Two current and two past members of the UNT Trombone Studio were recognized in the recent National Trombone Solo Competitions held at the Eastern Trombone Workshop on March 19 and 20, 2009.
Senior bass trombonists Benjamin Leo and Adrian Nunez had already been selected as two of the four semi-finalists in the Category II--Bass Trombone Competition. On March 19, both Ben and Adrian advanced as the two finalists. Adrian Nunez was ultimately selected as the winner by a close decision. Congratulations to both Adrian and Ben for their accomplishment.
Two recent UNT graduates--Mark Scott, now at the University of New Mexico, and Jeremy Stones, now at the Rotterdam Konservatorium--both advanced to the final round in the Category III events. Mark was named the winner of the Category III--Tenor Trombone Competition, and Jeremy was the runner-up in the Category III--Bass Trombone Competition. Our congratulations to Mark and Jeremy as well.
(Pictured from L to R: Professor Vern Kagarice, alumnus Mark Scott, students Adrian Nunez and Benjamin Leo, alumnus Jeremy Stones, and Professor Jan Kagarice)
DMA student Jonathan Gill, along with trumpet player Brian Walker and pianist Willem van Schalkwyk will be performing recitals and masterclasses throughout the southeastern United States. Here is where they will be playing:
March 6th, Eastfield College, Dallas, TX, 12:45-1:30pm
March 10th, Southeastern Oklahoma State University, Durant, OK, 7:30-8:30pm
March 11th, University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, MS, 7:30-8:30pm
March 12th, Berry College, Mount Berry, GA, 8-9pm
March 14th, First Alliance Church, Atlanta, GA, 1-2pm
March 17th, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL, 10-11am
The final stop on their tour is right here at the University of North Texas on Tuesday, March 24th at 8pm in the Concert Hall.
All three performers are finishing up their Doctorates at the University of North Texas.
Mark Davidson (pictured at right with bass trombonist Michael Brown)
Recently we asked Mark Davidson, second trombonist with the San Antonio Symphony, to update us about his job and how his experience at UNT has benefited him. Mark wrote in that, "San Antonio is Fantastic. Right now our season lasts 30 weeks. This year we started in October and will play until June, with some off weeks in between. We have a nice balance in that the schedule consists of Classical Series Concerts, Children's Concerts, and Pops. I feel very fortunate to have studied at North Texas. Through lessons, ensembles and classes, I acquired many tools that have allowed me to succeed in the music business. Jan, Tony, and Vern put great emphasis on keeping things natural and simple, in all aspects of playing." Thanks for the update Mark and best wishes!
For more information on the San Antonio Symphony, click here.
Doctoral student Victor Barranco was recently selected to join the orchestra for the national tour of Fiddler on the Roof. The tour group based out of New York City will travel to several prominent US cities throughout 2009 (including a stop in Dallas at the Music Hall in Fairpark from May 19-24).
Victor has this say about life on the the road with Fiddler: "The Fiddler on the Roof tour has been a wonderful experience. This is Chaim Topol's (the main character from the motion picture film) last tour with the Fiddler on the Roof and he is truly bringing in all the fans. We play 8 shows a week: 1 show Tuesday-Friday and 2 shows on Saturday and Sunday. Then we have Monday off which is our travel day to the next city. We are spending about a week in each major city we go to and 3-5 weeks in very large cities. Most of the musicians and cast are based in New York and they are all wonderful to work with. The musicians make music out of every note they play and bring a unique personality to the ensemble. Even after a few weeks I have most of the show memorized and plan on memorizing it real soon here. Its been great meeting new musicians in every city and listening to great live music. L'Chaim!!!!"
Thanks for the update Victor; we all miss you greatly and wish for you safe travels! For more information about the show, click here.
Professor Baker traveled to Huntsville, TX to give a guest masterclass and recital at Sam Houston State University on Thursday, February 19th. Baker worked with trombone students at the school, gave a mini recital and also performed with the SHSU Jazz Ensemble in the evening.
One of the coordinators for the event was Aric Schneller, a former member of the UNT trombone studio and current faculty member at SHSU.
On April 1, 2009 the UNT Trombone studio will welcome Weston Sprott, second trombonist with the Metropolitan Opera. Mr. Sprott was previously principal trombone of the Pennsylvania Ballet Orchestra and the Delaware Symphony. He is regularly sought after as a soloist and clinician, and is an Edwards performing artist. Mr. Sprott will be giving a mini-recital and masterclass at 12pm in the Concert Hall. For a full bio of Mr. Sprott, click here.
On March 30, 2009 the UNT Trombone studio will welcome back Jeremy Wilson, trombonist with the Vienna Philharmonic. Mr. Wilson, prior to his tenure with the Vienna Philharmonic, was a Teaching Fellow pursuing his Masters Degree in Trombone Performance at the University of North Texas. Mr. Wilson will be performing Concerto for Trombone and Brass Choir by Jim Kazik with the Teaching Fellow Brass Choir. The concert will be at 8pm in the Windspear Performing Arts Center.
Jeremy Wilson is the only American currently in the Vienna Philharmonic, and was recently confirmed as a full-time member of that organization. He is featured on the cover of the most recent UNT Counterpoint alumni magazine (pictured below)
On February 24, 2009 the UNT Trombone studio welcomed Jacques Mauger, trombone professor at the Paris Conservatory, to campus. Mr. Mauger, while maintaining a full teaching schedule at the Paris Conservatory, has become an international soloist and pedagogue. He has released three cd’s which can be purchased from his website. Mr. Mauger will be performed a recital at 8pm in the Concert Hall.
Mr. Mauger is trombone soloist of international stature, and has performed and given masterclasses all over the world. More information on Jacques Mauger can be found on his website.
The UNT Trombone Studio had a great showing this year in the International Trombone Association Solo and Ensemble competitions. Kyle Mullins made the final round in the Frank E. Smith Competition and the Lewis Van Haney Competition. The Maniacal 4 Trombone Quartet, comprised of Carl Lundgren, Alex Dubrov, Nick Laufer, and Matt Jefferson also made finals in the Quartet Competition. Other strong performances include Carl Lundgren, first runner up in both the Robert Marsteller and Lewis Van Haney Competitions, Nicolas Mahoy, honorable mention in the Gilberto Gagliardi Competition, and Justin Cook and Sean Nelson, who both received honorable mention in the Frank E. Smith Competitions. The final round of these competitions will be held at the 2009 International Trombone Festival in Aarhus, Denmark in June. For a complete list of results and to find out more information about these competitions, click here.
In addition, the studio also had successes with the Eastern Trombone Workshop National Competitions, with Ben Leo and Adrian Nuñez making the semifinals in the Bass Trombone II Competition. The semifinals for this competition will be held at Ft. Meyer, VA this March. Click here for more information about the Eastern Trombone Workshop.
Alumni of the trombone studio have also been successful. Jeremy Stones (BM: 2007) is first alternate in the ITA Yaxley Bass Trombone Competition, as well as being a semifinalist in the ETW Bass Trombone III Competition. Mark Scott (BM: 2008) is a finalist in the ITA Frank Smith Competition, as well as a semifinalist in the ETW Tenor III Competition.
Congratulations on all of these fine achievements!