Tooter: Newsletter

The Trumpet Newsletter from Tennessee Tech University

Charles Decker, Trumpet Professor

TTU Trumpet Ensemble Wins National Honor

Five members of the Tech Trumpet Ensemble won fourth prize from a field of 22 university trumpet ensembles at the 2004 National Trumpet Competition at George Mason University. This marks the fourth time since 2001 Tech trumpeters have won prizes at NTC, placing TTU among the most awarded universities for the prestigious competition. The National Trumpet Competition is the largest U.S. competition for trumpeters and draws hundreds of competing trumpeters. The quintet winning national honors is part of the 17 member TTU trumpet ensemble that has premiered more than 60 compositions. Winning Tech Trumpet Ensemble members were Matt Kirkpatrick of Murfreesboro, TN, John Gardner of Huntington, IN, Helen Watson of Rockwood, TN, Nathan Hickman of Sevierville, TN and Curt Elverd of Chattanooga, TN. Trumpet Professor Charles Decker comments, “This award is the musical equivalent of making the Final Four round in the NCAA basketball tournament, an accomplishment of truly national stature.”

Fall Trumpet Festival Marks 22nd year

The 22nd annual TTU Fall Trumpet Festival will present 10 concerts during the Fall semester. The trumpet series of evening concerts includes a faculty solo recital and performances by Trumpet Professor Charles Decker, the Brass Arts Quintet (TTU faculty brass), the student brass quintet Bold Brass, the Tech Trumpet Ensemble, trumpet studio recitals, and senior solo recitals by Helen Watson and Curt Elverd.

Senior Awarded Graduate Assistantship

Senior Matt Kirkpatrick has accepted a graduate assistantship at Wichita State University for a master’s degree in performance where he will be second trumpet with the WSU Faculty Brass Quintet and the professional Wichita Symphony. Kirkpatrick has won numerous performance awards from the National Trumpet Competition, International Trumpet Guild, Eastern Music Festival, and was selected for prestigious trumpet seminars at DePaul and Northwestern Universities.

Internationally Acclaimed Musicians to Perform and Lecture at Tech

Eric Ewazen, internationally famous composer and faculty member at The Julliard School, will be at TTU November 1 and 2 for performances of his works and lectures. He has received numerous composition awards and his works have been heard at festivals including Tanglewood, Aspen, Caramoor and the Music Academy of the West. Soloists in performances of his music include members of the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, The Boston Symphony and the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Proclaimed by Newsweek as “The High Priests of Brass,” the esteemed American Brass Quintet will perform and present a clinic and concert at TTU on Friday, November 5. Since 1960, the ensemble has performed on the world’s major concert stages, achieving a status as the unparalleled leader among serious brass chamber music ensembles with a repertoire spanning from Renaissance and Baroque masterpieces to commissioned works by contemporary composers. The Quintet is Ensemble-in-Residence at The Julliard School and the Aspen Music Festival.

Tech Trumpet Alumni Active

John Gardner (‘04) performs in the professional ensemble for the summer cultural and religious retreat at Camp of the Woods in the Adirondack Mountains (NY). Doug Clark (‘02) is a band director at Hendersonville (TN) High School and performs with the Nashville Wind Ensemble. Mark Morgan (‘03) performs on the luxury liner Millennium in Europe for Celebrity Cruise Ships. Bryan Crisp (‘02) is a graduate student in performance at the Cincinnati Conservatory where he is principal trumpet of their top orchestra and continues to perform with Jack Daniel’s Silver Cornet Band. Steve Gruver (MM ‘98) is the trumpet consultant for Brasswind, one of the largest mail order music companies in the world. Jennifer LaFollette (‘98), church music director and music therapist in Kingsport, TN, was music director for a Baptist Mission Crusade to Europe in 2003. Wayne Robbins (‘96) performs for the Cumberland County Playhouse in Crossville, TN, the state’s only year-round theater. Kyle Netherton (‘92) is the band director in Baxter, TN.

TTU CD’s Featuring Trumpet

Shazam!, Brass Arts Quintet (TTU Faculty Brass), Mark Records. Original and arranged works created for the BAQ - includes trumpet solos Clarke Bride of the Waves and Amazing Grace. $17 includes mail expenses. (MP3’s samplers at

Recital and Festival Solos for Trumpet, Charles Decker, trumpet with Joy Rachor, piano. (Ibert Impromptu, Porret Concertino #2, Rougnon Concert Piece #1, Thome Fantaisie, Balay Orientale, and Honegger Intrada). $4 for mailing expenses. To purchase contact Charles Decker.