Currently the Visiting Assistant Professor of Trumpet at Purdue University Fort Wayne, Dr. Elijah Denecke was previously employed as adjunct trumpet instructor at the College of Central Florida (Ocala, FL). He now maintains an active performing career across the United States with many professional orchestras including the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, Orchestra Indiana, Vermont Symphony Orchestra, Boise Philharmonic, Symphony of the Lakes (Warsaw, IN), Ocala Symphony Orchestra, Gainesville Symphony Orchestra, Valdosta Symphony Orchestra, Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra, Knox-Galesburg Symphony Orchestra, the Gainesville Brass Quintet, and the Prairie Wind Ensemble. Additionally, he has performed with the Tallahassee Swing Band and the Garden State Jazz Orchestra, as well as with notable jazz musicians Wayne Bergeron, Randy Brecker, Marshall Gilkes, Dave Pietro, Doug Stone, and Steve Lippia. Denecke also performed and traveled with Chicago-based Ska's the Limit for three years. In 2015 the band opened for a sold-out crowd in the Castle Theatre (Bloomington, IL), sharing the stage with popular ska band Reel Big Fish.
As a lover of contemporary music, Denecke actively premieres new works for trumpet. Most recently, his brass quintet (Big Bend Brass) commissioned a new work entitled “We’re All A Little Mad Here” by fellow Florida State University Alumnus Aaron Houston. In Spring 2019, he premiered the following - "All are sleeping on the hill," a work based on Edgar Lee Masters Spoon River Anthology for voice, trumpet, and piano by Emmanuel Danielson; "What Would You Have Me Do," an electronic work written for trumpet and electronics, by Andrew McGowan; and "Seven Scenes from a Garden," a large work for 23-piece wind ensemble, by Brendan Sweeney. In 2018, he premiered Entrada (o salida) Concertante as trumpet soloist, a new work written by Colombian composer Mauricio Arias-Esguerra.
Recently, Denecke defended his doctoral treatise entitled “Reexamining the Repertoire: French Women Composers of Solo Trumpet Music in the Paris Conservatory” and presented his research on this topic at the 46th International Trumpet Guild Conference in San Antonio, Texas. He also performed a lecture recital at the 47th International Trumpet Guild Conference in Minneapolis, MN. He has been published in the International Trumpet Guild quarterly journal for various CD and book reviews and published a full article in the Student Corner entitled, “Stoking the Fire: How to Maintain Accountability during Covid-19.” He has also presented masterclasses and recitals at various universities around the country.
In 2020, Eli and his wife Hannah formed the indie folk duo "The Deneckes." For several years they played together before releasing their debut album, lady of the gardens in Spring 2023. The album explores themes of memory, theology, and the natural world. They embarked on tour Summer 2023, playing from Wisconsin to Florida, Iowa to New York, Canada, and everywhere in between. Hannah plays guitar and ukulele while Eli plays mandolin and trumpet. Their influences include Sufjan Stevens, Ingrid Michaelson, Bob Dylan, and Beirut.
Denecke completed his doctoral degree (DM) as teaching assistant for Dr. Christopher Moore at Florida State University in 2022. He earned a master's degree in trumpet performance (MM) with a secondary concentration in historical musicology as teaching assistant of Dr. Randolph Lee and his bachelor's degree in music education (BME) with a minor in jazz performance with Dr. Amy Gilreath at Illinois State University. In addition to teaching and playing the trumpet, he served as the middle school band and choir director in Carthage, IL for the 2016-2017 school year. Elijah enjoys crossword puzzles and discussing the plotlines of television dramas with his wife, Hannah.