Donald Sipe is a musician and entrepreneur. His work as a trumpet player spans thirty years in all musical genres. During this same period he has been active as an arts industry executive, an educator, arranger, producer and performance coach.
He is Director of Brass Studies at the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra. His role includes conducting the brass choirs, coaching chamber music groups, leading masterclasses and designing curriculum for the program.
He is the former instructor of trumpet at Carroll University and Carthage College, and has led masterclasses at the University of DePaul, University of WI-Whitewater, as well as the Eastman School of Music (music business).
The range of his performing activities cross many genres, including classical, jazz, rock and Broadway. He performed on Peter Gabriel’s New Blood Orchestra Tour and has been heard in the pit with several broadway national touring companies, including West Side Story, HAIR, Book of Mormon, Anastasia, The Sound of Music and Wicked.
He has also performed with a wide range of luminaries including Leonard Bernstein, Michael Tilson Thomas, Doc Severisen, The Who, Ray Charles, Marvin Hamlisch, Bill Conti, Jerry Goldsmith, Jewel, Il Divo, Aretha Franklin, The Temptations, the Moody Blues, Jerry Lewis and Bob Newhart.
Sipe has appeared as soloist with the Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra, the Air Force Heritage of America Band (with jazz trumpeter Marvin Stamm), the Waukesha Symphony, Present Music, and the National Repertory Orchestra. In October of 2019, he premiered the Wind Symphony version of “Journey One: Hints of the Middle East” by composer Amy Mills.
He has recorded extensively with Present Music, but also with the Milwaukee Symphony, the Summit Brass, Sones de Mexico and new age artist Peter Buffett. He can also be heard on dozens of TV and radio commercials and other theatrical tracks recorded at Tanner-Monagle studios in Milwaukee, WI.
His chamber music credits include the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Brass Ensemble, the Chicago Brass Quintet, Present Music, The Milwaukee Brass Quintet, the Fulcrum Point New Music Ensemble, the UW-Milwaukee Faculty Brass Quintet and the Summit Brass. His arrangements for brass quintet have been played by many brass quintets including Chicago Symphony Orchestra Brass Quintet.
As an orchestral trumpeter, he has performed with the Milwaukee Symphony, Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra, and the Milwaukee Ballet Orchestra, the Syracuse Symphony, Omaha Symphony, Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, Green Bay Symphony, the Chicago Sinfonietta, Chicagoland Pops, the Elgin Symphony and the Brass Band of Battle Creek. His performance career has taken him throughout the United States, Europe and South America.
In addition to his work as a trumpet player, he is founder and president of Omicron Artist Management, Inc. He has worked extensively with orchestral conductors and soloists and manages the career of internationally known conductor William Eddins. From 2014-2018 he managed the Wilson Center Guitar Competition and Festival, presenting concerts by Leo Kottke, Al Di Meola, Jonathan Kreisberg, Jesse Cook, and Troy Stetina, among others. The competition awarded $30,000 in prize money across four genres to emerging artists from all over the world.
His most recent project is “Presence Under Pressure,” which helps individuals and organizations perform their best, even under difficult conditions.
He is a former Co-principal trumpet of the New World Symphony in Miami, Florida, where he worked with the conductor Michael Tilson Thomas and has participated in several summer music festivals, including Tanglewood Music Festival, Spoleto Festival of Two Worlds, the Woodstock Mozart Festival, the Peninsula Music Festival, and the National Repertory Orchestra in Keystone, CO.
Sipe earned his Bachelor and Master’s degrees in music from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY where he studied trumpet with Barbara Butler.