2023 Midwest Trumpet Festival

Hosted by Pittsburg State University, the 2023 Midwest Trumpet Festival was successfully held on October 8-9 in Pittsburg, KS.

Each year, leading performers, educators, students, and community members gather for two days full of educational sessions, master classes, recitals, and concerts.

Maintaining the tradition since the first festival, the Pittsburg State University trumpet ensemble presented an opening fanfare by Mel Broils with a uniform sound and an exciting presentation. After a brief introduction by the host, Dr. Todd Hastings, the festivities began with the Romm Family Trio.

After a dazzling display of virtuosity from the Romm Family Trio, Aaron Romm addressed the audience with the question, “What is chamber music?”. He went on to emphasize the importance of collaboration and the joyful impact chamber music can have on musicians. The discussion continued with questions from the audience.

“Chamber music is an all-encompassing energy that we share with one another” - Ronald Romm

“A sense of sharing my soul with someone else, a sense of giving and receiving energy in the ensemble and the audience”. -Avis Romm 

All of this was geared toward cultivating confidence, presence, and engagement. 

The evening concert was opened by the University of Kansas Trumpet Ensemble, who displayed an exciting, diverse program, with a well-balanced and blended sound. The selections included Trumpet Guild Fanfare, Amazing Grace, Festive Overture, and Olympic Fanfare and Theme.

The Sharon K. Dean Recital made for an excellent venue for the wonderful chamber music presented by the trio. Everything in the program was either arranged by a member of the trio, or an original composition written for them. From Bach’s Toccata and Fugue to “A Night at the Opera", the trio went beyond their instruments and gave the audience a truly unique and world-class experience. 

“A Successful and Satisfying Life with the Trumpet '' was an enriching session by Dr. Rich Rulli (University of Arkansas). Suggestions on practicing, engaged practice, and lots of audience participation made for a wonderful session. Rulli used Charlier Etude No. 2 “Du Style '' as a source for his material and suggestion on approaching practice. What to do before you play and taking time to articulate simple and easy instructions are just some of the great ideas brought to this session of the festival. 

Dave Cooper (University of Wisconsin Platteville) gave a breakdown of tune structure to kick off his session on “Learning Tunes”. Cooper continued his presentation by helping attendees understand chord changes. This consisted of organizing chords into categories and the different symbols that mean the same thing.

Newly appointed to Oklahoma University, Dr. Doug Lindsey emphasized the fundamentals of an effortless sound and the breath to support it. The charismatic presentation had students thinking of approaching musical phrases with the intent of setting them up for success. Dr. Lindsey continued his class by helping volunteers approach their current musical projects.

Stan Kessler (University of Missouri-Kansas City), along with pianist Bob Ensor gave an afternoon concert of jazz standards with a mix of education. Kessler discussed routine with an emphasis on time and the physical manifestation that is required for various styles.

Dr. Ben Hay (Northeastern State University) led the High School/Middle School Warmup Class on the second day of the festival. Students received a wealth of information and provided excellent examples from Dr. Hay. The session was centered around the teachings of Bill Adam and his pedagogy.  

Dr. David Hunsicker (Wichita State University) presented a mixture of Schlosberg and Arban that was originally adapted by Georges Mager (Boston Symphony, 1919-1950). Covering all the fundamentals with a fresh approach, the attendees developed a strong foundation to take with them after the festival. 

Leading the College Trumpet Ensemble Reading Session was Dr. David Deshler (Furman State University) Deshler kicked off the session with ensemble skills by stacking chords, understanding function, and the role that each voice plays. The group had the opportunity to rotate the multiple parts on various pieces, providing a very well-rounded experience for all.

Dr. Eric Dickson (Truman State University) led the High School Trumpet Ensemble Reading Session. Aware of the wide array of ability levels, Dickson provided repertoire that allowed all participants to be successfully involved.

During the Ronald Romm Masterclass, students from various surrounding universities presented works by Haydn, Neruda, Charlier, and more. Each participant gained wonderful and encouraging feedback to help them continue on their musical journey.

The High School Round Table was co-taught by Dr. Jen Olivereo (Missouri Western University) and Dr. David Deshler (FSU). Students from the surrounding school districts had the opportunity to present audition materials, solos, and etudes. Both clinicians gave excellent information to a large audience of young trumpeters.

Two recitals were held to bring the festival to a close. The first recital featured college students, while the second recital featured the faculty of the festival. Featured on the College Spotlight Recital, was a pool of students representing eight different universities. The selection of repertoire ranged from Haydn to works by Kevin McKee and Peter Graham. The level of performers was outstanding, and the program provided a wide range of diverse composers and styles. The faculty recital featured fifteen artists and faculty representing twelve universities. Complementing the previous recital with a delightful combination of lyricism and finesse, the faculty concluded the festival by combining forces to display a whirlwind of blended sound and technique while performing Infinite Ascent by Erik Morales. (Source: Will Koehler)


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