Chapter News: new Lone Star chapter and Trumpet Fest

The newly-established Lone Star State Trumpet Guild received its charter in September 2016, and the inaugural event took place Nov. 18-19 at Angelo State University, San Angelo, Texas.

Hosted by trumpet professor Dr. John Irish, the Trumpet Fest featured artists Bobby Shew and Dr. Cathy Leach, ITG Vice President/President Elect.  Friday’s events included the reading of the Lone Star State Trumpet Guild charter proclamation by Cathy Leach, a master class with Bobby Shew, a recital and masterclass with Cathy Leach, and an evening performance of the West Texas Jazz Orchestra featuring Bobby Shew.  

A university faculty trumpet ensemble opened Friday’s sessions with the finale from William Tell, featuring Cathy Leach, and closed with Charlier Numero Dos, arr. Gary Slechta. The ensemble also included Dr. David Amlung, McMurry University; Mr. Eric Baker, Odessa College; Mr. Adam Coffman, Angelo State University; Dr. Leigh Anne Hunsaker, Hardin Simmons University; Dr. John Irish, Angelo State University; Dr. John Kennedy, South Plains College; and Mr. Mike Santorelli, Midland College.

Bobby Shew’s master class included a discussion of his background and career as well as his ideas on warming up and practicing:

  • Warm up with lip fluttering, lip buzzing, and mouthpiece playing
  • Practice slowly – tempo di learno
  • Recommended Science of Breath by Yogi Ramacharaka

Find time in every practice session for ‘the dessert’ – close your eyes, hear an idea in your head, and find it on the horn.

Cathy Leach’s recital, accompanied by Shari Santorelli, featured the first movement of Engelke’s Sonata for Trumpet, and the Mendez arrangement of Rossini’s “Un Voce poco fa” from The Barber of Seville.  For the final piece, John Irish joined them in There is a Balm in Gilead (arr. E. Childs).


Leach spoke of her experiences as an orchestral trumpet player and college trumpet professor.  She gave the audience insights into her methods for staying fresh and inspired over a long career:

  • Learn something every day – read!
  • Stay fit
  • Take the long view and hang in there
  • Commit to the process of growth and continual improvement
  • Find a habit to change: use awareness, visualization and directed practice to get results
  • We need Grit – stick to it!

This session ended with a discussion of why music education is important today. Leach emphasized that although some doors seem to be closing (i.e. orchestra strikes), she is excited about today’s opportunities.  Many original ideas are immediately visible with current technology. Music schools also are on the verge of changing.  People with a creative spirit and entrepreneurial outlook will lead the way.

Student trumpet ensembles from West-Central Texas universities performed on Friday afternoon. The programs included Angelo State University’s trumpet ensemble under the direction of John Irish performing A. Chpelitch’s Ako’ Quartet, Rollins (arr. Irish) Trumpet Madness performed by Hardin-Simmons University trumpets under the direction of Leigh Anne Hunsaker, Odessa College conducted by Eric Baker performing Dos Tiempos by Cordona, arr. Ackley, and  Eric Ewazen’s Concert Fanfare performed by the McMurray/Abilene Christian University led by David Amlung.


On Friday evening, Trumpet Fest attendees were treated to a performance of the West Texas Jazz Orchestra, a professional big band directed by drummer Jim Bode, and featuring Bobby Shew. Over 150 audience members enjoyed the opportunity to hear Shew solo with the big band on five of his arrangements. After a night of his popular hits such as “Night in Tunisia,” Breakfast Wine,” and Joy Spring,” the highly-charged crowd cheered and grooved along when Bobby jumped in to join the band on the finale--Harry James’ “Two O’Clock Jump.”


On Saturday the Trumpet Fest continued with Shew and Leach presenting a combined masterclass for high school students.  Both emphasized the importance of mouthpiece buzzing in the warm up and as a practice aid.  As the students performed, both clinicians spoke about dealing with performance nerves.  Shew stated “Fear is an illusion; it doesn’t have to be there.” Leach continued, “Critics may have something to tell you, but the important thing is that you’re out there doing something. You picked a great instrument for developing character and courage.”  Leach also shared her “wish list for entering college students,” and emphasized these ideas as she coached the high school performers:

  • Play musically (do more listening)
  • Don’t be tight or locked up
  • Right hand position
  • Posture
  • Subdividing
  • Know scales and arpeggios

Approximately 100 people attended the two days Trumpet Fest in the West-Central Texas area, and nine new members joined ITG through the Lone Star Trumpet Guild chapter.  Special thanks go to David Amlung for initiating and coordinating the process of starting a new chapter and to John Irish for organizing and hosting the event. Other founding members include Eric Baker, Adam Coffman. Leigh Anne Hunsaker, Jay Lester and Will Miller.


 Source: Dr. Leigh Anne Hunsaker, trumpet professor, Hardin-Simmons University, Abilene, Texas

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