The angel Gabriel hasn't registered for the Midwest Trumpet Festival, but numerous other trumpet players, educators and students plan to show up for the event, which will be held Sunday and Monday at Pittsburg State University.
"This will be our fifth trumpet festival," noted Dr. Todd Hastings, PSU trumpet professor and festival director. "Time goes by."
He said that the event will allow students to learn from some of the finest trumpet instructors and performers in the United States.
"They'll hear some great trumpet playing, which is an educational experience in itself," Hastings said. "Students will also be able to meet guest faculty from 10 schools as far away as Texas and Wisconsin, which gives them a good opportunity to network for degree options. Also, they'll be meeting trumpet players their own age and they can see how they stack up."
Featured at the festival will be trumpeter Joe Burgstaller, who has performed with Canadian Brass and the Meridian Arts Ensemble and played in front of more than 40 orchestras, in more than 50 music festivals and performed and taught at more than 80 universities, conservatories and colleges.
Burgstaller tours worldwide as a soloist, and along with his hit crossover group BM4 (BurgstallerMartignon4) and with the N.Y. Brass Trio. He is currently on the faculty at the Peabody Institute at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md., where he teaches trumpet and chamber music.
Burgstaller will conduct master classes on Sunday and Monday, and will perform a concert at 7:30 p.m. Monday in the Sharon K. Dean Recital Hall in McCray Hall.
The Crowder Jazz Orchestra, with special guests, will present a concert at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, also in the Sharon K. Dean Recital Hall.
The PSU trumpet students are looking forward to hearing the music and making some of their own.
"I always get refreshed in music after the festival," said A.J. Lee, PSU senior. "It recharges my batteries for the rest of the semester."
Austin Dillingham, PSU freshman, has been playing trumpet about eight years and has attended several festivals, though this will be his first time at the PSU event.
"I always get really inspired at festivals and go home and practice harder," he said.
Justin Crossman said he's especially looking forward to the jazz improv classes.
"I've heard it before, but it's good to hear it from new people," he said.
Kelsey DeVore enjoys meeting more women trumpet players.
"There are not a lot of female trumpet players and you get used to it," she said. "At festivals and events like this we all kind of flock together."
Hastings said that there are career opportunities for women who choose the trumpet. He noted that trumpeter Susan Slaughter was hired by the St. Louis Symphony in 1969 and became principal trumpet just four years later, spending 41 years with the symphony before her retirement.
Page 2 of 2 - "In June the symphony announced her replacement, and the new principal trumpet is also a woman, Karin Bliznik," Hastings said. "There are a lot of great female trumpet players out there."
The festival will include a panel discussion on careers in music, with a question and answer session. There will also be performances by faculty and by students.
"We want to be sure everybody understands that both the evening concerts, at 7:30 p.m. Sunday and Monday, are open free to the public," Hastings said. "We'd love to have the community come out and enjoy the music."