Date of Award

Spring 2021

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


School of Music

First Advisor

Michael Wilkinson


From the Bible’s first mention of the trumpet in the book of Leviticus, to the prescribed uses of the instrument in the Psalms, to the trumpet blasts described in Revelation, the influence of brass instruments in the Christian faith has been present since ancient times. In the 20th century, Tim Zimmerman and his group the King’s Brass would come to the forefront of this tradition, reviving the use of brass in the church as a tool for worship. The King’s Brass has remained a leader in sacred brass music for the last forty years.

Despite humble beginnings as a trumpet ensemble comprised of middle school students, the group has since grown into an internationally recognized ensemble. Today Tim Zimmerman and the King’s Brass regularly book in excess of one hundred and twenty concerts annually, its repertoire consisting exclusively of original arrangements prepared by members of the group.

Despite their stellar reputation in sacred music circles, the King’s Brass has received relatively little mainstream acclaim. One should not be deceived by the niche nature of this ensemble. Just a quick look at the biographies of the current members and the more than one hundred alumni reveal that this is an ensemble of the highest caliber. Many members have earned multiple degrees from the most distinguished music schools in the country, perform or hold positions in elite ensembles, and/or have had marked success in academia. Equally impressive, and perhaps somewhat unique to the King’s Brass, is the impact of members and alumni outside of the music field. Take for example the late Dr. Keith Small, who held positions at the London School of Theology and the Oxford Center for Christian Apologetics.

This document seeks to compare and contrast Tim Zimmerman and the King’s Brass against benchmarks established by more mainstream brass ensembles, specifically with regard to scheduling, original music, programming, educational endeavors, musicianship, and library of written and recorded music. Primary sources are unpublished interviews with Zimmerman and alumni of the ensemble.