June 2023 Winner: Joshua Kucharski

This issue’s featured young artist award winner is Joshua Kucharski, an eighteen-year-old trumpet player from Baltimore, Maryland. Josh just finished his freshman year of college at the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University where he is majoring in trumpet performance. Prior to attending Peabody, he participated in the Julliard Pre-College program for four years and attended DeMatha Catholic High School in Hyattsville, MD. While attending high school, Josh performed in DeMatha’s wind ensemble and jazz ensemble for all four years and participated in several Julliard Pre-College groups including brass quintet, brass ensemble and both orchestras. During his senior year he was principal trumpet in the pre-college orchestra and principal trumpet for the Maryland All-State Orchestra. He also performed Mahler’s Symphony no. 5 throughout Europe with Daniel Harding conducting Carnegie Hall’s National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America (NYO-USA) during the summer of 2022.

An active competitor, Josh was awarded first prize in the Concert Artists International Competition and in 2019 he was first prize winner in the NTC junior division and also second place in the ITG junior solo competition. In 2020 he was first prize and grand prize winner in both the Bellegrande International Competition and the YMIC Metropolitan Festival. In 2022 he earned second place in the Ross-Roberts Friday Morning Music Club competition for Woodwinds, Brass, and Percussion, was awarded first prize in the International Grande Music Competition and the Charleston International Music Competition, and was selected as one of the grand prize winners in the 2021 International Young Artists Competition from The National League of Performing Arts, Inc. 

In high school, Josh studied with Kevin Cobb for two years followed by Ray Mase for two years and he is now a student of William Gerlach at Peabody. According to Ray Mase, “Josh is an outstanding young trumpeter and musician in every respect. His commitment to the Juilliard Pre-College program was incredible—faithfully making the trip up to New York City from Baltimore every Saturday for four years.” Josh’s first private trumpet teacher was his dad, David Kucharski, who is a trumpeter with the United States Air Force Ceremonial Brass. He is very thankful for the support and encouragement of his parents. Since both of his parents are professional musicians, they are very supportive of him and understand the lifestyle and commitment necessary for success. In particular he is grateful that they enrolled him in piano lessons and piano competitions when he was six-years-old as he learned a lot about performing and coping with nerves at a young age. Josh is also an avid tennis player who has been playing since he was in the first grade. In addition to loving the sport, he finds that there is a lot of carryover between the mental skills of tennis to the mental skills of performing trumpet. He also loves watching sports such as his favorite basketball team the Los Angeles Lakers and Formula 1 racing by Louis Hamilton.

Josh would love to perform in an orchestra for a living some day and some of his favorite trumpeters to listen to are Phil Smith, Michael Sachs, Mattias Hoffs and Sergei Nakariakov. He had the pleasure of taking a few lessons with Mr. Nakariakov which was very inspiring for him. As the June 2023 ITG Young Artist Award winner, he will receive a one-year complimentary membership to ITG. Congratulations Joshua!


March 2023 Winner: Joshua Puente

This issue’s featured young artist award winner is Joshua Puente, an eighteen-year-old trumpet player from Marietta, GA. Joshua is currently a freshman instrumental music education and trumpet performance major at Florida State University (F.S.U.) where he studies with Dr. Christopher Moore. While attending Lassiter High School, Joshua was very active in his high school’s music program, serving as the president of the marching band, president of the Tri-M Honors Society, section leader of the trumpet section in the orchestra and ran his high school’s trumpet ensemble. As a high school freshman, he marched with his high school marching band in the 2019 Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, CA. In addition to his high school responsibilities, Joshua was a member of the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra in 2021 and 2022. Two highlights from that ensemble were his roles as the cornet soloist in Prokofiev’s “Romeo and Juliet” and assistant principal on “Pictures at an Exhibition,” performing the Samuel Goldberg and Schmuyle solo on piccolo trumpet. He has also participated in the Georgia Music Education Association All State ensembles since his 8th grade year, culminating in principal trumpet in 2021 and 2nd chair trumpet in 2022. Joshua also competed in the quarterfinals of the National Trumpet Competition, performing the first movement of the Haydn Trumpet Concerto in 2021 and the Alexander Goedicke “Concert Etude” in 2022. He is looking forward to competing in the undergraduate solo division quarter-finals at the 2023 National Trumpet Competition performing Charlier’s Solo de Concours. Recently, Joshua earned 3rd place in the F.S.U. Bryan Goff Trumpet Solo Competition.

His previous trumpet teachers were Patrick McAvoy & Dr. Doug Lindsey of Kennesaw State University. Dr. Lindsey says “Joshua has been one of my favorite students because of his awesome attitude and work ethic. He always showed excellent leadership qualities as the top trumpet at Lassiter High School, and he regularly mentored the younger students in his section.” Joshua greatly appreciates the support of his teachers and also credits his father as a major factor in why he is pursuing trumpet as a career. His dad gave him his Bach Stradivarius trumpet when Joshua was in 8th grade and as a Blue Devils Drum and Bugel corp alumni encouraged Joshua to tour with the Phantom Regiment corp in 2022. In summer 2023, Joshua will follow in his dad’s footsteps by marching with the Blue Devils. Joshua also became interested in marching DCI thanks to Jeff Harper, his high school assistant band director, who marched in the Cadets. Joshua was thrilled to perform in a live movie theater broadcast out of Detroit last summer with Phantom and he really looks forward to returning to DCI as a Blue Devil each summer until he ages out.

Joshua’s favorite trumpeters include Maurice Andre and Rafael Mendez. In addition to being passionate about performing, he loves teaching and has ever since he became section leader at his high school and also taught middle school students. Joshua was a dedicated member of the Boy Scouts, gaining his Eagle Scout status at the beginning of the summer of 2022. He also greatly loves the outdoors, especially fishing, hiking and working out. As the March 2023 ITG Young Artist Award winner, he will receive a one-year complimentary membership to ITG. Congratulations Joshua!


January 2023 Winner: Jean-Vif Chandra

This issue’s featured young artist award winner is Jean-Vif Chandra, a sixteen-year-old trumpet player from Surabaya, Indonesia. Vif has been playing trumpet for seven years and regularly performs in the Orkes Kota Pahlawan and Diatas rata rata orchestras, conducted by Erwin Gutawa. He also won a position performing in the Indonesian Youth Concert Orchestra in 2017, the JATIM Orchestra in 2018, the Twilight Youth Orchestra in 2020 and the Orkestra Anak Indonesia in 2021. He was also chosen by Erwin Gutawa and the forum for developing Above Average talents (DARR) to record a performance in a special orchestra for the G20 opening ceremony. In 2018, Vif also participated in a Singapore Brass Festival masterclass with trumpeters Jon Dante, Lau Wen Rong and David Bilger. 

He has always felt incredibly supported by his parents and his trumpet teachers. Vif’s current trumpet teachers are Lau Wen Rong, a section trumpeter in the Singapore Symphony Orchestra and Budi Wiryawan who performs in the Magenta Orchestra which is a modern pop orchestra based in Jakarta, Indonesia. When speaking about Jean-Vif, Mr. Rong says, “Vif is a very diligent, hardworking and determined student who possess great work ethic. He is always well prepared for lessons and is very open and receptive to any suggestions I may have. No matter how challenging the pieces I assign, he learns them well within one week and performs very well during lessons.”

Once Vif graduates from high school, his goal is to attend a music conservatory on a scholarship in order to study trumpet performance. In his spare time, he loves playing basketball, watching the Los Angeles Lakers, and working on his motorcycle and riding his dad’s KTM Adventure 250 motorcycle. Vif loves both pop and classical music and his favorite trumpet players to listen to are Dizzy Gilespie and Sergei Nakariakov. As the January 2023 ITG Young Artist Award winner, he will receive a one-year complimentary membership to ITG. Congratulations Jean-Vif!

October 2022 Winner: Claire Yungbluth

This issue’s featured young artist award winner is Claire Yungbluth, an eighteen-year-old trumpet player who has recently graduated from Campbell County High School in the greater Cincinnati and northern Kentucky area. In addition to performing in her high school’s wind ensemble, Claire performed in the Cincinnati Youth Symphony Orchestra (CYSO) for three years. As a sophomore she performed in the Concert Orchestra and during her junior and senior years she played principal trumpet in the top Philharmonic orchestra. Her interests in orchestral trumpet began in her freshman year of high school when she performed in the Northern Kentucky University’s Youth Symphony Orchestra.

In 2021, Claire was selected for both the Kentucky Governor’s School for the Arts and the Governor’s Scholar Program (GSP). She decided to attend GSP at the Morehead campus and was a member of the music cohort. During her senior year of high school, Claire also made the Kentucky All State Concert Band.

While Claire started on trumpet in the 6th grade, her musical studies began at age three when she attended Northern Kentucky University’s Xylo-Zoo and followed with piano lessons for most of elementary school. Her trumpet instructors included Chris Kiradjieff of the Cincinnati Symphony and Jenna Veverka. Speaking of Claire, Ms. Veverka says, “Claire is passionate about music, progressing, and reaching her fullest potential. Her consistent progress is evidence of her extremely strong work ethic and determination. She is responsible, bright, reliable, and an individual of upstanding character and integrity.” Claire cites her studies with Ms. Veverka as incredibly inspiring due to her strength as a trumpet player and a positive female role model. Her parents and brother have also been important sources of encouragement and support for her as well.

In addition to taking trumpet seriously, Claire is a dedicated student who is pursuing a degree in Psychology at Centre College and is performing in the orchestra on a music scholarship. As a “straight A” 4.0 GPA student, Claire took nine AP classes in high school and also greatly enjoyed competing on her high school’s Academic Team all four years of high school. She specialized in Arts & Humanities which helped her deepen her knowledge and understanding of classical composers. She also thoroughly enjoyed working as an after-school tutor at her local elementary school. Her favorite trumpet players to listen to are Alison Balsom, Tine Thing Helseth and Wynton Marsalis. As the October 2022 ITG Young Artist Award winner, she will receive a one-year complimentary membership to ITG. Congratulations Claire!

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