|Steele-Perkins in action
Imagine, for a few moments, the thrill of seeing and hearing the various members of the trumpet family introduced, performed on, and explained by the world’s leading authority on the matter. What a concept that must be for anyone with the vivid imagination to envision such a presentation. Such was the performance by Crispian Steele-Perkins at Northwestern State University on Monday March 14th.
Steele-Perkins, ever the effervescent gentleman, greets students and concert goers alike, always with such zeal for the music and topics presented, that his joy borders on reverence for the art of trumpet playing. Rightfully so, as he speaks with complete authority on any issue regarding the trumpet, especially that of its English history. Personally speaking, his brief time in Natchitoches, Louisiana and Northwestern State University was without doubt one of the major peak experiences for the applied trumpet studio.
Steele-Perkins enjoys different tastes in cuisine. For supper on the evening of March 13th, he preferred a Mexican Carne Asada while we preferred the traditional rice and beans. The conversation centered on trumpet history, primarily that of English baroque trumpeters. Most interesting was the background on black trumpeters working on the scene and of course their tremendous popularity with audiences.
Steele-Perkins spent quite some time showing and explaining the instruments and sharing anecdotes before his rehearsal. He then ran his entire program that afternoon with accompanist, Irina Feoktistova, in a rehearsal which was open to the applied trumpet studio. He even welcomed a potentially distracting photographer, who took pictures from in front, back, below, beside, exceptionally close, and from some distance. Mr. Steele-Perkins was always entertaining and never seemed to take himself too seriously.
After what appeared to be a tiresome rehearsal, he entertained questions from my students and even spent lesson time with senior performance major Joel Adair. Mr. Steele-Perkins took a brief moment to remind Joel to focus on making a resonant sound by buzzing on the mouthpiece and listening for what he called non-vibrating air. Steele-Perkins commented that reducing this would improve the sound better than doing four hours of long tones, and his instruction proved correct. Adair then played the second movement of the Hummel, which Mr.
had just played on the keyed trumpet, and he made some remarks, saying to think of it as an aria, to be gentler, less hurried, and try not to sound so rehearsed with some of the ornaments. All of his comments were on musical ideas and making changes that would better serve the music and its delivery.
The evening program included the following: Trumpet Sonata by John James, Musica Bellicosa by Handel, Air with Variations by Sir Henry Bishop, A Royal Progress by Jeremiah Clarke, Concerto in E ( movements II & III ) by Hummel, the Prelude to Act II of Don Pasquale by Donizetti, Trumpet Sonata by Stradella, an excerpt from the Fireworks Music by Handel, and Sonata No. 1 by Mozart. Steele-Perkins played a magnificent concert and interacted wonderfully with the audience, all with an entertaining personal flare. His response to the thunderous applause and a full house standing ovation was a magnificent encore where he brilliantly regaled the audience with Stanley’s Trumpet Voluntary using all of the instruments. After the concert, he entertained the trumpet students and others who had gathered by fitting all twelve of his instruments into a carry-on size suitcase.
Crispian Steele-Perkins - artist page at the Early Music Directory
Music at NSU
Galindo Rodriguez and Joel Adair