Members of the Trumpet Studio Represent USF at the National Trumpet Competition

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

USF trumpet players who attended the 2017 National Trumpet Competition

Seven members of the USF trumpet studio competed in the National Trumpet Competition as one of 15 semifinalist ensembles in Denver, Colorado on March 23-25.

For Steven Vought, a first-year music graduate student, the experience was a great way to prepare for post-graduation life as a professional musician and to learn from the best.

"It was, in general, just kind of learning about what a competition situation like that would be, say, comparative to the professional world where I'm going to be competing against, probably, people that were at that competition," said Vought.

The National Trumpet Competition (NTC) is the largest instrument competition in the world. Since 1992, 12,000 students have performed and learned at the NTC. The multiday event includes not only competitions in a variety of divisions but also masterclasses and concerts with talented professional musicians.

The ensemble that represented USF in the large ensemble division included music students Joe Galvin, Rob Johnson, Chris Leiper, Bradley Mikesell II, Richard Saez, Brendan Sweeney, and Steven Vought.

After submitting a video audition in early December, they were selected as one of fifteen semifinalists in the large ensemble division. Other semifinalists for the 2017 NTC large ensemble division include ensembles from Baylor University, the University of North Texas, the University of Michigan, and Florida State University.

After their performance of Tchaikovsky's Marche Slave on day one of the competition, they are free to immerse themselves in the rich learning environment. The 2017 National Trumpet Competition includes an opening concert by the Air Force Academy Band with artists Chris Coletti, Caleb Hudson, and Ruben Simeo.

Masterclass and clinic artists include Caleb Hudson and Chris Coletti of the touring ensemble Canadian Brass, the Colorado Symphony Trumpet Section, Grammy award-winning trumpeter and flugelhornist Randy Brecker, George Mason University Professor Dennis Edelbrock, jazz trumpeter Marvin Stamm, and Baylor University Professor of Trumpet Wiff Rudd.

Lifelong performing guest artists at the NTC brought great knowledge about doing business as a musician, preparing for performances, and dealing with tricky spots in the career of a musician, said Vought.

Members of the USF trumpet ensemble also had the opportunity to connect with School of Music trumpet alumni. They watched performances by James Dawson, who is currently pursuing a master's degree at Central Washington State University, and Federico Montes, who is attending The Juilliard School as a graduate student.

Vought and the rest of the studio are already looking ahead to next year's NTC. They plan to audition an original composition by one of their own.

Looking back on their journey — with additional preparation of their piece on top of music classes, lessons, and performing ensembles —the studio members can all agree on whether or not the hard work pays off.

Vought said, "It absolutely does."