June 2013 Winner: Jason Grimes

Jason Grimes is currently a high school senior at University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA), where he has been a student of Judith Saxton since his freshman year of high school. Previously, he had studied trumpet with Dennis Renfroe.

Jason received his first trumpet the Christmas right before his fourth birthday and began lessons when he was seven. He was homeschooled until coming to UNCSA. He also studied privately on trombone and saxophone for a year each while continuing to play trumpet. His father, Jac Grimes, is a trombonist who founded the Kings of Swing jazz band. Jason’s early exposure to that group was instrumental in providing the initial spark that kindled his interest in music. He has subbed with them frequently and his strong reading and rhythmic skills are easily attributed to this early jazz influence. Jason has parlayed his early start on the trumpet and comfort with a wide variety of instruments and styles into a leadership role at the School of the Arts, where slots for all ensembles are won by audition against all trumpets in the studio (the age spans from high school to post-graduate).

This school year, Jason currently serves as principal for the UNCSA high school trumpet ensemble, performs with a brass quintet (coached by David Jolley), and also fulfills principal trumpet duties on a wide range of repertoire with the UNCSA Wind Ensemble. As a high school senior, he has also won spots over his college-aged peers to perform in a rotating section for Orchestra and Opera Orchestra. Additionally, Jason performs as a member and a strong contributor to the UNCSA Jazz Ensemble section—a spot he won this past fall. In November of 2012, he auditioned into the North Carolina All-State Honors Orchestra.

While at UNCSA, Jason has performed in various masterclasses and received chamber music coaching with guest artists Susan Slaughter, Susan Rider, Barry Bauguess, Terry Everson, Arturo Sandoval, Charles Schlueter, Marc Reese, Charles Lazarus, Richard Cox, Alan Siebert, Jeffrey Piper, Amanda Pepping, and the US Army (Pershing’s Own) Brass Quintet and Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps Bugle Section.

During his busy time at UNCSA, Jason has maintained a healthy grade point average in an extremely academically competitive high school environment and still found time in his junior year to perform as principal trumpet with the Winston-Salem Youth Symphony. He also was in the North Carolina Western Regional Honors Orchestra, and has been a two time participant in the UNCG Carolina Band Festival, his junior year winning the principal chair in their Honors Symphonic Band (grades 11 and 12).

Jason has remained active in the summer months performing, mentoring, and serving as an intern for the John Coltrane Jazz Workshop Intern’s Ensemble in Highpoint, North Carolina, and performing with the UNC-Greensboro Summer Music Camp in the junior and senior bands and orchestra (2011) every summer since 2005. He attended Purtle Brass Camp in 2011.

As a freshman and sophomore in high school, Jason was a member of the Greensboro Youth Symphony and the Greensboro High Point Home School and Jamestown Brass Ensembles. He was a finalist for the Winston-Salem Youth Orchestra Concerto Competition, received superior solo ratings five consecutive years in the North Carolina Solo & Ensemble Competition, and took Taekwondo, almost attaining black belt prior to joining the UNCSA trumpet studio.

In the final months of his senior year at the UNC School of the Arts, Jason competed for a second year as a semi-finalist at the National Trumpet Competition and performed both for and with Allen Vizzutti during Vizzutti’s April Jazz Ensemble guest solo/clinician residency at UNCSA. As the June 2013 Young Artist Award recipient, Jason will receive a one-year complimentary membership in ITG.

March 2013 Winner: John Burton

Congratulations to our March 2013 Young Artist Award recipient John Burton, a senior at Walker Valley High School in Bradley County, Tennessee. John began his musical studies with piano lessons in the second grade progressing to the trumpet in the sixth grade at Ocoee Middle School, where he received his first award for “Best Brass Student,” launching his focus on the trumpet.

Since middle school, John has been the recipient of numerous awards and opportunities—among them three consecutive seasons as principal trumpet with the Chattanooga Symphony Youth Orchestra. A concerto winner in his sophomore year with CSYO, John performed the third movement of the Hummel Concerto for Trumpet four times in one season and will be featured this spring again as a concerto soloist showcasing his skills on the second movement of Eric Ewazen’s Trumpet Concerto.

John was featured nationally last April on NPR’s “From the Top” performing Barat’s Fantaisie in E-flat with pianist Christopher O’Reilly and was a semifinalist at the National Trumpet Competition. 2012 proved even more rewarding, resulting with prizes won at the ITG Youth Day Competition, securing principal trumpet with the Allstate East Tennessee Blue Band, and principal chairs with the Tennessee All State Band and Orchestra. Over the last four years, John has studied trumpet with Tina Erickson, dedicated educator, faculty member at the University of Tennessee and Lee University, and Blackburn Trumpet Artist.

Currently a senior at Walker Valley High, John has served as principal trumpet in the Symphony Band under the direction of Alan Hunt, additionally playing bass guitar in Fox Creek, a local bluegrass band. An excellent student and member of the National Honor Society, John maintains a straight-A average. John relaxes with numerous visual art forms such as juggling, knife throwing, and yo-yoing, and he even rides unicycles! As the March 2013 Young Artist Award Recipient, John will receive a one year complimentary membership in the ITG.

John would like to thank his parents, Mike and Fredda and three brothers (Brian, Mark, and Ben), for their love and support. At the present time, John is busy on the college audition trail and plans to pursue a career in trumpet performance.

January 2013 Winner: Patty Luecken

Congratulations to our January 2013 Young Artist Award recipient, Patty Luecken, a senior from East Meadow, New York. Patty began her musical studies on trumpet and piano while a student at Meadowbrook Elementary School in East Meadow. Excelling at both, Patty performed at the New York State solo festival each year throughout elementary and middle school, often receiving perfect scores.

For the past seven years as a student at W.T. Clarke Middle and High School, Patty has studied trumpet with Kevin Scully and Steven Barbieri. In addition, Patty has discovered a love for singing through her studies with Robin Hall, also at W.T. Clarke. In school, Patty has performed with the jazz ensemble, pit orchestra, concert band, wind ensemble, symphony orchestra, as accompanist and vocalist with the Senior Chorale, and as vocalist with the vocal jazz ensemble. She is also active in her school’s Tri-M chapter.

Through exemplary performances on difficult repertoire (Honegger’s Intrada and Clarke’s Shores of the Mighty Pacific), Patty was selected to the 2012 New York All-State Symphony Orchestra and the 2011 New York All-State Symphonic Band, where she served as principal trumpet. From 2010 to 2012, Patty participated in the New York State Summer School for the Arts’ School of Orchestral Studies, where she studied with Robert Earley (second trumpet, Philadelphia Orchestra). Patty presently serves as principal trumpet with the Long Island Youth Orchestra and the Nassau Suffolk Wind Symphony, positions she has held since 2010.

Patty’s primary private instruction for the past seven years has been with Michael Blutman, a successful New York City freelance trumpeter, and March 2002 recipient of the ITG Youth Award. Patty would like to thank her parents, Deborah and Bill, and her sister Katy for their love and support. She is currently a senior in high school and member of the National Honor Society. She intends to pursue a career in music performance and education. As the January 2013 Young Artist Award recipient, Patty will receive a one-year complimentary membership to ITG.


October 2012 Winner: Chloe Swindler

It is with great enthusiasm that ITG introduces Chloe Swindler as the October 2012 Young Artist Award Recipient. Chloe is enjoying a fast-paced senior year at Cienega High School in Vail, Arizona, where she excels both academically and musically. Betsy Bright, Chloe’s teacher (and second trumpet with the Tucson Symphony), nominated her. Betsy heralds Chloe as a student with great natural ability, an impeccable work ethic, and outstanding character. Chloe is currently principal trumpet in the Tucson Philharmonia Youth Orchestra and on two occasions was a finalist for the Young Artist Competition, earning special citations. As a 2012 TPYO Concerto Competition winner she will be performing the Arutiunian Concerto with the orchestra in November 2012.

As an eighth grader, Chloe competed in the Junior solo division of the 2009 National Trumpet Competition. She has earned first chair in the Arizona All-State Band and in her Regional Band all through high school. Her senior Regional audition was celebrated with a perfect score of 1000 points, the first perfect score in ten years. In addition to her busy schedule with the Tucson Philharmonia Youth Orchestra, Chloe has participated in the Tucson Jazz Institute and she regularly performs as a soloist at Desert Dove Chapel. She has performed in four of Betsy Bright’s studio recitals, engaging audiences with interpretations of works such as the Fantasie Brilliante by Arban and the first movements of concertos by Neruda and Hummel.

Chloe has furthered her studies with lessons with Ben Wright (Boston Symphony), Micah Wilkinson (SF Symphony and Oregon Symphony), and David Cohen (principal trumpet in Tucson). The highlight of her musical experience this past summer was attending the Butler/Geyer trumpet workshop held at Northwestern University.

Chloe enjoys singing, songwriting, and playing trumpet and guitar for friends and family. Outside of music, she keeps up with her heavy workload of classes, maintaining a near perfect GPA (she enjoys math and history the most). On weekends, when she’s not involved with marching band or the Tucson Philharmonia Youth Orchestra, Chloe enjoys playing in the Tucson Pops. In addition, she enjoys volunteering at her local church, Saint Rita’s in the Desert, to watch over the kids four and younger while their parents are at Mass.

Chloe would like to thank her parents, Tamara and Stephen Swindler, for their support of her musical endeavors. In addition, she would like to thank her band, orchestra, and lesson teachers, James Matsushino, Suzette Battan, and Betsy Bright Morgan, for always insisting that she put forth her best efforts. In future years, Chloe plans to attend either Boston University or Northwestern University, with the hopes of becoming a professional principal trumpet player. As the October 2012 Young Artist Award recipient, Chloe will receive a one-year complimentary membership to ITG.

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