Luther College Chips

Eight Luther musicians travel to National Trumpet Competition

Chloe Beck (‘20), Maddy Idhe (‘19), Marya Haugland (‘20), and Michael Winkler (‘19) were all accepted to compete in the National Trumpet Competition.

Chloe Beck (‘20), Maddy Idhe (‘19), Marya Haugland (‘20), and Michael Winkler (‘19) were all accepted to compete in the National Trumpet Competition.

Photo courtesy of Luther College Symphony Orchestra’s Facebook page

Photo courtesy of Luther College Symphony Orchestra’s Facebook page

Chloe Beck (‘20), Maddy Idhe (‘19), Marya Haugland (‘20), and Michael Winkler (‘19) were all accepted to compete in the National Trumpet Competition.

Cara Keith, Staff Writer

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Eight trumpet students will represent Luther College at the National Trumpet Competition in Denton, Texas, beginning on Thursday,  March 8.

The students selected to participate as an ensemble in the National Trumpet Competition (NTC) are Liam Fraser (‘18), Michael Winkler (‘19), Maddy Ihde (‘19), Chelsey Schmeling (‘19), Curtis Cook (‘19), Sarah Lodge (‘19), Chloe Beck (‘20), and Marya Haugland (‘20).

Winkler qualified to perform as a soloist at this competition. This is the third year that Luther College has sent students to participate at the NTC, and Winkler is the first-ever soloist from the college.

The competition is held at the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas and the competitors age anywhere from junior high to graduate school. In order to participate in this event, the Luther trumpet ensemble sent in an audition tape, and then they were accepted to audition for the quarterfinals.

Winkler explained the audition process for getting a chance to compete in the NTC.

“We’re kind of left to our own devices so we basically just got together, rehearsed, got a recording, and sent it in,” Winkler said. “Then a panel of judges comprised of different teachers from around the country and different players that the board of the competition pulls in approves different groups. We got our results in January and basically just went insane practicing the music until now.”

This year the rounds of the competition will include a quarterfinal, a semifinal, and final round. The NTC accepted more groups this year due to adding a quarterfinal round instead of sending groups straight to the semifinal. In the past, the Luther trumpet ensemble has not made it past the semifinal round.

The octet has been working to prepare the song “Into the Blue” by Kevin McKee for the competition.

According to Ihde, the previous two years the Luther College trumpet ensemble participated in NTC were learning experiences.

“Our first year that we went, we did not do super well, and that was because we didn’t really know what to expect, never having gone to this competition before,” Ihde said. “We were the only ensemble that used music stands to play music, so it was a shock to us to see what we should actually be doing. Last year, we did really well. We ranked somewhere between fourth and seventh out of 20.”

Over the past three years, the Luther trumpet ensemble improved their performances by memorizing their music and adding choreography. This year, the ensemble is focusing more on the music than on the choreography in order to perfect their piece. They have rehearsed approximately twice a week since October.

In addition to performing in the ensemble, Winkler also earned the opportunity to compete in the solo undergraduate division at the NTC. Winkler was responsible for his audition as a solo performer.

“It’s a really similar process to the ensemble auditioning,” Winkler said. “I think it’s a lot more competitive in the sense that there’s a lot more people who know of the opportunity, and it’s a lot easier to prepare something yourself and send it in than it is to organize a group and really have everyone be committed to that. It’s the first year I’ve been able to do this, and I’ve auditioned for the past two years as well. I don’t really know exactly what to expect but I’m really excited.”

Overall, the Luther musicians feel prepared to perform well at the competition. According to Fraser, the Luther trumpet ensemble hopes to leave their mark at the NTC.

“This year we expect to be memorable,” Fraser said. “If nothing else, we hope that people hear our performance and think, ‘That’s impressive, and I hope those young adults do great things in whatever they do.’ Ideally, it would be fun to make it through the quarterfinal round because that’s new this year and would mean we could perform at least twice. If we can make it through to semifinals, the ultimate goal would be to make it to finals, which is just the top three ensembles [at the competition].”

The NTC takes place Thursday, March 8 until Saturday, March 10. The event also includes master classes taught by musicians from around the country.

Assistant Professor of Music and director of the Trumpet Ensemble John Cord declined to comment.

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