked me to take him for a walk to times square. That young man was Maynard Ferguson's son - Bentley Ferguson!

(31) Butch Varner
Oct 15, 2012, 07:51PM

I wanted to take a moment and talk about how the Steven's system has changed my life. I became friends with Roy Roman in the nineties. He is the most amazing and genius man that I have ever met. He taught me the Steven's method, which took me from barely being able to squeak a high C to dominating the double C register with clarity and power. While living in Japan, I was able to play and perform all over Japan and the pacific. During the war on terror, I went back in the Army as a Captain. Roy's wisdom and expertise helped me with my career. I served as a Chaplain in the Army and Roy's help opened the Chaplaincy to developing contemporary services and play at many events. I am so thankful to Roy Roman and the Steven's system for how it has not only transformed my playing, but how I deal with thins on a daily basis through the personal transformation of my thought processes. Roy speaks frequently about how amazing Roy Steven's was and I wish I could have met him. I just have to say again. Roy Roman is one of the most amazing individuals that I have ever met.

(30) clif robinson
Oct 08, 2012, 06:17PM

I first met Roy Stevens in the late 60's while a student of Dr. Elmer White at Appalachian State University. It took me about two years before the Costello method finally sunk in to my head, but when it did, my playing changed forever. Playing became a joy instead of what sometimes was a chore. My playing range increased to double c and was no real effort. while at ASU, roy made several trips to the university and immediately upon graduation I had the opportunity to spend a period of time in New York at Roy's studio. While there, I got to meet Lew Soloff and Vince Pincerella and work with each. what an amazing experience. Many thanks are owed to Roy Stevens and Dr. Elmer White. Not only me, but many other young trumpet players, of whom they had so much influence

(29) nicky hoffman beechko
Aug 05, 2012, 02:19PM

i studied with roy for a little over 2 years . i visited him manny times at his home in riverdale . he evan came to my wedding we became close friends .he was very patient and understanding of all of his students. i miss him dearly.

(28) Butch Varner
May 23, 2012, 04:01PM

I have studied this system with Roy Roman for 15 years. It has changed my life and give me incredible high range power.

(27) nicky hoffman beechko
Feb 15, 2012, 03:30PM

great job on the site david

(26) Gareth Gary Bond
Feb 13, 2012, 06:14PM

David, Once again kudos for revising this wonderful website tribute to the greatest trumpet teacher in history (Roy Stevens). Further congratulations to your focused efforts to include these wonderful videos that Roy Roman agreed to add, and the connection and agreement to to publish the "Book". (Hey, RR, when did you make these fabulous videos - and where is the gray hair that must be sprinkled in today?!)

(25) Paul Bogosian
Nov 10, 2008, 08:45PM

I studied with Roy Stevens approximately for 10 years, beginning cira 1962. Through Roy Stevens, I was introduced to Don Ellis when Don showed up one day for a lesson with Roy while I was sitting in the 'hot seat' receiving a lesson from Roy Stevens. Don Ellis listened, and next thing I knew, I was on an airplane from New York City to Los Angeles with with Don Ellis who hired me to join his band,.... thanks to Roy Stevens (1971). Roy had the patience of a 'Saint'. I recall grasping the embouchure system in about 2 years of time, however, I stayed with Roy 8 more years; the reason being is that Roy became a trusted friend, and mentor. I felt comfortable being around him and he encouraged me to practice hard. I eventually drifted away from studies with any and all teachers of brass,... and went on from there....yes, along the way, there were issues regarding mouthpieces and equipment changes I preferred, but overall, Roy Stevens made his mark with so many trumpeters,and as the years have slipped by after Roy Steven's death, some of his students have come say Thank You to Roy. We'll never see this experience again. There is no sight like hindsight. Paul Bogosian November, 2008

(24) Ed De Gennaro
Oct 26, 2012, 06:58AM

I don't remember how I found out about Roy Stevens, but I took trumpet lessons from him in the early 1960s when I was in high school. I remember walking up the stairs to his studio in midtown Manhattan and meeting Roy. He was a bit heavy and had a hip little beard. I thought he was a cool guy. I was having trouble playing high notes with a traditional method and Roy explained his method to me, which sounded pretty interesting. After a while, I learned how to get some pretty high notes out of the trumpet. I remember coming to the studio one day and warming up. After hitting triple C during the warm-up, Roy turned to me with a smile and told me to go home because I didn't need him that day. LOL Roy was a cool guy and I very much valued what I learned from him. I've often wondered about him and I'm delighted to see this website in his honor and to learn that his teachings are still alive. I still have my method book and my original mouthpiece, both of which are sitting on my bookcase in my music room in fond remembrance of Roy and my youthful trumpet playing.

(23) Nicky Hoffman Beechko
Nov 15, 2012, 06:56AM

I studied with Roy from 1979 to 1982, he and Mary even came to my wedding in 1981. I spent many weekends at his house in Ossening. He was a great cook and taught me how to crack garlic, a technique I use to this day. I think the most important lesson I learned from Roy was to know what I was doing wrong with my chops and how to correct it. I didn't know what a triple G was, until I met him, now I every time I play one I can't help but think of him. I miss you. Nicky Hoffman Beechko

(22) Sam Ralabate
Nov 24, 2008, 07:56AM

Thank you, David, for setting up this tribute site to Roy Stevens. He deserves to be remembered and this is a fitting and appropriate way to do it...I studied with Roy from '72-'74, driving with friends from our West Pt. Band location into NYC every Tues. for almost 3 years. Drawn by the truth of his book, I am most grateful to him for not only showing us a way to become better players But for giving us real answers to performance problems. While others were dealing with: tips, exercises, mouthpieces, and stylistic details, Roy gave us knowledge based on physical truth. ("The physical laws are constant whether one recognizes them or not". His brilliance was in being able to look at the whole question of "how can the human body best adapt itself to play the trumpet most effectively?" and come up with real answers. Not simple answers for sure, but the truth is not always simple. He gave us all the facts about what plays and what doesn't, took the mystery of chops out of our lives and replaced it with knowledge of the natural law of embouchure behavior. His book is a treasure of information waiting to be brought to life... I am eternally grateful for his work, and think of him often. His method is a huge part of my life and thinking. It made me a better teacher, a more thoughtful person, and a different, better player...I wish he knew just how much he impacted his students, who very often gave up playing as it used to be for the hope of mastering this method........Sam

(21) Diane Stefanovich Powell
Nov 28, 2012, 07:04AM

I am Roy's niece. My father Alexander was Roy's brother. My son's girlfriend attended a jazz concert tonight at Kennedy Center. When she got home she told my son that Roy was mentioned at the concert and that he had a tribute website. Sometimes when you are family you aren't always aware of how a family member touches the lives of others. I have many wonderful memories of my uncle, and of course, my Aunt Mary. My father, who passed away in 2001, adored his brother. I like to think they are together again and enjoying each other’s company.

(20) Steve Jordan
Jan 24, 2012, 07:09PM

I attended Appalachian State 65-69 studying trumpet under Dr. Elmer White, and was fortunate to travel with Dr. White and several other brass players to Roy’s studio in New York. I was thrilled; the greatest players around came to the “chops doctor” for advice when they ran into problems. I remember him being extremely knowledgeable and patient, with the solitary goal of helping other musicians. Thanks to all those associated with this web site, and to others, who honor him by carrying on his legacy, and in turn continue to contribute to the success of brass players.

(19) Peter Keller
Oct 31, 2011, 12:21PM

Hi there, I am, very happy for this site. I did not personally study with Roy Stevens but I have the book for decades and I'm forever grateful for his teaching. It took me ten years to really get it without a personal teacher. I did buy Roy Roman pack about 3 years ago, which helped me a lot. Thank you for making this site. Peter Keller

(18) Larry V. Lane
Oct 29, 2011, 11:49PM

I took lessons at ASU from Elmer White, a student of Roy’s. I am living proof that the method works. When I arrived at ASU I was a pretty good player, but my chops were not set up correct. Dr. White changed my chops and I learned to play without pain and finally worked up a range that allowed me to play lead trumpet in Jazz Ensemble.

My hat goes off to Dr. White and Dr. Stevens for giving me their gifts!

Larry V. Lane

(17) Gary Bond
Aug 05, 2010, 04:17PM

Another item not to be overlooked is the importance of William Costello’s brilliance in recognizing the basic setup and playing abilities of lead players leading him to follow the first semi-scientific quest to relate the two. After uncovering this astonishing fact then formulating the first accurate training set, he was able to organize further information and training exercises awaiting a greater talent to unleash its ulimate power.

Along came Roy who (through his keen mind and thorough personality set) grabbed the method, studying and refining it to the scientific level of perfection to which it has risen and remains today: complete clarity yet a marvelous mystery. No doubt of execution to those who attain its mastery, but a complete befuddlement to those it eludes. Tsk, tsk!

Stay the course. Study the book. Practice its truths. Find a mentor.

Roy, you gave us gold. Help us keep it pure.

(16) Jeff Elton
Jul 17, 2011, 11:36AM

I studied with Roy in the middle 70′s. Tom Lisenbee, my instructor and principle trumpet for the NYC Opera for 40 years until his retirement, referred me to Roy for my embouchure problem. I’ll never forget, as many have said, watching Roy pick up his trumpet and belt out an E flat above Dbl High C just for an example of his phenomenal technique.

As far as I’m concerned Roy Stevens belongs in the Musicians Hall Of Fame. Both as a player and as an innovative teacher. I’ll never forget Roy or my love for him. He was a great, kind and generous man. I envy you who got to know Roy personally.

God bless Roy Stevens Memory and family.

Keep the Dream & Technique alive! Thanks for creating this website to Roy.

(15) Rob Reck
Jun 06, 2010, 05:48PM

I was one of a group of people who, over several years, traveled from Oklahoma to Roy’s studio. We had to learn as much as quickly as possible, so some of us took a lesson every weekday during the time we were there.

One memory that stands out: It didn’t matter who you were, when it was your turn on the hot seat you could expect equal treatment. No one got a lot of fluffy sunshine from Roy. Everyone got encouragement and realistic feedback. I don’t remember anyone, including some top-flight players in NYC, trying to show off. When someone played for Roy they played their biggest problem. You would have no clue how awesome they could sound on a gig from listening to them take a lesson.

I am not a trumpet player. I play euphonium and trombone. The things I learned from Roy made a huge difference. And anyone who was there knows it wasn’t just embouchure. It was patience, communication, teaching excellence, and the ability to have confidence in yourself and, if you were also a teacher, your students.

As I read through the posts in this guest book I can remember the common experiences that we shared as Roy taught us. Thanks for the chance to share.

RIP, Roy.

(14) Dr. Otto Gomez
Apr 23, 2010, 08:25PM

I just wanted to say what a joy and privilege it was to sit in Roy’s classes. I’ll never forget one morning when, after walking up the flight of stairs to get to the classroom, Roy peeled off a Eb above double high “C” without even warming up to show me the benefit of his non-pressure system. I’m sure that he’s probably showing the angels in heaven his non-pressure system. Roy was an excellent teacher and also a nice man. He was truly an inspiration to me in my playing. I will never forget him.

(13) Paul Ayick
Mar 21, 2010, 01:03AM

Paul Bogosian, Bob Livingood, Carl Schectman, and Jimmy Colaruuo were all students of Roy’s I knew them rather well in fact Bob and Paul tried to teach it to me and I ended up eventualy taking lessons with Roy. That was in the 70′s and even though I understood it in principal and could experience a ease of blowing on my normal setup. Applying it and having it become 2nd nature was always hard for me.

(12) Gary Bond
Nov 13, 2009, 02:44PM

Thank you, David, for engaging this site. I had the privilege of studying w/Roy from 1972-1978 which were the greatest years of my trumpet life. He and Mary were so gracious to house me overnight on many of my trips for lessons from the DC area.

My two most memorable moments:

The first time I walked into his studio and heard a ten year old playing double high C’s, cementing my knowledge that I was in the right place.

And, a few years later, when Roy Roman slipped by for a quick lesson. RR put the trumpet up to his lips and played the loudest, most popping doubles and triples I have ever heard. Roy S. looked at me and said, “Nice notes, huh?” in only the way he could phrase. Then RS told RR about a small ‘twitch’ on the right infinitesimal fraction of his upper lip. RR promptly put the trumpet in place again and played all those prior notes more powerfully and beautifully than before, thanked RS (paid him) and left the room. I kept waiting for the windows to crack and the walls to tumble down.

It was an amazing moment that I have related hundreds, if not thousands, of times. I hope they both remember that moment, although it is doubtful.
Then, we were back at work – what a great teacher and man this Roy Stevens. Unforgettable. I continue to love you and remember you. You changed many lives and professional careers.

(11) George Rawlin
Oct 25, 2009, 02:31PM

Roy saved my Trumpet life in the 70′s I shall always be grateful.

I still use much of his teaching and am doing my best to continue the great mouthpiece rim he developed

(10) Michael Blum
Sep 15, 2009, 04:21PM

I studied saxophone with Jimmy Abato in the seventies. I had many friends who studied trumpet with Roy. On occasion I would go to their lessons. I learned a great deal about trumpet and music in general. Roy gave lessons on life, the trumpet and embrouchure were part of it. I also had the pleasure of meeting many great performers ie.Roy Roman, Lew Soloff, Don Ellis, Vince Penderelli?(from Met Opera). I have very fond memories of the entire experience.

(9) Andrea Tofanelli
Jul 21, 2009, 01:02PM

Hi everyone. Many years ago, in 1987, i have been a student with Armando Ghitalla (Boston Symphony) and i changed embouchure as Ghitalla told me, with excellent results. Recently i discovered the Stevens-Costello embouchure concepts is at 80% what Ghitalla teached me, so probably after the surgery Ghitalla had to his lips he found the Stevens-Costello concepts were good for to come back to a great playing. It’s well known that after his lips surgery he came back playing even stronger. And from that point he based his teaching on something really similar to the Stevens-Costello embouchure. I think that today, after reading about the Stevens-Costello embouchure, i can say i find me very close to those concepts in my playing, at lest 90%. So, thanks to Mr. Stevens, to Mr. Costello and to Mr. Ghitalla.

(8) Butch Varner
May 20, 2009, 09:34PM

Thank you for this site! I have been studying with Roy Roman for the past 11 years. This site has brought to life many of the stories he has told me. This system has changed my life and trumpet playing. Thank you so very much for bringing Roy Stevens teaching to life for us. God bless Butch Varner.

(7) Harry Rodriguez Coll
Mar 03, 2009, 09:48PM

Hi. David thanks for the site. I usually read about Roy on a negative way. I studied with Roy in the 70′s. He was a very kind man who liked sharing his knowledge with everybody. It was a bargain to pay just $20.00 to spend a whole day of lessons. I lived in Puerto Rico and use to go to New York in the summer months to study with him. I remembered going to the Roseland at night as his guess and listen to his effortless A’s and his raspy singing. I was always amazed at his vast knowledge and unique way of explaining everything. David thanks for keeping his memory alive. Harry.

(6) Jerry Heere
Nov 09, 2008, 11:24PM

Roy was a great teacher and his “sessions” were alway memorable. Some of his students that I knew of include Don Ellis, Jim Kartchner, Lloyd Michaels. I remember meeting Bill Moriarity, Roy Roman, Paul Bogosian, Bud Jackson, and even Bentley Ferguson (Maynard’s son) who spent at least one summer living with Roy and Mary and then going to the studio with Roy every day and getting lessons in between all the other students.
We miss you Roy.

(5) David Roessler
Oct 23, 2008, 10:28PM

I want to thank you for this web site. Roy and Mary were a very kind and loving couple who invited me into their home and allowed me to stay over night to take my first in-person lesson. I studied with Roy for a short time when I lost my playing due to Bell’s palsy after I left the Marine Band. I have played almost all methods and thought I was a good lead player, but what Roy taught me, even with my paralysis, all I can say is Wow!!! After Roy died and my Dad died, I stopped playing. No matter what is said about this method, IT WORKS! But you have to do your work and teach yourself with what Roy gives you. Anyway, thanks again for this site honoring my teacher. God Bless you Roy.

(4) Justin Bell
Oct 22, 2008, 07:41PM

I wish I could have studied with Mr. Stevens. I must say a big thank you for the book that he wrote. I used it as a guide to develop my embouchure and playing. I never have figured out why so many people were awed with the Farkas book when by all means the Stevens-Costello “Embouchure Self Analysis” and the “Triple C Embouchure” is the most detailed and logical text available today. I know that these folks have passed, but a big “Thank you” goes out to Mr. Costello and Stevens who truly have the pioneering spirit of a trumpet player!

(3) Jon Deutsch
Oct 20, 2008, 12:41PM

I am Laura’s brother, and Roy’s Great-Grandson. I have only a few memories of Roy. One was that he has a fantastic cook; absolutely unbelievable. Unfortunately for me, he died long before I myself took up the trumpet. But never a family event went by when I wasn’t reminded of his talent and skill.
Thanks so much for putting this site up. Much of Roy’s family is still around, many of them in NYC. Perhaps we can help augment the bio or find some pics or something….

(2) Laura Deutsch
Oct 20, 2008, 11:31AM

Roy was my great-grandfather. My grandmother (Lois Stouman, his step-daughter) passed away last Sunday and in this week of her remembrance, I decided to do some research on Roy. I was overjoyed to find such a wonderful and detailed sight. The moment I saw it, I called my father and told him all about it. I will be showing your site to all of my family. It is a wonderful way to commemorate such a talented and caring man. Thank you.

(1) Matt Donovan
Oct 10, 2008, 09:41AM

Excellent work, David.  A phenomenal homage to an extraordinary teacher and player.