2018 ITG Conference Report - Day 2 - Wednesday, May 30 - Daytime events

May 31, 2018

The 43rd Annual International Trumpet Guild Conference - San Antonio, Texas (USA)
Special Daily Report • Compiled by Peter Wood
Photos by Michael Anderson, Norman Bergstrom, Josh Rzepka, 
Denny Schreffler, and Brian Shook


Wednesday, May 30, 2018 - Daytime events

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John Irish—Non-Pro/Comeback Players Warm-up Session

Bright and early on the first morning of the conference, John Irish led an engaged audience of non-pro and comeback players through a warm-up session. Irish’s routine focused on the core fundamentals of playing in a streamlined progressive approach. The interactive presentation had the group on their feet with breathing and buzzing exercises to get the body and lips prepared to play for the day. Irish emphasized the importance of air flow, centering, and tone and demonstrated several exercises to help improve each of these areas. The handout provided offered clear explanations and straightforward drills to focus on the concepts he discussed. Irish also invited Bert Truax to share some thoughts, and both fielded numerous eager questions from the audience. Irish closed with a quotation by Aristotle reminding everyone that “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” (EM)

Anne McNamara—Warm-up Session: Keeping Your Warmup Fresh with SAFARE

Dr. Anne McNamara (Campbellsville University) presented a well-organized and informative warm-up session. SAFARE is the mnemonic developed by David Bilger (principal trumpet of the Philadelphia Orchestra) for covering the many components of one’s playing, which should be covered every day--sound, articulation, flexibility, agility, range, and endurance. Exercises in each of these six areas were presented in a collaborative approach with McNamara demonstrating and the audience imitating. In “sound,” the concept of sing-buzz-play was emphasized. The use of such tools as drones and a metronome were encouraged to be used as part of a practice routine. The thorough handout and PowerPoint presentation made the session easy to follow, and the attendees were provided with excellent information and suggestions to incorporate into their daily routines. (JB)

John Irish—Non-Pro/Comeback Players Masterclass

John Irish’s masterclass served as a seamless continuation from his morning warm-up session, focusing on a centered sound, strong embouchure, and consistent airflow. Irish utilized a succinct and well-organized packet of exercises, intended to be a “home base” of practice goals and techniques for players of all levels. The majority of the masterclass featured “air flow connection” and articulation exercises, with the main goal being a strong, consistent airstream. Irish modeled these exercises and then led the audience in group performance and encouraged volunteers to play individually. One very helpful demonstration included two volunteers: one blowing into the trumpet with the other reaching over and striking the valves. In each instance, the performer’s sound noticeably improved and received instant applause from the audience. Irish effortlessly created a relaxed and encouraging atmosphere while outlining clear and practical performance objectives that surely benefited all in attendance. (MY)

ITG Honorary Award Presentation: Marie Speziale

Organized by Wendy Matthews and Ryan Gardner, this lively and informative session celebrated the career of 2018 ITG Honorary Award recipient Marie Speziale, who was the first woman to earn a trumpet position in a major symphony orchestra when she joined the Cincinnati Symphony in 1964. Wendy Matthews interviewed Speziale and presented a slideshow that included photos, audio clips, and video from her career. Speziale also conducted a large trumpet ensemble comprised of former students, colleagues, and friends in performances of Eric Ewazen’s Concert Fanfare and Arthur Gottschalk’s 220 S. Michigan Ave. Notable highlights included clips of Speziale performing Napoli as a teenager and Java on a TV show in 1965 and of her work with the Cincinnati Symphony. From her debut with her father’s dance band at the age of eleven to tributes from her accomplished students affectionately referring to her as “Mama Bear,” the audience was treated to an entertaining display of Speziale’s versatility, warm personality, and joyful musicianship. (EK)
180530-0001-11Marie SpezialeMarie Speziale

New Works Recital I

The recital opened with two of four movements from Mark Hagerty’s None of the Above for trumpet and piano. This included extensive rhythmic interplay between trumpet and piano, opening effectively with unison pitches played alternately between the two instruments that increased in frequency and built to intensive climaxes as the parts departed in their own directions. Glissandi and a wide range of textures throughout the work were of interest as Andrew Stetson provided an excellent performance. (LE)

Christian Humke’s Ballade for Flugelhorn and Piano was a hauntingly beautiful, lyrical ballad with a soft, slow opening in B-flat minor. The contrasting middle section picked up the pace with a driving arpeggio in the piano and a floating, soaring melody in the flugelhorn before returning to the opening material to close. Shane Coughlin’s flugelhorn sound was warm and musical, and the piece was performed expertly. (SH)

The third movement from Ian Mitchell’s Sonata for Trumpet and Piano opened majestically with the trumpet supported by the extreme low register of the piano. In particular, a lively ending incorporating earlier themes concluded the work effectively with a brilliant performance by Fred Sienkiewicz. (LE)

Reverie for Cornet and Piano by Zach Gulaboff Davis is a beautiful, lyrical piece written specifically for the cornet and piano. The piece captures a dreamy atmosphere with a meandering melody in the cornet and sudden, unexpected harmonic shifts, while still grounded in tonality. The dark tone quality that Stephen James captured on the cornet fit the piece perfectly. (SH)

The first movement of David Colson’s Duo for Trumpet and Piano, “Dark and Wandering,” is angular, intense, and aggressive both in its melodic content and harmonic motion and features the full pitch and dynamic range of the trumpet. The third movement, “Expressive,” is a slow, lyrical movement in stark contrast to the first with the trumpet using a cup mute playing softly in a lower register and with traditional harmonic motion. Robert White performed the difficult piece with great finesse and navigated the extreme style shifts with relative ease. (SH)
180530-0001-5Robert WhiteRobert White
“Rolling Hills and Wilderness” is the first of two movements from Keystone Landscapes for Trumpet and Piano, a work focusing on the beauty of Pennsylvania. Open harmonies and extended trumpet melodies depict a surreal and endless wilderness as composer Joshua Hobbs suggests. Timothy Winfield, who commissioned and performed the work, delivered the necessary expansiveness throughout with ease and facility. (LE)

ITG Solo Competition Finals

The ITG Solo Competition featured three finalists--one from Oklahoma and two from Australia--illustrating the truly international scope of our organization as pointed out by competition organizer Jason Dovel. The required work was Cellier’s Chevauchée fantastique, and a second piece was chosen by each soloist.

First to perform was Darcy O’Malley, who opened with the Cellier. His performance was characterized by graceful lyrical playing and tasteful contrasts. His chosen piece was the Pakhmutova Concerto, in which he presented the muted sections beautifully. He also exhibited superb dynamic control and made a strong finish.

Next was Robin Park, who performed from memory, beginning with Höhne’s Slavonic Fantasy, a cornet solo with broad, romantic lines interspersed with technical flourishes, which he navigated easily. His Cellier was confidently executed for an impressive overall performance.

Noah Mennenga concluded the competition, also performing from memory. His rendition of Cellier featured a full, resonant sound, agile technique, and clear articulation. He concluded with his own arrangement of Gershwin’s Three Preludes, which will no doubt soon become very popular.  He was much at home with this style, and it was an excellent showcase for his skills.

All three finalists and their teachers should be congratulated for their excellent work! (LH)

Wiff Rudd—Keystone Habits for the Trumpet Studio

Wiff Rudd’s presentation on Wednesday morning was a truly great clinic that focused on how to build a strong studio through focusing on principles and establishing a community that invites learning and growth for any studio. Rudd discussed the need to incorporate safety, vulnerability, and purpose in the studio and shared a variety of methods that he has found effective for his studio. He stressed that it is important to find a basic overriding principle that a studio might need—and not just do what others have found successful. Stressing the importance of always valuing the individual, Rudd shared how finding a principle that all members of the studio can get behind will help develop a rich culture in the studio. The audience was attentive and engaged as Rudd finished the presentation with a detailed discussion of how he teaches classical improvisation to help students develop sound and musicality. This session was a truly delightful and beneficial part of the conference. (SW)

180530-0001-12Wiff RuddWiff Rudd
Brazilian Trumpet Ensemble—Brazilian Music for Trumpet Ensemble

The Brazilian Trumpet Ensemble presented an exceptional concert of all Brazilian music for trumpet ensemble. Each work offered a wide variety of harmonic colors, rhythmic complexities, and musical flair. In addition, the members of the group displayed an extremely high level of artistry that was captivating to the audience. Aquiles Moraes, featured on José U. da Silva Duda’s Uma Fantasia Brasileira, displayed remarkable virtuosity as he was accompanied by the rest of the ensemble. At the conclusion, there was no doubt that they were well appreciated by the entire audience, who showed their enthusiasm with a standing ovation. (JB)

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Wim Van Hasselt—Recital

Wim Van Hasselt’s Wednesday afternoon recital contained an eclectic mix of pieces demonstrating the versatility and artistry of a truly world-class performer. Accompanied by Rebecca Wilt at the piano, the opening selection, Jongen’s Concertino, op. 41, was a display of the elegance often associated with the French style. The pair continued in the same vein with a masterfully navigated and musical interpretation of Enescu’s Legend. Van Hasselt’s command of the instrument in all registers and at all dynamics was quite evident during the North American premiere of Florian Magnus Maier’s UNDA for trumpet & electronics. An emotional recitation of the ancient Jewish prayer sequence, Kaddish, followed, with the flugelhorn voicing feelings of loss and grief. The recital closed with a delightful cornet solo and Timofei Dokshizer’s arrangement of “Oh! Quand je dors.” (AD)

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Houston Symphony Trumpet Section—Presentation

The Rio Grande Ballroom of the Hyatt Regency was filled nearly to capacity to listen to and learn from the Houston Symphony Orchestra trumpet section, which included Mark Hughes, principal; Robert Walp, assistant principal; John Parker, associate principal; and Rich Harris, second trumpet. They played a few orchestral excerpts, such as the fourth movement from Bruckner’s Fourth Symphony and the soft muted portion of Debussy’s Fêtes, but mostly they performed trumpet ensemble music. Their outstanding intonation, balance, and blend was on display during performances of Bach’s Little Fugue in G Minor, Bruckner’s Virga Jesse, a Canzon by Samuel Scheidt, and a contemporary French piece called Tryptique by Denise Roger, written for four trumpets. They answered questions from the audience and stressed the importance of active, goal-oriented listening to improve at matching style, articulation, balance, and blend within an orchestral section. (SH)

Lone Star Brass—Recital

St. Mark’s Episcopal Church serves as the venue for many of the chamber ensembles featured at this year's conference. Wednesday afternoon’s concert featured Lone Star Brass, a quintet consisting of members of the Midland Odessa Symphony and Chorale. Opening with Kerry Turner’s Ricochet, the ensemble made a bold and acrobatic statement to begin their exciting and eclectic program. Throughout the recital, the quintet ably presented original works written for the ensemble, as well as arrangements by ensemble members. One highlight was Marc Mir’s Suite Celtique, a three-movement work containing various folk tunes with embellishments and variations in the Celtic style. Steven Sacco’s Quintet showcased a wide range of musical expression and a variety of styles. Presenting a mixture of lyricism, a Mambo Fantasy, and every style in between, Sacco’s Quintet was the perfect vehicle to highlight this group’s seasoned virtuosity. (WK)

Jason Dovel and Miriam Hickman—Recital

Opening with Giuseppe Torelli’s Sonata in D (G. 3), Jason Dovel’s performance included both effective terrace dynamics and engaging ornamentation. The outer movements from Hummel’s Concerto in E-flat followed in a rendition emphasizing lightness and lyricism. Dovel’s own composition, A Stroll Through Kalavrita, captured the Greek town splendidly. Frederick Beck’s Vocalise for solo flugelhorn includes lyrical melodies interspersed with sometimes unexpected technical flourishes. Dovel’s unaccompanied Multiphonics Etude provided immediate contrast by effectively switching between multiphonics and open sounds with a definite musical purpose and excellent pacing. Two duos with piano concluded the recital. Anthony Plog’s Double Concerto (with Reese Land) was highlighted by lyrical playing in the second movement with two flugelhorns. Stephen Campbell joined Dovel for a delightful and entertaining performance of Fernand Andrieu’s Concertino for Two Cornets. This recital was a genuine tour de force demonstrating Dovel’s many talents and interests. (LE)

Young Professors of Texas/Oklahoma Trumpet Ensemble Concert

The Young Professors of Texas/Oklahoma Trumpet Ensemble presented a thrilling concert of standard and new works for trumpet ensemble. They performed original works by such composers as Kevin McKee and Erik Morales, as well as arrangements by members of the group. Brian Walker’s arrangement of Eric Whitacre’s Water Night enhanced the overall musical diversity of the program. In addition to standard works, the trumpet ensemble presented the world premiere of Micah Bell’s Homecoming. This wide collection of trumpet professors displayed their ability to perform as a cohesive unit with a high level of artistry. To close the program and bring awareness to the CancerBlows Foundation, the Young Professors of Texas/Oklahoma Trumpet Ensemble featured Ryan Anthony as a special guest member of the ensemble as they performed James Olcott’s arrangement of Wagner’s “March” from Lohengrin. (JB)

180530-0001-19Young Professors of Texas/Oklahoma Trumpet EnsembleYoung Professors of Texas/Oklahoma Trumpet Ensemble
Robert Murray—New Beginnings and Rediscovered Gems: The Vincent Bach Collection in the ITG Archives

Dr. Robert Murray’s presentation showcased the history and accessibility of the International Trumpet Guild Archives, housed at Columbus State University. He showed plans for the future ITG Archive Library and discussed many of the items that are part of the collection. Murray focused on the printed works of Vincent Bach that exist within the Archives. The presentation was wonderfully peppered with live performances of many of the highlighted musical gems in the collection with Dr. Murray on trumpet and Shari Santorelli on piano. (JPS)

180530-0001-18Robert MurrayRobert Murray

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