Gardner-Webb’s Trumpet Ensemble to Participate in National Trumpet Competition

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Six-Member Group Selected as Semi-Finalists for Nationwide Event to be Held March 20-23

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. – Gardner-Webb’s School of Performing and Visual Arts is excited to announce that the University’s Trumpet Ensemble was selected as a semi-finalist for this year’s National Trumpet Competition (NTC), to be held March 20-23, at Messiah College in Mechanicsburg, Pa.  The GWU Trumpet Ensemble was one of just over 20 groups from colleges and universities across the nation—and the only one in the Carolinas—to receive this prestigious honor.  Other participants include Baylor University (Waco, Texas), University of Connecticut (Storrs, Conn.), Florida State University (Tallahassee, Fla.), and University of Georgia (Athens, Ga.).

The NTC features both solo and ensemble divisions; ensemble groups must include at least four and no more than eight members. Video submissions were required to enter the event.  The GWU Trumpet Ensemble video featured their performance of “Dreams Lost in Dry Sand,” a number written by Dr. Jeff Richmond, the former band director for the University.  The video was shot under the direction of Mark Houser, media convergence specialist for the GWU Office of Communications.  The audition was reviewed and semi-finalist selections were made by a group of judges consisting of orchestral artists and faculty members from across the nation.

GWU’s Trumpet Ensemble members are: Melody Bubar of Raleigh, N.C.; Kevin Clary of upstate S.C.; Ben Dawkins of Greensboro, N.C.; Jon McClay of Forest City, N.C.; Brandon Taylor of Hickory, N.C.; and Adam White of Asheboro, N.C.  The group is under the direction of Tim Hudson, assistant professor of music.  Hudson feels regardless of what happens at the NTC, the group’s achievements are substantial.

GWU Trumpet Ensemble

“It’s an incredible honor just to be invited,” said Hudson.  “We’ve already won just being there.  The national exposure that our music department is already receiving from this puts us on the map.”

Hudson, in his seventh year at GWU, looks back with a sense of accomplishment.  “When I started here, the department had only one trumpet major,” he reflected. “Today it’s the largest studio in the school of music.  It’s almost unheard of to barely have a program not long ago and now to see this group achieve such an accomplishment.  I’m so proud of their time and effort.”

Another trumpeter from Gardner-Webb is also making his mark in the world of music. Ty Sheets (Chilhowie, Va.) was a GWU School of Performing and Visual Arts graduate and now attends the Cincinnati (Ohio) Conservatory of Music seeking his master’s degree.

The NTC, headquartered in Arlington, Va., is a non-profit group that is recognized by the IRS for its education activities, as its staff and board all serve as volunteers.  Inaugurated in 1992, NTC has provided performing opportunities, master classes, exhibition concerts, and an educational and supportive environment for some 3,000 students.  These students have represented 40 states and six foreign countries.

More information about the GWU Trumpet Ensemble is available at the group’s Facebook page, including details on Kick Starter, a venue for online fundraising that will help support the group’s travel expenses at the NTC.  The School of Performing and Visual Arts can be reached at 704-406-4453.

Located in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb University’s purpose is to advance the Kingdom of God through Christian higher education by preparing graduates for professional and personal success, instilling in them a deep commitment to service and leadership, and equipping them for well-rounded lives of lasting impact, Pro Deo et Humanitate (For God and Humanity).