Fred Mills, 74, noted trumpeter with orchestras, quintet

Mr. Mills taught at the University of Georgia since 1996. Mr. Mills taught at the University of Georgia since 1996. (Nancy Evelyn/ Associated Press)
Associated Press / September 9, 2009

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MONROE, Ga. - Fred Mills, a Grammy nominee who made numerous records as a trumpeter with the Canadian Brass quintet and performed with several orchestras, was killed Monday night in a car crash in Georgia, said officials at the University of Georgia. He was 74.

Mr. Mills was a professor at the university, joining it in 1996. Besides teaching trumpet, he coached a graduate brass quintet, The Bulldog Brass Society.

A native of Canada and graduate of the Juilliard School of music in New York, Mr. Mills performed across the globe, from Sweden’s Brass Nova to Orquesta Sinfonica de Aguascalientes in Mexico.

In 1961, he was a founding member of the American Symphony Orchestra in New York. He was also principal trumpet for the New York City Opera, and he played with the National Art Centre Orchestra in Canada and the New York City Ballet Orchestra.

Mr. Mills also recorded more than 40 albums with the Canadian Brass and was nominated for a Grammy award in 1992.

A statement on the Canadian Brass website called Mr. Mills a “Canadian treasure who changed the world’s musical perspective.’’

The statement also said he “spent over 50 years helping establish the trumpet as a beautiful, lyrical voice amongst solo orchestral instruments.’’

“One of the finest performers and teachers of his generation, he was at the same time a warm and generous colleague and a dear friend,’’ said Dale Monson, director of the music school.