2015 Midwest Trumpet Festival

On October 11-12, 2015, Dr. Todd Hastings and Pittsburg State University hosted the 7th annual Midwest Trumpet Festival. In total, over 80 high school, collegiate and “come-back” trumpet enthusiasts attended the twenty four different events held over the course of the two days.

Bobby Shew and Bill Williams were the featured guest artists. Shew and Williams each hosted a lecture, taught a masterclass and performed. Other participating professional musicians included Professors Iskander Akhmadullin, Andrew Cheetham, Jesse Cook, David Cooper, Jason Dovel, Ryan Gardner, Freddie Green, Alan Hood, Benjamin Hay, David Hunsicker, Steve Leisring, Grant Peters, Rich Rulli, William Richardson, Tom Smith and Tim Wootton. For the first time, the events were split between Pittsburg State University’s new 1,000 seat Bicknell Concert Hall and McCray Recital Hall inside the department of music. 

October 11th began with a performance by the Pittsburg State University Trumpet Ensemble under the direction of Dr. Todd Hastings. Bobby Shew then gave a wide-ranging presentation on “Playing for the right reasons.” In this lecture, Shew repeatedly stressed the necessity of lifelong learning, the need to remember what initially attracted each performer to their instrument and to music in general, and the need to perform in an uninhibited manner. Dr. David Cooper and Andy Cheetham then presented jazz improvisation classes. Each professor stressed the importance of listening, intentional practice, and developing vocabulary “tools” from which to draw in performance. After these presentations, Bill Williams, former principal trumpet of the San Francisco Symphony and an internationally renowned performance psychology coach, gave a presentation on peak performance practice and the centering technique. He highlighted the damaging effects of acute stress and how it affects the ability to focus on the music. He also discussed performance focus and how centering the mind and body can assist in coping with the “jitters” performers all feel on stage. The evening concluded with a concert by Bobby Shew and the Crowder Jazz Orchestra dedicated to the late Phil Woods.

October 12th began with a warmup session led by Dr. Rich Rulli (University of Arkansas) and a group trumpet ensemble reading led by Dr. Jason Dovel (University of Kentucky). Bobby Shew then gave a lecture on the four fundamentals of troubleshooting in the practice room. This lecture discussed the feel of the lips, supporting the air column, aperture control, and selecting correct equipment. After a lunch break, Bill Williams gave a student master class. The trumpet faculty and students also presented a recital which featured several standards and new additions to the repertoire. The final day concluded with an solo recital performance by Mr. Williams featuring works by Takemitsu, Kennan, Ewazen and Tomasi.



Source: Jesse Cook, Northeastern State University, trumpet instructor, Talequah, Oklahoma, and Frederick Green II, assistant professor of trumpet, Missouri Southern State University

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