Derrick Rassinier began playing horn at age 11 under the instruction of Evan Mino, former assistant principal horn of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. In 2012 he attended the CICA Summer Music Festival, which inspired him to pursue a career in music. After moving to Eureka Springs in 2014, Derrick discovered composition and honed his skills under the influence of Barry Milner. Since then, he’s arranged and composed several works that have been published and performed by a variety of ensembles. He also served as principal horn with the Ozark Philharmonic Youth Orchestra from 2015-2017. In 2016 he performed in a concert with the Symphony of Northwest Arkansas as 3rd horn. Derrick also performed with the United States Army Field Band Jazz Ambassadors and with Chris and Dan Brubeck on trumpet in jazz festival performances in Eureka Springs.
After graduating from Eureka Springs High School, Derrick attended Interlochen Center for the Arts and studied horn under Corbin Wagner, and composition with Dr. Cynthia Van Maanen. In his time at Interlochen, Derrick played with the wind ensemble, symphony orchestra, and played in a brass quintet. It was also at Interlochen that Derrick collaborated with singer-songwriters Trenton Breithuapt and Summer Green, working with them to write instrumental parts for their songs and was featured on both horn and trumpet on Summer Green’s debut album, Calligraphy. Derrick received a bachelor’s degree in horn performance at the University of Arkansas studying with Dr. Tim Thompson and Dr. Katey Halbert. Derrick also studied composition and orchestration with Dr. Robert Mueller and Dr. Jeremy Allen. Derrick held the principal horn position in both of the university’s flagship large ensembles and also founded the Hawksbill Winds, a student wind quintet at the University of Arkansas, and played in The Fantastic Cor, a graduate horn quartet also at the University of Arkansas.
Currently, Derrick is pursuing a Master’s degree in horn performance and pedagogy at the University of Colorado-Boulder, studying with Michael Thornton. He plays in the wind symphony, symphony orchestra, and the graduate wind quintet, the Juniper Winds. One day, Derrick would like to be a professor of horn and have a career as an orchestral and chamber musician while also teaching masterclasses around the country.