2019 Midwest Trumpet Festival

The 11th annual Midwest Trumpet Festival was held on October 6-7, at Pittsburg State University under the direction of Pittsburg State University trumpet professor, Todd J. Hastings. The Back-Alley Brass Band provided an explosive start to the festival, encompassing artists such as Young Blood Brass Band and Trombone Shorty.

Following the casual prelude was Kansas City’s own, Lonnie McFadden. Singing, dancing, comedy, and of course, trumpet playing made for a truly entertaining show. Attendees had three choices for their first class: Beginning Jazz Improvisation, led by Tom Smith and Mr. Freddie Green, Jazz Trivia, hosted by Al Hood, Tito Carillo, and David Cooper, and Care and Feeding of the Healthy Trumpet Player, presented by Nancy Taylor. Featured guest artists included Vince DiMartino, Rex Richardson, and Gabriel DiMartino, who presented a recital Sunday afternoon in collaboration with Natalia Bolshakova, piano.

Nancy Taylor

Sunday evening provided one of the annual highlights of the festival, the Crossroads Jazz Orchestra, under the direction of Hastings, which featured the guest artists and festival faculty. The evening was full of great music including standards such as “Georgia On My Mind” and “Honeysuckle Rose”, and more contemporary works such as “The Tao of Heavy D” and “T-Rex.”

Crossroads Jazz Orchestra

The second day of the festival started off with two group warm-up sessions, a Jr./Sr. class led by Dr. David Amlung, and a college/professional warm-up session lead by Tim Wootton. Following was the Jr./Sr. Master Class led by Dr. David Hunsicker, Kevin Tague, and Bill Richardson.  The class presented an opportunity for students from around the four-state area to work with leading college professors. Others not involved in the master class joined Eric Dickson for a group trumpet ensemble reading session that covered works by Bruckner, Jacob, Grainger, Uber, and Gabrieli. 

The afternoon was dedicated to the guest artists with a “Meet the Guest Artists Q&A” moderated by Dr. Iskander Akhmadullen, Ben Hay, and Gabriel DiMartino. Following was a masterclass for college students with Rex Richardson and Vince DiMartino. 

Grant Peters moderated the Jr./Sr. Trumpet Forum, providing tips and advice for younger trumpet players looking at auditions for state ensembles and college programs. 

Mike Corrigan (BAC Musical Instruments) was a new sponsor for the festival and provided two great opportunities for students and band directors to learn about instrument repair and the evolution of brass instruments.

Showcasing the next generation of trumpet players, the College Student Recital included students and student ensembles from a wide variety of schools including Pittsburg State University, Wichita State University, Northeastern Oklahoma State, Northwest Missouri State University, and Missouri Southern State University, and highlighted a wide range of repertoire.

Closing the festival was the Faculty and Guest Artist Recital. In addition to the guest artists, the festival had a faculty of eighteen professors from across the United States. In celebration of Vince DiMartino, Todd Hastings commissioned a new work from composer Barbara York for trumpet ensemble and two soloists (Vince and Gabriel). Entitled Ripples, the work portrayed the mass positive influence of the Vince DiMartino in a variety of styles.   Next year’s festival will take place on October 4-5, 2020.  Information can be attained from Todd Hastings at: [email protected]

Festival Faculty:

Iskander Akhmadullin (University of Missouri)
David Amlung (McMurry University)
David Cooper (University of Wisconsin-Platteville)
Eric Dickson (Truman State University)
Frederick Green (Missouri Southern State University)
Greg Grooms (St. Louis Philharmonic)
Todd Hastings (Pittsburg State University)
Benjamin Hay (Northeastern State University)
Alan Hood (University of Denver)
David Hunsicker (Wichita State University)
Will Koehler (Tulsa Community College)
Steve Molloy (Missouri Western State University)
Grant Peters (Missouri State University)
William Richardson (Northwest Missouri State University)
Tom Smith (Florida Southwestern State College)
Kevin Tague (Southeast Missouri State University)
Timothy Wootton (Southwest Baptist University)

(Source: Will Koehler)

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