I have really made a lot of progress this year at the University of New Mexico. I was really unsure of what I would get from being in a rather small state very close to the border of Mexico, but I have been pleasantly surprised at the outcome. So far this year I have seen drastic improvements in my endurance, range, piccolo trumpet playing and overall musicianship. I have also been learning that I am not too bad at soloistic trumpet playing.
I was a winner of the UNM Concerto Competition last Fall. I memorized the Arutunian, and gave an absolutely amazing performance. You know the kind of performance that you didn’t even think you were capable of? I should probably try memorizing my literature more often, because I felt amazing that evening.
After that I had my eye on the two big trumpet competitions the National Trumpet Competition, and the International Trumpet Guild’s Solo Competition. I had never been to either of these events, and thought if I decide to go, why not be a performer? For these I decided to use the Charles Chaynes, Concerto for Trumpet. Though I absolutely did not enjoy this crazy French piece for about the first month, I now really enjoy it. It has so many contrasting sections that really can show off a players abilities.
Unfortunately, come December (the NTC deadline) I was not happy with my recording so I passed on sending that tape in. I continued working on the piece and decided to give it another whirl for the ITG conference. I again waited until the last moment to record, spent about 3-4 hours in the music hall running each piece about 3 times. To my surprise I found that I actually made a couple good recordings. So I sent it in, and forgot about it.
About 2-3 months later I got a call saying that I was selected as one of three finalists for the competition. I am truly excited to not only attend the conference, but also have the privilege to play for all these legendary trumpet players.
I will be sure to post another entry as soon as the convention is over.