October 2020 Winner: James McAffrey
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!