Michael Tunnell named 2016 ITG Award of Merit recipient

Trumpeter and educator Michael Tunnell has been awarded the International Trumpet Guild’s Award of Merit. This award is given to those individuals “who have made substantial contributions to the art of trumpet playing through performance, teaching, publishing, research, composition, and/or support of the goals of The International Trumpet Guild.” 

Michael Tunnell, highly gifted trumpeter, scored success in a variety of styles. He was Professor of Trumpet at the University of Louisville School of Music since 1988 where he performed with the Louisville Brass and conducted the Trumpet Ensemble. He was awarded the title of Distinguished Teaching Professor of Music and Scholar in 2003. Tunnell performed as Principal Trumpet with the Louisville Bach Society and as Auxiliary Trumpet with the Louisville Orchestra. A founding member of the brass quintet Sonus Brass, Tunnell has toured the Far East and South America with this group and as a soloist. Tunnell was a former member of the music faculties of the University of Southern Mississippi, SUNY-Potsdam College, the University of Illinois, and the New England Music Camp.

Tunnell was a member of the International Trumpet Guild Board of Directors, and he served as an editor for the ITG Journal from 1978-2000. He served on the Artist Faculty of the National Trumpet Competition and was an artist-clinician for Kanstul Trumpets. Throughout his career, Tunnell recorded several albums from contemporary music to Baroque works performing on the modern trumpet, the corno d’caccia as well as the Baroque trumpet.

Mike was born in Tucson, Arizona, and grew up in Powell, Tennessee, near Knoxville. He was a graduate of the University of Tennessee, where he majored in music/trumpet performance. He pursued graduate degrees at the University of Louisville (MM) and University of Southern Mississippi (DMA), and enjoyed a long career of performing and teaching at numerous colleges and universities. 

Teaching was a passion of his and he was cared deeply in his students’ growth.

A quote from his university web page sums up his love for teaching: “Part of the joy in teaching trumpet and music is that one can often see a transformation and development with students that perhaps do not exist in every discipline.”

Michael passed away in December, 2014 after a long, courageous struggle with cancer.

The ITG is proud to present this prestigious honor posthumously to Michael Tunnell.


Source: Alan Siebert, ITG President

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