January 2009 Winner: Cory Johnson
Our January 2009 Young Artist Award recipient is Cory Johnson, a junior at Mustang High School in Mustang, Oklahoma. Cory’s teacher, James Klages, professor of trumpet at the University of Central Oklahoma, recommended Cory for the award. ITG members may recall that Cory was the winner of the 2008 ITG Senior Youth Competition held in Banff, Canada. He performed the first movement of the Hummel Concerto and Broughton’s Oliver’s Birthday, both from memory. His performance was secure and very musical, but he commented later, “During the whole day before and after the competition I was really nervous. I felt confident about my performance but after hearing everyone else play I wondered if I had even placed. When Mr. Irish called my name as the winner at the banquet, I went numb all over. It was an amazing experience.”
In 2007 and 2008, Cory has participated in, and won the Oklahoma Music Olympics Carver Competitions, sponsored by the Oklahoma City Orchestra League. Contestants must play two contrasting works from memory. Cory played the Goedicke Concert Etude and the second movement of the Haydn Concerto in 2007, and the first movement of the Hummel Concerto and the Berdiev Humoresque in 2008.
Last year, as a sophomore, Cory was selected as overall first chair in the Oklahoma All-State auditions, and chose to participate in the orchestra, which gave him the chance to perform Bernstein’s Overture to Candide.
Cory says that Maynard Ferguson is his all-time trumpet hero. When Mr. Ferguson passed away a couple of years ago, his Cadillac was put up for sale on eBay. Cory’s dad Tony made the winning bid, and Cory is pictured here with his very special set of wheels.
Cory is currently participating in Mustang High School’s marching band and wind ensemble under the direction of Bryan Myers, Bradley Harrison, and Belinda Watson, and jazz band, directed by his middle school director Roger Sharp. Cory also plays polka music with the Bohemian Knights at Czech Hall in Yukon, Oklahoma, and continues to play principal trumpet of the Oklahoma Youth Orchestra. In his spare time, Cory works at his family’s ranch, Paradise Acres Llamas.