2023 ITG Conference Report - Day 3 - Thursday, June 1

June 02, 2023  •  Leave a Comment

The 47th Annual International Trumpet Guild Conference - Minneapolis, Minnesota (USA)
Special Daily Report • Compiled by Peter Wood
Photos by Steven Garcia, Benjamin Lowe, Josh Rzepka, and Michael Anderson

Thursday, June 1, 2023

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Brianne Borden - Body & Mind Session: Yoga for Musicians
Attendees of this session enjoyed a calming, mindful start to their day, thanks to this session led by Dr. Brianne Borden. Participants were guided through a series of stretches focused on the wrist, forearms, neck, and shoulders. These exercises aimed to prevent injuries commonly experienced by musicians. The session concluded with sun salutations and an open question-and-answer portion. (Nathalie Crissela Mejia)


Bijon Watson warm-up session - Dynamic Warmup: Sound, Flexibility, Endurance for Success
Watson opened the session by explaining that the nature of his early training was classical, but that as he transitioned to more commercial work, he had to adapt his warmup to allow him to fire faster and sustain a certain level of playing throughout the day. To accomplish this, Watson creates a dynamic warmup, which emulates what he will be doing throughout the day. He breaks this down into four main categories: sound production–Stamp exercises with air attacks and a focus on projection and a resonant projective sound; airflow–lip trills for flexibility to slowly find the slot, starting with air attacks; flexibility–two-octave arpeggios; and embouchure stability–descending lip slurs to check that you’re loose. Watson emphasized that the warmup is not a practice session–it should just emulate what you have already practiced–and that a warmup should have intention and not be passive. The session concluded with a brief question and answer with the attendees. (Will Koehler)

Grant Manhart session - Teaching Using NLP
Dr. Grant Manhart’s presentation on using neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) to teach trumpet students was a fascinating departure from traditional “component” trumpet teaching that relies on analysis. NLP is a wholistic approach that involves four principles: that students already know how to play deep down; that feedback helps; that NLP allows all to access their natural gifts; and that one’s imagination, identity, conscious, and subconscious realities can be manipulated to achieve our goals. Manhart demonstrated with his own children a call-and-response type of teaching that resulted in remarkable improvement and results. Noticeable in this approach was an emphasis on goals, a lack of talking from teacher to student, an encouragement of childlike fascination, an awareness of our senses, an attitude of optimism, and an acknowledgment that hard work often does not lead to success. (Stanley Curtis)

Judit Martín González session - Music & Early Childhood: Music, More Than a Game (Part I) Childhood and the Trumpet
Can learning the trumpet be an enjoyable process for young players? In this session on early childhood education, Judit Martín González immediately and effortlessly created an exciting atmosphere for attendees, playing games that enhance a young trumpet player’s learning experience. González’s musical games place a fundamental emphasis on the centering of sound, maintaining clear articulation and steady pulse, training the ear, and listening in order to prepare the student for making music. She demonstrated this process by actively engaging the audience in a series of games that she developed for her personal teaching. These consisted of different combinations of marching, singing, and call-and-response techniques that provide an educational and entertaining environment. The goal of this process is for students to learn to effortlessly express their emotions through music. This combination of technique and gameplay creates a positive and relaxed learning environment in which young students can thrive on the trumpet. (Spencer Brand)


Christopher Moore session - Ease of Playing... Beauty in Sound
Following an exhilarating prelude performance by the Berklee College of Music Trumpet Ensemble, Dr. Christopher Moore gave an insightful masterclass to the members of the Non-Pro and Comeback Players group. Each performer was given new ideas and concepts to incorporate into their own fundamental routines. These concepts are centered toward each performer’s ability on their instrument. They focus on addressing issues related to ease in performance and capturing greater efficiency while focusing on creating a beautiful sound and instilling these concepts into their everyday playing. Each performer developed their ease of sound through buzzing the mouthpiece, doing note bends, and developing great breath control. (Angela King)


Michael Sachs session - The Teaching of James Stamp
A rousing musical prelude was provided by the trumpet ensemble from the University of North Dakota, setting the stage well for one of the world’s great trumpet players, Michael Sachs. As a former student of James Stamp, Sachs offered a rapt audience not only many invaluable insights into the teaching philosophies of his former mentor, but also his own interpretations of how to both practice and teach using Stamp’s methods. A core message at the heart of this presentation is independent thinking on the part of the player, the courage to trust their own needs, and take the core fundamental philosophies and adapt them to those needs. (John Hutchinson)

Ryan Anthony Memorial Trumpet Competition: Jazz Improvisation Division Finals
Three talented trumpeters were selected to perform for the final round of the jazz division competition. Each competitor was required to perform Freddie Hubbard’s Dear John, along with two selections of their own choosing. The first performer, Sam Butler (Indiana University), chose Along Came Betty and Kinfolk. Butler’s beautiful sound, phrasing, and interplay with the rhythm section was well received by the audience. Carter Eng (San Francisco Conservatory) performed next, choosing Invitation and I Remember Clifford as his two selections. Displaying a well-collected and poised approach, Eng performed with floating lyricism and blazing technique. The last performer of the day was Luca Stein (University of Miami), who chose to perform You Don’t Know What Love Is and Solar. Throughout his set, Stein displayed nice melodic development and a wonderful sound. Adjudicators for the competition were Nadje Noordhuis, John Swana, and Scott Belck. Special thanks to the Conference Rhythm Section (pianist Mike Frank, bassist Peter Paulsen, and drummer Christopher Hanning) for their spectacular playing. (George Carpten, IV)


Ryan Anthony Memorial Trumpet Competition: Wind Band Excerpts Division Finals
Competitors Madison Sinan, Noah Solomon, Anthony Salabarria each played a list of seven excerpts of varying difficulty to challenge their musical expression, endurance, range, flexibility, and articulation. All three contestants played beautifully and were well prepared. Comradery filled the room as the finalist’s teachers and friends were in attendance, creating a friendly and welcoming environment.  Each performance showcased the student’s work and musical journey. (Angela King)


Recital: Marcos García Vaquero
The Universidad de Costa Rica, Sede Caribe Trumpet Ensemble opened the recital, performing with fiery passion and foreshadowing the excitement to follow. Marcos Garcia Vaquero then took the stage, showcasing a collection of works from Andalusia, the performer’s homeland. Klezmeralda captivated the audience as Vaquero’s lush tone was on full display, highlighted by beautiful, flowing melodies. Contrasting sections required virtuosic techniques such as lightning-fast finger dexterity, rapidly traversing large intervals, and multiple tonguing– all of which he navigated with ease. These ideas became recurring themes in the following works. In an unexpected, but pleasant, surprise, Vaquero entertained the audience by utilizing multiple instruments, including guitar and a tin whistle he played while stomping his foot to provide a percussive accompaniment. He also incorporated his own singing as part of the performance. Throughout the recital, Vaquero displayed his ability to perform passionately with extreme dynamics, lyricism, and power, resulting in thunderous applause and a well-deserved standing ovation. (Steven Siegel)


New Works Recital II
The second New Works Recital began with an emotional performance of Caleb Hudson’s White Rose Elegy by the University of Wisconsin-Madison Trumpet Ensemble. Following that prelude, Stephen Campbell performed Drew Tomasik’s The Exit Strat for solo trumpet and fixed media. With the recent release of The Super Mario Bros. Movie, it is appropriate that this work pays homage to the music of classic 8-bit games such as Pac-Man, Contra, and Hogan’s Alley. Tomasik’s work is energetic and lively with pop and funk influences. Campbell’s sound is notable for its purity, and he is capable of conveying a message within the warmth of his sound alone. Jared Wallis followed with his own work, We Are Still Here. This piece programmatically explores the complicated relationship between indigenous cultures and colonization. While the fixed media begins with the calming sound of bird calls and running water, the trumpet part begins declarative, dissolving into introspective melodic material. In the fixed media, the mixture of plainchant and indigenous percussion creates a jarring juxtaposition. Wallis’s playing was potent with an emotional weight, spinning each phrase with conviction. 
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As opposed to the previous two works in which the performer responds to the fixed media, the following work by Mark Volker, Hymn to a Vanishing Land, utilizes a computer program that instead responds to the performer. The work, written in two continuous movements, begins with a raucous fanfare. While the first movement is outspoken with many loud moments, the second movement is more intimate. Robert White demonstrated impressive efficiency on the trumpet, as the piece is long with a wide dynamic range, but his sound was never forced, pushed, or distorted in any way.

Alexandre Lunsqui’s Solis and Two Patches, performed by trumpeter Andy Kozar and soprano Corrine Byrne, is reminiscent of the sequenzas of Luciano Berio. The first movement of the work is defined by lyrical expression punctuated by intervallic acrobatics, and the second movement uses the Harmon mute to complement the changing vowel shapes of the soprano part. Kozar and Byrne blended especially well; there is a vocal quality to Kozar’s sound, and Byrne sings with remarkable brilliance.

As with the Wallis, Eris DeJarnett’s go to the garden (specified by the composer to always be uncapitalized) is very introspective. Performed by John Marchiando, this work for trumpet and fixed media uses a recorded narration to tell the story of a garden, which represents internal peace. While the narrator spends time planting this beautiful garden, a disturbance leads it to decay and rot. Throughout the performance, Marchiando’s sound shone with a radiance that allowed the listener to relax. He performed with a warm, inviting sound without ever letting a moment become dull.

The recital concluded with a performance of Cameron Nielson’s Sketches in a Trumpet Wasteland by the ITG New Works Trumpet Ensemble. More than anything else on the program, this work demonstrates jazz influence while drawing on trumpet ensemble works such as those by McKee or Morales. The work is energetic, fun, and lively, and the ensemble performed with a balance across all parts. Especially notable was Nicole Gillotti’s brilliant sound in the upper register. (Christopher Luebke-Brown)

Special Event - Trumpet at Twins
The Twins Experience started with an afternoon rehearsal of Steve Wright’s five-part arrangement of The Star Spangled Banner at the Hyatt Regency, conducted by Bijon Watson. After a successful rehearsal, our 110-member trumpet ensemble later regrouped in the hotel lobby and walked over to Target Field. Once there, we were led under the stadium and waited a few minutes in a holding area, where we lined up in five rows. The wide doorway opened, and we briskly walked, still in our rows, directly onto the field to the cheering of the crowd. The excitement was palpable. Our pregame well-performed version of the National Anthem was well received, and we exited back under the stadium and went to our seats to watch the game. The Minnesota Twins played the Cleveland Guardians. The Twins’ playing was an excellent  example of perseverance that could be easily transferred to the musical world. Down 6-3 in the bottom of the ninth inning, the Twins steadfastly pursued their goal, and their bats came alive. The winning run was scored with a bases-loaded sacrifice fly. It was an exciting, memorable, and inspirational moment! Go Twins! (Cindy Scaruffi-Klispie)

Donny Albrecht session - Lead Trumpet Style
Following a dynamic performance from the University of North Alabama trumpet ensemble, Donny Albrecht presented to a packed room. Albrecht shared his journey as a lead trumpet player, highlighting the importance of mentors and influences. He provided eleven key points for playing stylistically accurately in a big band, emphasizing critical listening and the understanding of the history of performance practice. Suggestions for deliberate listening included focus on time, sound, phrasing, articulations, glissandi, falls, bends, and scoops. Albrecht also discussed the role of a lead player and offered advice on working with colleagues, developing endurance, recovering, and learning the role of a freelance artist. (Joe Cooper)


Luis Engelke lecture recital - The 21st-Century Trumpet Recital: Enhancing Your Performance and Engaging Audiences with Multimedia
The Emporia State University Trumpet Ensemble opened this session with two brilliant pieces by ESU trumpet professor Dr. Gary Ziek. The first, Indefatigable, was a stately march that included parts for euphonium and tuba, and the ensemble concluded with a rousing arrangement by Ziek of Rossini’s William Tell Overture. Luis Engelke’s session began with one of his own stirring compositions, Revelation. This piece, along with all the others on this recital, utilized some kind of electronic accompaniment and video.  Engelke encouraged performers to experiment with this genre of music for many reasons, including the flexibility it provides for rehearsing, exposure for students to electronics, and opportunities to perform music by diverse composers. Included in the lecture were helpful hints, including his favorite microphone, image websites for creating videos, recommended software, and suggested composers. Beautifully performed, Engelke presented six stellar compositions of unique style and flair. (Richard Tirk)

Ryan Anthony Memorial Trumpet Competition: Orchestral Excerpts Division Finals
With nearly eighty observers in attendance, the final round of the Orchestral Excerpts competition featured three finalists who were selected from among fourteen players in the semi-final round that was held earlier in the week. The excerpts performed were from Stravinsky’s Petrouchka, Mahler’s Fifth Symphony, Schumann’s Second Symphony, Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, Esmail’s Black Iris, Williams’s Star Wars Suite, and Dvorak’s Eighth Symphony. Alison Marseglia, from Baylor University, was the first to perform and set a high standard with her clarity of articulation and ability to adjust style and color throughout her performance. Her stylistic changes on Petrouchka were spot-on and her muted playing on Black Iris especially magical. Morgan Hare, from Grand Valley State University, demonstrated fantastic technique and a thorough knowledge of various styles. Her lyrical playing on Mahler 2 sounded effortless, and her performance of the opening of Star Wars showed off her commanding, resonant tone and excellent range. Brandon Hebert, from Louisiana State University, ended the competition with a fantastic exhibition. His performance of “Goldenberg and Schmuyle” displayed a well-rounded approach to style and showed off his wide dynamic range on the piccolo while his presentation of the opening to Dvorak’s Eighth Symphony was commanding and majestic. There is no doubt that the judges needed substantial time to deliberate the winner of this competition on which an immense level of talent was on clear display. (Lacey Phelps)


Recital - Paul Archibald and Mahidol University Trumpet Ensemble - Sounds of Siam
This was a wonderful recital of both trumpet solo (with piano) and ensemble works. Collaborating with Paul Archibald on his solo selections by Busser and McDowell was Miriam Hickman, and both performed brilliantly. This solo portion was followed by the Mahidol University Trumpet Ensemble, under the direction of Joe Bowman. Varis Sirisook’s Orient Overture has two main themes; the first incorporates bounce to convey joy, and the second is a combination of singing melodies passed around the ensemble. Bowman gave a brief explanation of the history of Bangkok before the ensemble performed Prateep Supehanrojin’s Bugle Parade Variations. Fanfare from All Sides is a short but brilliant work by British composer Mark Anthony Turnage. The piece consisted of three small ensembles, reminiscent of Benjamin Britten’s Fanfare for St. Edmundsbury. Written originally for the inaugural concert of the Thailand Philharmonic at the 2005 ITG Conference in Bangkok, Eric Ewazen’s Emerald Rhapsody was a perfect vehicle to highlight the brilliance of the trumpet with its fanfare style and lyricism. (Will Koehler)
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Twin Cities Trumpet Ensemble recital - Trumpet Signatures
The Twin Cities Trumpet Ensemble’s performance celebrated iconic works heralded as unique “Trumpet Signatures.” Under the direction of James Olcott, this 24-trumpet ensemble performed popular works such as Bugler’s Holiday, Procession of the Nobles, and Light Cavalry Overture, among others. This performance was distinct as ITG Honorary Award recipient Ronald Romm and Warburton performing artist Aaron Romm were featured as soloists on Eric Ewazen’s Clarion Calls for two trumpets and trumpet choir (2022). Bugler’s Holiday featured the father/son duo alongside Olcott. The ensemble consisted of a plethora of trumpets of all kinds. Throughout the performance, B-flat, C, E-flat, and B-flat piccolo instruments were primary, but several rotary and bass trumpets pitched in various keys were also utilized. The finale featured the soloists and trumpet ensemble performing John Philip Sousa’s Stars and Stripes Forever, closing the recital in  a celebratory way. (Jeremy Perkins)


Fifth Bridge lecture recital - Electro-Acoustic Music for Trumpet Ensemble: People, Process, Performance
The professional trumpet ensemble Fifth Bridge presented a unique collection of new works for trumpet ensemble and electronics, along with an informative discussion regarding their creative process and the future of electro-acoustic music within the trumpet ensemble medium. Each composition featured the use of either fixed or static media, along with interactive electronics. The compositions allowed the audio media to enhance what the ensemble performed acoustically, including John Hollenbeck’s Colossal Sun, which also featured a synchronized video of the sun's solar flares corresponding to the antiphonal style of the acoustic arrangement. Some pieces utilized guitar and vocal effects pedals, such as Nadje Noorhuis’s Struck by Stars, as well as Nilofar Nourbakhah’s MaxMSP-like Space-Time Magnifying Glass. The level of individual performance in the group was outstanding and truly allowed the listener to take in the full experience that the composers intended. (Andrew Smith)

Evening Concert - Encore Wind Ensemble: A Night with the Stars
“A Night with the Stars” opened with a beautiful, energetic, and engaging prelude performance of Terry Everson’s arrangement of Bizet’s A Carmen Fantasy, played by the Boston University Trumpet Ensemble. Following the prelude, ITG competition winners were announced by the competition chairs, and Jason Bergman presented Michael Sachs with the ITG Honorary Award. Sachs gave a heartfelt speech thanking his many mentors, colleagues, friends, and family.
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Following the awards presentation, the Encore Winds, conducted by Jack Stamp, began their program with a dynamic performance of William Schuman’s Chester. Second on the program was Arban’s well-known Fantaisie Brillante, performed virtuosically by Jean Laurenz and featuring an unexpected added element of a narration by Joey Tartell. The narration recounted the story of Marlon Bundo, the bunny rabbit, with an uplifting message supporting marriage equality and acceptance. Laurenz’s performance was technically flawless and musically inspiring. This piece, guest conducted by William Stowman, was particularly well-received by the audience, prompting thunderous applause. 

Following the Arban, Dani DeBaza soloed on Agustín Castro Rodríguez’s El Legado de un Maestro. DeBaza’s crystal-clear sound and incredible musical expression prompted applause–even during the piece. David R. Gillingham’s When Speaks the Signal – Trumpet Tonel, featuring soloist Clément Saunier, was next on the program. Saunier’s warm sound and crisp fanfare passages wowed the audience, and the interaction between the wind ensemble accompaniment and the solo lines was seamless and musically effective, with both parties demonstrating a wide dynamic palette. Saunier showcased truly effortless playing and great virtuosity with his performance, featuring a section on piccolo trumpet and culminating in an energetic and exciting finale section that prompted a standing ovation from the audience. 

Dani DeBaza then returned to the stage to solo on Agustín Castro Rodríguez’s Liberty. DeBaza’s second performance was just as impactful as his first, showcasing many dynamic peaks and valleys and soaring lines in the upper register, as well as a captivating and artistic vibrato. The next selection featured Thomas Hooten performing Frank Ticheli’s Concerto for Trumpet. Hooten’s performance showcased true virtuosity and finesse in every respect. Flawless technique and impressive musicianship contributed to making this performance captivating and truly stunning. Ticheli’s work contains a wide array of styles, from smooth, lyrical sections to quick, active, and rapidly articulated sections, and each part was met with effectively exaggerated phrasing from both Hooten and the Encore Winds, who performed a musically engaging and impactful accompaniment. Hooten’s pure, warm sound contributed to making this performance memorable, and the audience did not hesitate to meet the final notes of this piece with a highly enthusiastic standing ovation. Following Hooten’s performance, Dani DeBaza again returned to the stage to perform Joan Manuel Serrat’s La Saeta, wowing the audience one more time with his ease and finesse, especially in the upper register. The closing work of the program was William Stowman’s Treaty of Alliance, featuring both Les Trompettes de Lyon and Tromba Mundi. Both groups performed with impressive technical virtuosity and group blend. The finale was engaging and full of energy, prompting thunderous applause from the audience and bringing this program to an exciting conclusion. (Julia Bell)
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2021 Carmine Caruso Winner Concert - The Beauty of Space with David Sneider
Following a rousing prelude performance by the University of Oklahoma’s Boomer Trumpet Ensemble of Terry Everson’s arrangement of There’s a Great Day Coming and James Stephenson’s Fanfare for an Angel, the concert featured David Sneider, the winner of the 2021 Carmine Caruso International Jazz Trumpet Solo Competition. Starting with a bang, Sneider began with an extended cadenza based on John Coltrane’s Countdown, which led into one of Sneider’s original tunes, Take Space. Sneider led the band into Wes Montgomery’s Road Song and then into the beautiful ballad It’s Magic by Jule Styne and Sammy Cahn. In the theme of the beauty of space, Sneider transitioned into another original tune, It Catches Up. The final tune, Hop, from Sneider’s upcoming album, is a contrafact of “Take the A Train.” Sneider and the rhythm section delivered marvelous solos at every turn on this exquisite program. (Spencer Brand)


Open Jam Session - Scott Belck
In an engaging late-night event, Scott Belck led a dynamic jam session, bringing together the artistry of Mike Frank on piano, Peter Paulsen on bass, and the rhythmic precision of Christopher Hanning on drums. Each musician delivered virtuosic solos, interpreting the tunes with a personalized flair that heightened the experience. Further, an eclectic group of about ten to fifteen trumpet players across diverse age groups joined the rhythm section to perform their chosen jazz standards. The night evolved into an immersive, joyous exploration of jazz music, offering a rich and memorable experience for all. (Andrew Smith)


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