October 2015 Winner: Robby Garrison
Robby Garrison's passion for music began in the third grade, when he performed the opening song for the elementary school spring choir program on his guitar. In middle school, under the instruction of Kim Bain, Robby developed a love for the trumpet and for jazz music. He played in the Pizitz Middle School Jazz Band in seventh and eighth grade, as well as the Concert and Symphonic Bands.
Robby attended Vestavia Hills High School near Birmingham, Alabama. There he was a member of the
Vestavia Hills Rebel Marching Band, where he was the featured soloist for the halftime show in his junior year. He played in the Symphonic Band his freshman year, where he was principal trumpet, and in the Wind Ensemble (top ensemble) for his sophomore, junior, and senior years, where he was also principal trumpet. He played in his high school's jazz band all four years and was recognized as Most Outstanding Brass Player in both junior and senior years for Jazz Band A. Robby was also awarded Most Outstanding Brass Player in his senior year for the Wind Ensemble. In addition to playing in the school bands, Robby also performed as part of the orchestra pit in theater performances and for several school and community functions. During all four years of high school, Robby played under the direction of Mr. Jerell Horton and Mrs. Heather Palmer, who inspired and encouraged him to pursue his dream of studying music in college.
Robby's passion for music is matched by his passion to serve and be involved in his local community. He was a member of the Alabama Youth Symphony Orchestra and the Samford University Orchestra during his senior year in high school. He also played with the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame Student All-Star Band for five years under the direction of Ray Reach, performing at community festivals and local nursing homes. During his sophomore year, he taught at Scrollworks Metropolitan Orchestra, an organization that provides music lessons and an orchestra setting for children who cannot afford or do not have access to such programs at their schools.
In his junior and senior years of high school, Robby studied with former ITG President and University of North Texas professor Dr. Leonard Candelaria, from whom he learned many of the skills that have helped him. In March 2015, Robby was selected to play in the Music for All National Honor Band of America, where he was placed as second chair. He was selected for the Alabama All-State Honor Band (Red Band) and All-State Jazz Band (Gold Band) and was principal trumpet in both. Robby was also principal trumpet in the University of Alabama Festival Honor Band.
Robby has participated in numerous music symposiums and workshops. He attended the Music for All Summer Symposium where he participated in Leadership Weekend and was principal trumpet in the top band. He also participated in the University of Alabama at Birmingham's Brass Symposium, where he had the honor of playing for Chris Martin, the principal trumpet of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
Robby is pursuing music education and jazz studies degrees as a freshman this fall at The University of North Texas, where he studies with Dr. Jason Bergman. He is very grateful for the honor of being selected for this Young Artist Award. As the October 2015 Young Artist Award recipient, he will receive a one-year complimentary membership to ITG. Congratulations, Robby!