Trumpet Festival of the Southeast at TTU

The Trumpet Festival of the Southeast (TFSE) was held on the campus of Tennessee Tech University on January 19-21, 2018.

TTU Professor of Trumpet, Raquel Rodriquez and Chris McCormick, TTU Director of Jazz Studies, both served as co-hosts of the event. Guest artists included Scott Belck and Jens Lindemann.

Scott Belck with the TTU Jazz Ensemble

The first day of the festival began on Friday, Jan 19, 2018, with a masterclass by Mark Dulin, entitled, “The Inner Game of Injury Recovery.” This was followed by a rehearsal of a mass trumpet ensemble under the direction of Charles Decker, recent retired trumpet professor at TTU. The evening concluded with a performance by the TTU Troubadours under the direction of Chris McCormick, with Scott Belck as featured soloist.

Massed trumpet ensemble with Charles Decker, director

The second day began with a warm-up session by Aaron Witek, Assistant Professor of Trumpet at the University of Louisiana at Monroe. Scott Belck followed with an informative masterclass to an engaged audience. The morning activities concluded with The Faculty Showcase recital. The recital featured trumpet professors in attendance, these included: Aaron Witek (Neruda's Concerto, 1stmvt), Charles Calloway (Solo de Concours by Charlier), Mark Dulin (As Laura’s Spirit by Liszt), Doug Lindsey (Tomasi's Concerto, 1stmvt), Eric Yates and Brad Ulrich (Arabesque by Turrin), and Raquel Rodriquez. Raquel performed a premiere of a new piece, Suite Grooves #2 by Jesse Chavez, with the assistance of TTU faculty, Joshua Hauser on trombone and Colin Hill on drum set.

Artists with co-hosts (L-R: Scott Belck, Raquel Rodriquez, Jens Lindemann, and Chris McCormick)

The afternoon began with a lively masterclass by Jens Lindeman. The Trumpet Ensemble Showcase Recital followed this session. University studios that participated included Tennessee Tech University (Raquel Rodriquez, director), Perimeter College Jazz Ensemble (Greg McLean, director), Berry College (Adam Hayes and Charles Calloway, directors), University of Alabama (Eric Yates, director), Western Carolina University (Brad Ulrich, director), Kennesaw State University (Doug Lindsey, director), Faculty Trumpet Ensemble (Charles Calloway, Greg McClean, Michael Covington, Mark Dulin, David Ginn, Doug Lindsey, Elijah Pugh, Raquel Rodriquez, Brad Ulrich, Aaron Witek, Eric Yates), and the Mass Trumpet Ensemble (Charles Decker, director).

Participants had the opportunity to visit the exhibitors in attendance. These included: Pickett Brass, Just for Brass, Warburton Music Products, Charlie’s Brass Works (Charlie Melk), Rich Ita’s Brass Instrument Workshop, Presto Valves and Pollard Water Key (Jerry Pollard), Messina Bags, LFM Publications (Glen Martin), Custom Trumpets and Northern Brass Mouthpieces by GR, and Ezekiel’s Trumpet Creations (Ezekiel Schloss).

The Saturday evening performances began with a prelude performance by the TTU Faculty Brass Quintet, Brass Arts Quintet. This was followed by a solo recital by Jens Lindemann and Paul Thurmond on piano. The Brass Arts Quintet and then a Jazz Trio assisted Jens in the second half of his recital. The Jazz Trio consisted of Kelli Cox on piano, David Odegaard on bass, and Colin Hill on drumset. Brass Arts Quintet members consisted of Raquel Rodriquez and Chris McCormick, trumpets; Joshua Hauser, trombone; Greg Danner, Horn; and Jesse Chavez, Tuba. The final piece of the recital included another guest, Greg McLean on trumpet on a beautiful rendition of It’s a Wonderful World with Jens Lindemann.  

The third and last day of the festival consisted of a trumpet teacher’s forum that was open to all participants. It consisted of two hours of engaging talk with trumpet teachers and those in attendance that spanned a myriad of topics concerning trumpet pedagogy, performance issues, and career tips.

Thanks to TFSE 2018 sponsors: International Trumpet Guild, Affiliate Chapter Grant; Center Stage Series (TTU), Anne Thurmond, Coordinator; and the Tennessee Tech University School of Music, Wendy Mullen, Chair.

TFSE 2019 will be held on the campus of Kennesaw State University with Doug Lindsey serving as the host.

The TFSE  is a celebration of trumpet performance and education in the Southeastern United States. One of the nation’s premiere regional trumpet conferences, participants at the festival come from states including Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Mississippi, and Florida, with as many as 300 participants each year.

The Trumpet Festival of the Southeast is the continuing evolution of a long-standing and highly recognized regional trumpet gathering, the Western Carolina Trumpet Festival hosted by Professor Bradley Ulrich. In 2010, the festival was reinvented as a wide-reaching trumpet event for the southeastern United States with rotating host schools.

(Source: Raquel Rodriquez)

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