January 2021 Winner: Fiona Shonik
- Published: Wednesday, 13 January 2021 15:57
- Written by Anne K. McNamara
This issue’s featured young artist award winner is Fiona Shonik, a 18-year-old trumpeter who recently graduated from North Shore High School in Long Island, New York and will begin her undergraduate degrees in music education and trumpet performance at Northwestern’s Bienen School of Music in Fall 2020. Fiona was principal trumpet in several groups including the Long Island Youth Orchestra, Nassau Suffolk Performing Arts Wind Symphony and the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra’s Nassau Principal Orchestra. Fiona was also selected to play in numerous state-wide and national groups for the past eight years. Highlights include performing co-principal in the New York All State Symphonic Band in 2018, performing in the All-Eastern Music Festival Concert band and playing principal in the NAfME All-National Concert Band in 2019. She was selected to play first trumpet in the 2020 NY State Band Directors Association High School Honor Concert band and principal trumpet in the 2019 and 2020 NMEA All-County Music Festival Orchestras as well.
An active member in her high school’s music program, Fiona performed in the North Shore H.S. wind symphony, jazz ensemble, pep band, pit orchestra, brass ensemble, and chamber orchestra. During her senior year she served as the President of Band and Vice President of the Tri-M Music Honors Society. During the past three summers, Fiona took part in the School of Orchestral Studies program as part of the New York State Summer Schools for the Arts where she worked closely with members of the Philadelphia Orchestra, including trumpeter Robert Earley. Both a serious musician and student, Fiona thrived in a rigorous academic environment, taking advantage of her school’s International Baccalaureate program.
Some of her favorite trumpeters include Chris Martin, Wynton Marsalis, Tine Thing Helseth, Alison Balsom and Mary Bowden. In terms of career goals, she has many different interests within the classical music field such as performing and arts administration. She would like to help contribute to greater diversity and equality for minorities in the classical music world. This desire is linked to her experience as one of the only women trumpeters in her ensembles and as one of the only women during her thirteen years of playing competitive ice hockey and roller hockey. As she puts it: “I think it is important to encourage people to follow their passions even if it is considered to be outside the norm.” Fiona’s primary trumpet teacher for the past five years is Michael Blutman who she credits with helping her grow tremendously as both a musician and a person. Congratulations Fiona!
October 2020 Winner: James McAffrey
- Published: Tuesday, 06 October 2020 21:19
- Written by Anne K. McNamara
This issue’s featured young artist award winner is James McAffrey, a 17-year-old trumpeter who lives in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. James has been homeschooled his entire life and began playing cornet as a 9 year old in the Oklahoma Homeschool Bands. Since then he has become quite the active performer playing in many groups. His first trumpet teacher was Lauren Fletcher whom he studied with for four years and he is now a student of Professor Michael Anderson. Beginning in 8th grade, James has performed with the Oklahoma Youth Orchestras program where he is now the principal trumpet of their top orchestra. Previously he performed as part of their philharmonic and wind ensembles. During the past year, while still a junior in high school, he is also enrolled in the Oklahoma City University trumpet studio auditioning and placing into several of their top groups including their wind ensemble and now their orchestra under the direction of Professor Jeffrey Grogan. James has been selected three times to attend the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute at Quartz Mountain where he was able to perform in an orchestra and be coached by Dr. Chris Wilson. This summer, he won a spot in the National Youth Orchestra 2 which will take place online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition to his ensemble experience, James is an accomplished competitor. He has twice been a semi-finalist in the National Trumpet Competition, in 2018 and 2020, and was also a finalist at the 2018 International Trumpet Guild’s Youth Competition, Junior Division where he won a scholarship to attend the conference. James was selected as the Oklahoma City Symphonic Band 2020 Young Artist Competition winner with Slavische Fantasie by Carl Hohne and also won first place in the Oklahoma City Orchestra League Carver Competition Brass Division in March of 2019.
Not only does James enjoy performing trumpet but he is also a competitive rock climber. He currently competes as a member of Team Texas out of Norman, OK, recently qualifying for Divisionals. He has won several rock climbing competitions in Missouri, Arkansas, Texas and Oklahoma. James feels that his rock climbing and trumpet playing compliment each other in that they both require a high degree of focus. He is incredibly grateful to his family for the amount of support they have offered him through his pursuit of music as he knows he would not be able to do it without them. A huge fan of orchestral trumpet playing, some of his favorite trumpet players include Chris Martin, Phil Smith, Tom Rolfs, Tom Hooten, Bud Herseth, Barbara Butler and Charlie Geyer. His dream is to pursue a degree in trumpet performance and to perform in a professional orchestra one day. Congratulations James!
June 2020 Winner: Gabriel Curtis
- Published: Wednesday, 03 June 2020 16:00
- Written by Anne K. McNamara
This issue’s featured young artist award winner is Gabriel Curtis, a sixteen-year-old trumpeter who attends Lafayette High School in Lexington, Kentucky and studies privately with Scott Heersche. Gabriel is actively involved in his school’s music program, performing in the marching band, jazz band and in Lafayette's top performance band, wind symphony. He also fulfills leadership roles in those ensembles by acting as section leader of the marching band trumpets and principal trumpet in the wind symphony. Outside of school, Gabriel performs in the Central Kentucky Youth Symphony Orchestra and also seeks out playing opportunities such as competing in the youth ensemble division of the 2019 National Trumpet Competition. He also enjoys playing the piano, which he began at age 8. During the summer of 2019, he studied and performed at the Interlochen Arts Camp in Michigan, working with Vince DiMartino, John Aley, Rex Richardson and Ken Larson.
While only a sophomore in high school, Gabriel is confident that he wants to pursue music at the college level as a music major studying either music education, music performance or both. He credits a lot of his success and happiness with music to his mother, Tiffaney Lavoie, a former choir director who first introduced him to music through piano lessons and who encouraged him to pick up the trumpet when he was 10 years old. A moment of pride for him was when he received the Director’s Award from his middle school band director, Lois Wiggins of Edythe Jones Hayes Middle School. This award is given to a graduating 8th grader who embodies the spirit of a musician through leadership and love of the art. Speaking of Gabriel, Ms. Wiggins says, “He is a fantastic young musician, one of the best I have had the pleasure of working with.”
Two major trumpet influences for Gabriel are Wynton Marsalis and Arturo Sandoval. He also loves the band Chicago, in particular because of their brass section. While music is his passion, he also loves movies, cinema trivia and pop culture, in particular that of the 1980s. Gabriel hopes to utilize his passion for music by investing in future generations as a high school band director one day. Congratulations Gabriel!
March 2020 Winner: Addison Bosch
- Published: Wednesday, 03 June 2020 15:53
- Written by Anne K. McNamara
This issue’s featured young artist award winner is Addison Bosch, a 16-year-old trumpeter who attends Volcano Vista High School in Albuquerque, New Mexico and studies privately with Dr. John Marchiando. Addison performs in several groups both inside and outside of school including the Albuquerque Youth Symphony under the direction of Sayra Severson, the New Mexico Jazz Workshop Honor band, he plays lead trumpet with the Volcano Vista H.S. Jazz Band and is the featured soloist in his high school marching band show under the direction of his band director, Paul Blakey. With the Albuquerque Youth Symphony, Addison has been a featured soloist on two separate occasions, recently performing the first movement of the Böhme Concerto and performing the Arutunian concerto as an 8th grader. Other important highlights include competing as a finalist in the I.T.G. Youth Solo Competition in 2016, being selected to participate in both the All State Jazz band and All State concert band groups in 2017 and 2018 and performing in the Sidney Opera House while on tour with the Albuquerque Youth Symphony.
Addison plans to graduate from high school a year early in order to pursue a bachelors degree in Music Performance at the University of New Mexico continuing his studies with Dr. Marchiando. An equal fan of both classical and jazz music, some of his favorite trumpet players include Chet Baker, Maynard Ferguson, Allen Vizzutti, Wynton Marsalis, Tine Thing Helseth and Alison Balsolm. Addison’s former teachers include Kent Erickson and Brynn Marchiando. Congratulations Addison!