The trumpet ensemble from the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music (BCCM) at Cal State Long Beach (CSULB) earned third-place honors at the 2013 National Trumpet Competition (NTC), held March 14-17 at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va.
CSULB finished behind the gold ensemble from Baylor University and the group from Northwestern, which finished first and second, respectively.
The National Trumpet Competition has been in existence since 1992, and its past winners hold positions in major universities and orchestras and are highly sought-after soloists, clinicians and performers.
More than 120 universities and colleges submitted audition videos in order to earn the right to be one of the 30 groups invited to Virginia to compete as semi-finalists. Six ensembles advanced to the final round held on March 16.
“The BCCM trumpet ensemble played well enough to win the National Trumpet Competition finals in Virginia this past weekend,” said Carolyn Bremer, chair of CSULB’s Bob Cole Conservatory of Music. “Congratulations to them for playing an extraordinary performance under pressure; they were flawless, exciting, rock-solid, and did us proud.”
This year’s trumpet ensemble, coached by CSULB Director of Brass Studies Rob Frear, is comprised of junior Tony Belletti, senior Devin Henderson, senior Esther Hood, senior Casey Martin, junior Jackson Niebrugge, graduate student Drew Ninmer and senior Kurt Peregrine.
“The students study with CSULB trumpet teachers Dan Fornero, Christopher Still, David Washburn, and with me,” Frear pointed out. “Their training and professionalism was apparent throughout the weekend both in their level of performance and their wonderful demeanor. The piece they played, the 'Moffett-Klein Phenomenon,' is a tour-de-force among trumpet ensemble compositions, and was by far the hardest piece presented this year, in my opinion. Casey Martin played the treacherous solo part with apparent ease.”
Martin said, “This weekend we showed the country what Long Beach music is all about. Nobody saw us coming, but we came and we conquered. It was so amazing to hear how much everyone enjoyed the music we played and how well they thought we did. Never have I been so proud to call myself a Long Beach trumpet player.”
The professional trumpet players, judges and faculty in attendance were equally enthusiastic about the Long Beach ensemble’s performance. Marc Reese of the celebrated Empire Brass Quintet stated, “Congrats. Your students rocked the house. Incredible.” Judge Terry Everson of Boston University wrote “Great energy in your performance – well done.” Former CSULB Associate Band Director Danny Wagner offered “…I was impressed with both of their performances. Their hard work and instruction produced a sound that was truly spectacular. Trophies are nice but the satisfaction of coming together as an ensemble and producing a cohesive final package that shines in every area should make each of you very proud.”
The CSULB Trumpet Ensemble will perform on Tuesday, April 9, at 8 p.m. as part of the University Brass Ensemble Concert in the Gerald R. Daniel Recital Hall. Tickets are $10 at the door.
The Bob Cole Conservatory of Music at CSULB is noted for the exceptional depth and breadth of its programs. Its ensembles and programs are regularly ranked nationally, and performance majors within the Cole Conservatory are afforded significant travel and performance opportunities through recruitment tours, invitations to participate in national conferences and conventions, solo and ensemble competitions, and international tours.