Gardner-Webb University Trumpet Ensemble Performs in Second Straight National Competition

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GWU Gains Recognition Through Musicians’ Semifinal Success

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—People across the country are hearing about the growing success of Gardner-Webb University’s trumpet program. For the second straight year, GWU students delivered a strong performance in the semifinals of the National Trumpet Competition, held March 19-21.

Hosted by Messiah College in Mechanicsburg, Pa., this year’s competition also included classes with master trumpet players and performances by groups like the “The President’s Own” U.S. Marine Band and the U.S. Army jazz band.

“The national competition offers the best of the best. It’s the Rose Bowl of trumpet,” explained Tim Hudson, assistant professor of music at Gardner-Webb. “Just getting invited is a really big deal. It speaks volumes about the work ethic and dedication of our students.”

The group, which this year included three freshmen, qualified for the large ensemble competition after a successful video-taped performance in the preliminary round. Ensembles had eight minutes to perform the polished audition piece for judges in the national semifinals. Finalist winners in Gardner-Webb’s category included Baylor University (Waco, Texas), the University of Miami (Miami, Fla.) and Oklahoma State University (Stillwater, Okla.).

“What makes our students’ performance even more impressive was that we were mostly competing against upperclassmen and graduate students,” Hudson shared. “The groups that go on the make the finals and win are usually master’s and doctoral students. Our students are just such hard workers in how they practice and, on top of that, just very nice people who are representatives of the good people you find at Gardner-Webb.”

GWU’s trumpet ensemble included Melody Bubar (Raleigh, N.C.), Kevin Clary (Gaffney, S.C.), Robbie Collins (Tarboro, N.C.), Ben Dawkins (Greensboro, N.C.), Julia Katelyn DeSerio (Pacolet, S.C.), Anthony Lacivita (Greensboro, N.C.), Brandon Taylor (Hickory, N.C.) and Adam White (Asheboro, N.C.).

In the time since Hudson arrived at GWU in 2006, the University’s trumpet studio has grown from one student into the group that performed in the program’s second straight national semifinals. Hudson attributes that to strong university, department and ensemble leadership and the work of the students.

“We intend to continue to compete at the national level,” Hudson said. “It doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll make it out of the semifinals every year, but the competitions these past two years have brought national attention to our music program. We are now known as one of the best.”

Inaugurated in 1992 and headquartered in Arlington, Va., the National Trumpet Competition has provided performing opportunities, master classes, exhibition concerts, historic and commercial exhibits and an educational, supportive environment for nearly 3,000 students representing 40 states and six foreign countries.

Located in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb University provides exceptional educational opportunities within a Christian environment, preparing students to think critically, to succeed professionally, and to serve faithfully as members of their local and global communities.