The 2016 Ellsworth Smith International Trumpet Solo Competition consists of both preliminary and live performance rounds. A preliminary recorded round included submissions from highly qualified performers from around the world. The finalists listed below were selected from this competitive field to perform live at The University of Alabama, first in multiple solo performance rounds with piano, and for the last round finalists, a solo performance with Alabama's Huxford Symphony Orchestra.
Tessa Ellis is a student of David Bilger at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, PA. She has competed numerous times in the National Trumpet Competition, winning first place in the Undergraduate Solo Division in 2014 and first place in the Small Ensemble Division in 2016. Also in 2016, she won second place at the International Trumpet Guild’s Orchestral Excerpt Competition. She has attended the Orford Academy’s Brass Week, Bar Harbor Brass Week, and Domaine Forget in previous summers, and will attend the Pacific Music Festival in 2016. Tessa is a founding member of the Arcana New Music Ensemble and is an active freelance musician in the Philadelphia area.
Mátyás Dániel Fieszl
Trumpeter Mátyás Dániel Fieszl has studied at Bard College, University of Pécs, Hungary; Bartók Béla Secondary School of Music; and Lajtha László Music School in Budapest. His teachers include Neumayer Károly, Palotai István, Komlóssy Gábor, and Kolossa András. His orchestral experience includes performances with the Pannon Philharmonic Orchestra, Pécsi Vasutas Windorchestra, Coda Nostra Big Band, Béla Bartók Windorchestra, and the Lajtha László Windorchestra. He has competed in the 2010 International Windorchestra Competition Pécs Bartók Béla Windorchestra, 2012 Szatmári Brass Music Festival-Fehérgyarmat, 2012 National Orchestra Competition Budapest, and 2014 University of Pécs Nivo Prize.
From Sanford, Michigan, Samuel Huss is currently pursuing a masters degree from Rice University at the Shepherd School of Music studying with Barbara Butler. For his undergraduate studies, Sam received a bachelor of music degree from the Eastman School of Music where he studied with James Thompson. Sam has performed as a guest soloist with the Western Michigan University Symphony Orchestra, Midland Concert Band (Michigan), and Grand Rapids Youth Orchestra. In 2013, Sam was awarded 1st prize at the National Trumpet Competition performing the first movement of Eino Tamberg’s Trumpet Concerto. Beyond his experience as a soloist, Sam has performed with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, National Orchestra Institute Festival Orchestra and the National Music Festival (Chestertown, MD).
At the age of just twenty-six, Huw Morgan was appointed principal trumpet in the Sinfonieorchester Basel, having previously held the same role with the Orchestra of Scottish Opera. He combines this position with a burgeoning solo career, and as a founder member of London-based brass ensemble, Septura.
Following his success as Brass Winner of the BBC Young Musician of the Year, Huw has gained renown for his prize-winning appearances at many of the most significant international competitions. In 2010 he won both the Brass Prize and Wind Section Award at the Royal Over-seas League Competition, and most recently was placed first at the Only Brass International Trumpet Contest (Antwerp, Belgium).
Highlights in recent seasons include concerto appearances with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Northern Sinfonia, Irish Chamber Orchestra, Royal Flemish Philharmonic, Hamburg Camerata and Helsinki Philharmonic, under conductors including Tortelier, Herreweghe, and Zehetmair. Huw has also featured at numerous international festivals: Cheltenham, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Trømso and Rainbow21 (Tokyo), broadcasting regularly on both national radio and television. Among his solo recordings, Huw can be heard as the featured trumpeter on the soundtrack to the BAFTA-nominated film, Me and Orson Welles.
In addition to his solo activities, Huw appears regularly as guest principal with many of the UK’s leading ensembles, including the London Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields and City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.
Born in South Wales in 1987, Huw began his musical education at the age of five, taking up the trumpet two years later. He studied at Chetham’s School of Music with John Dickinson and Murray Greig, and latterly at the Royal Academy of Music, where he graduated with first-class honours and is now an Associate.
Brent Proseus is a sophomore Trumpet Performance major at the McGill University Schulich School of Music where he performs in the McGill Symphony Orchestra, McGill jazz band and other small ensembles. He is studying under the tutelage of Professor Richard Stoelzel. His first teacher was his father, Eric. From seventh grade through high school, he studied with Gregg Good.
Brent is equally comfortable performing in both classical and jazz genres as he has won numerous awards and scholarships throughout his junior high and high school years. He has been the principal trumpet in both the middle school and high school Michigan All-State Bands and Orchestras as well as the lead trumpet for the Michigan All-State Jazz Band. He won the third-place prize in the Senior Division of the International Trumpet Guild Youth Competition in 2014 and was a featured Young Artist in the ITG Journal.
In 2014, Brent won a featured soloist award at the 2014 Michigan Youth Arts Gala Soloist competition and he performed with the Detroit Civic Youth Orchestra. He also won first place in the high school division of the Grand Valley State University International Solo Competition. In 2015, he won both the Grand Rapids Symphonic Band and Kalamazoo Concert Band Youth Soloist Competitions.
In March of 2015, Brent won first place in the high school division of the National Trumpet Competition. During the following summer, he was selected to be a member of the National Youth Orchestra, performing under the direction of Charles Dutoit at Carnegie Hall as well as seven of the most prestigious concert halls in China. In February of 2016, he was named the winner of the McGill Winds and Brass Concerto Competition. He was recently named the winner of the 2016 ITG Solo Competition held in Anaheim California.
Brent held co-principal and principal positions with the Grand Rapids Youth Symphony since eighth grade. He has performed with the Calvin College Orchestra, Flat River Big Band and Grand Rapids Opera. Outside of music, Brent enjoys outdoor activities and he is active in his church.
Originally from Duncan, Oklahoma, Marc Lynn Sutton is currently a Teaching Assistant at Texas Tech University where he is pursuing the Doctor of Musical Arts degree.
As a soloist, Marc won first place in both the Solo and Orchestral Excerpts competitions at the Grand Valley State University International Trumpet Seminar. He has competed as a finalist in the National Trumpet Competition Ensemble Division. Marc has performed the Star Spangled Banner at NCAA events including the NCAA Women’s College World Series.
Marc received a Master of Music degree in Trumpet Performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music where he was awarded the Bernard Adelstein Prize in Trumpet and a Bachelor of Music degree in Trumpet Performance, with distinction, from the University of Oklahoma.
During his time as a freelance musician in the Cleveland area, Marc performed with the CityMusic Chamber Orchestra, Blossom Festival Band, Ohio Philharmonic, Five-One Experimental Orchestra, and Classical Revolution Cleveland. Commercial performances include appearances with notable Beatles tribute bands, “1964: The Tribute” and “Revolution Pie,” as well as numerous musical theatre productions and credits in several independent recording projects.
His primary teachers include, Dr. Andrew Stetson, Michael Sachs, Dr. Karl Sievers, and John Moots.
Rebecca Wilt, piano
Rebecca Wilt has received national and international recognition as a virtuoso collaborative pianist. She has worked with many of the world’s prominent wind instrument performers, as well as some of the country’s foremost vocalists, and has performed in many of the world’s greatest venues in North America, Europe, and Asia. Ms. Wilt studied with John Wustman, “dean of American accompanists” and pianist for Luciano Pavorotti, as well as Jon Spong, pianist for Sherrill Milnes, and Jessica Paul. She has worked with singers Cynthia Lawerence, Phyllis Bryn-Julson, Shirley Verrett, Cheryl Studer, Dawn Upshaw, Jennifer Lane, Eleni Matos, Stuart Neill, William Warfield, and Scott Bearden. She has also served as pianist and vocal coach for several opera productions, including, La Boheme, La Traviata, Cosi fan Tutte, Die Fledermaus, Le Nozze di Figaro, Romeo et Juliette, and Susannah, among others. In addition to degrees in vocal coaching/accompanying, Rebecca also holds two degrees in vocal performance.
Ms. Wilt has performed in collaboration with members of the New York Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony, the National Symphony, the Atlanta Symphony, the Chicago Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the San Francisco Symphony and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. She has also been the premiere pianist for many of the nation’s wind-instrument conferences and competitions, including: the National Brass Symposium, the Ellsworth Smith International Trumpet Competition, the International Trumpet Guild Conference, the National Trumpet Competition, the ARTS competition, the International Trombone Association, the International Horn Society, the North American Saxophone Alliance, the World Saxophone Congress, the Mid-Atlantic Flute Fair, the National Flute Association, the Music Teacher’s National Association, the Rafael Mendez Brass Institute, the Falcone International Euphonium and Tuba Competition, the International Tuba and Euphonium Conference, the Tromp Muziek Biennale, and the International Women’s Brass Conference. She frequently gives workshops and master classes at universities and colleges all over the country on topics involving vocal coaching, instrumental chamber music, rehearsing with a pianist, and the competition road. Currently on the faculty at the University of North Carolina Greensboro, she is also on the summer faculty for the Center for Advanced Musical Studies in Enfield, New Hampshire, as well as appearing as guest artist at various festivals all over the world.
The University of Alabama's Huxford Symphony Orchestra
The Huxford Symphony Orchestra performs six concerts and an opera each year on the campus of UA. A key component of the ensembles program at the University of Alabama School of Music, the orchestra is open to music majors as well as students from other disciplines around the university. The Huxford Symphony rehearses for two hours twice a week and students receive college credit for playing in the ensemble.
During the 2016-2017 season, the orchestra will perform Mahler’s Symphony no. 4, Gershwin’s American in Paris, Hindemith’s Symphonic Metamporphosis, and Dvorak’s Symphony no. 8, among other works. The Huxford Symphony will welcome composers Christopher Theofanidis and Clint Needham for on-campus residencies as we present works by each composer. We will collaborate with the Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra in a side-by-side performance and will perform as the pit orchestra for the University of Alabama Opera Theater’s spring production. We are the official orchestra of the International Trumpet Guild’s 2016 Ellsworth Smith International Trumpet Competition and will feature faculty soloists and the winners of our student concerto competition on concerts throughout the season.
Blake Richardson, Conductor
Dr. Blake Richardson is director of orchestral studies at the University of Alabama and Music Director of the Alabama Symphony Youth Orchestra.
Dr. Richardson has held assistant conductor positions with the Barcelona Symphony and the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, and has conducted the Danish National Symphony, San Juan Symphony, Brandenburger Symphoniker, Tuscaloosa Symphony, and Cincinnati’s innovative chamber orchestra, concert:nova. Recent opera credits include La Cenerentola at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and La Bohème at the Royal Opera House Muscat in Oman as assistant conductor. He has recently conducted all-state orchestras in Alabama and Arkansas, as well as the Kentucky Intercollegiate Orchestra.
A Fulbright Scholar, Dr. Richardson worked extensively with acclaimed conductor Lorin Maazel as associate conductor of Maazel’s Castleton Festival from 2010-2012. He has prepared productions of La bohème, Albert Herring, and The Rape of Lucretia, among others, for Maazel and shared the podium with Maazel in concert with the Castleton Festival Orchestra on numerous occasions.
As assistant conductor for the inaugural international tour of Carnegie Hall’s National Youth Orchestra of the USA, he spent three weeks touring Russia and the United Kingdom with conductor Valery Gergiev and violinist Joshua Bell.
As winner of the Ansbacher Fellowship, he attended the Salzburg Festival on invitation of the Vienna Philharmonic. Additional studies have taken him to the American Academy of Conducting at the Aspen Music Festival, the Kurt Masur Conducting Masterclass at the Manhattan School of Music and to the Opera Theatre and Music Festival of Lucca (Italy). His conducting teachers have included Lorin Maazel, David Zinman, Paavo Järvi, Mark Gibson, and David Effron.
Originally trained on violin, piano and percussion, Dr. Richardson was a scholarship violin student at the University of Texas and holds graduate degrees in conducting from Indiana University and the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He was the Cincinnati Symphony conducting fellow and was awarded the David Effron Conducting Fellowship at the Chautauqua Institution.
Ryan Beach, clinician and winner of 2012 Ellsworth Smith International Trumpet Solo Competition
Ryan Beach is the first prize winner of the 2012 Ellsworth Smith International Trumpet Solo Competition and recently appointed principal trumpet of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra. Previously he held the same position with the Indianapolis Symphony. He received his master of music degree at Northwestern University, studying with Barbara Butler, Charles Geyer, and Chris Martin. Before that, he received the bachelor of music degree from Oklahoma City University, studying with Michael Anderson. As an orchestral musician, Beach has played with the Indianapolis, St. Louis and Tucson symphony, as well as been to such festivals as Tanglewood, the National Repertory Orchestra, and the National Orchestral Institute. As a soloist, Beach won both the solo and orchestral excerpts division at the 2011 ITG Conference, the second performer to do so in their history.