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Morning Sun
  • PATRICK'S PEOPLE: Trumpeting their school

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    An ensemble of six Pittsburg State University trumpet students of Dr. Todd Hastings will perform  at the 38th annual International Trumpet Guild conference, scheduled  June 11-15 in Grand Rapids, Mich.

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    An ensemble of six Pittsburg State University trumpet students of Dr. Todd Hastings will perform  at the 38th annual International Trumpet Guild conference, scheduled  June 11-15 in Grand Rapids, Mich.

    “This is only the  second time we’ve been invited to perform there,” Hastings said. “The group was selected through a videotaped audition process and it’s highly competitive.”

    The six students in the ensemble were also selected in a local audition from students in the PSU trumpet studio.

    “Thirteen students auditioned, and I listened to each person play with my back turned,” Hastings said. “The top six of the 13 were selected.”

    They are Wayne Smith, Tom Lawlor, Dalton Williams, Matt Carter, Kelsey DeVore and Zach Hatcher.

    They will be playing “Intrada,” a piece written for the occasion by John Ross, composer and PSU music department faculty member.

    “The first time we played at the ITG conference we played one of his pieces, so we asked him if he would do another one for us,” Hastings said.  “Dr. Ross is a great composer with his own voice. Usually  a composer of his caliber would charge a high fee for a piece like this, but he’s kind enough to do this for us for free.”

    The composer said he does receive benefits from writing for the trumpet ensembles.

    “Every time I write a piece for one of  Todd’s groups, I get to take a trip somewhere,” Ross said. “I get a performance of my work on a national level.”

    Hastings said that portions of the piece are very intricate, but the composer believes the students are doing well with “Intrada.”

    “I heard them rehearsing it and thought they were doing a good  job,” Ross said. “The audition video they made was very effective.”

    Hastings is also proud of his students.

    “We’ve had a strong trumpet studio and I think our students stack up compared to those at other colleges and universities,” he said.

    Page 2 of 2 - This will be a return trip to the ITG conference for Matt Carter, PSU graduate student who is finishing his master’s degree and heading for a Ph.D. program at the University of Minnesota. He also went with the first PSU group about six years ago.

    “The first time was a major trumpet shock,” Carter said. “It’s interesting to see there are other people in the country doing what we do. You get to hear so much great music. It’s high energy all the time.”

    This time, he said, he’s still pumped about performing and hearing music, but also intends to take advantage of the opportunity to do some networking.

    “You never know who you’re going to meet,” Carter said.

    Dalton Williams said he really enjoys playing music and is looking forward to playing alongside musicians who are “on a huge international scale.”

    Kelsey DeVore, is also a little starstruck.

    “I’m a small town little person and I get to go out there,” she said. “I think it will be a really good musical experience.”

    Hastings confirmed that.

    “You’ll hear great performers and be inspired,” he told the ensemble. “You’ll want to practice a lot when you get home.”

    Williams is hoping to attend graduate school in the future, and Hastings said the conference will be a great resource for that.

    “There will be a ton of professors there, and I’ll introduce them to Dalton,” he said.

    Ensemble members will leave Monday for the conference, and are scheduled to perform on Thursday. They will return on  Friday.

    “It’s a great honor for the students and their hard work,” Hastings said. “And,  of course, this puts an international spotlight on PSU and our music department.”
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