Baylor Brass Area Ensemble Wins National Trumpet Competition

April 1, 2011

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The Baylor University School of Music's Brass Area's Group A, a six-member trumpet ensemble, won first place and was awarded $4,000 at the National Trumpet Competition held at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., last month. Baylor Group B, a four-member trumpet ensemble, was named a finalist.

The two ensembles were among 30 ensembles from universities and conservatories across the country in the competition held from Thursday, March 17, to Sunday, March 20.

"I am thrilled by the outcome of the competition; these students were so resourceful and diligent in their preparation," said Wiff Rudd, professor of trumpet and brass area chair at Baylor. "This process, over the last several months, has provided a significant opportunity for the personal and musical growth for the ten students involved in these two ensembles."

Group A's members are: Chelsea Orr, ensemble leader and senior performance major; Andy Lott, senior performance major; Steffen Baral, graduate student in performance; Beth Peroutka, graduate student in performance; Manny Munoz, sophomore performance major; and Simon Bosch, senior music education major. The group performed "Abstracts No. 2" by Robert Russell and arranged by Rudd.

Group B's members are: Joseph Underwood, ensemble leader and junior performance major; Ben Hauser, freshman performance major; Taylor Williamson, freshman music education major; and Tyler Brinkman, freshman music education major. The group performed "Variants with Solo Cadenzas" by William Schmidt.

"Our focus has been on musical playing, stage presence and team building," Rudd said. "I'm particularly proud of the latter, the team building. Both took the task to heart."

Each year, representatives from trumpet studios at universities and conservatories across the country submit recorded examples of their work to the panel of judges for the National Trumpet Competition. From those, the two Baylor ensembles were chosen to compete at the national level against 28 other groups.

"I encouraged them to play in a way that would move people rather than focusing on impressing them," Rudd said. "While this was a highly competitive event, I asked them focus on preparing well, enjoying the process together, and let the results speak for themselves."

For more information about the National Trumpet Competition, visit http://www.nationaltrumpetcomp.org.

For more information about the Baylor School of Music's brass area, visit http://www.baylor.edu/music/brass/.

by Katy McDowall, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805

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