January 2011 Winner: Brittney Self

Congratulations to our January 2011 Young Artist Award winner, Brittney Self from Norman, Oklahoma. Brittney is a recent graduate of Norman North High School where she performed in the wind ensemble, jazz band, symphonic orchestra, and marching band under the direction of Trent Davis, David Davisson, and Brenda Wagner. During her high school years, she was also a member of the Oklahoma Youth Orchestra, and this past year was invited to play principal trumpet in the annual “Side by Side” concert with the Oklahoma City Philharmonic seated next to principal trumpet Karl Sievers.


Brittney participated in the Oklahoma All-State Jazz and Concert Bands and Or chestra and performed all four years at the state solo and ensemble contest, receiving superior ratings every year. During her senior year Brittney was selected to participate in Macy’s Great American Marching Band in their annual Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. The capstone of Brittney’s 2010 year was acceptance and performing as a semi-finalist at the National Trumpet Competition in Fairfax, Virginia.

This past summer Brittney participated in the Grand Valley State University Inter national Trumpet Seminar in Allendale, Michigan, working with such noted artists as Rex Richardson, Richard Stoel zel, Matthias Kamps, Daniel Patrylak, Britton Theurer, and Gordon Vernick.

Currently a freshman performance major at Oklahoma University, Brittney is a member of the marching and symphony bands and the university trumpet ensemble. Her career goals include studio teaching and a desire to perform with an or ch estra or military band. She would like to thank her parents Dennis and Gaynell Self for their unwavering support of her musical goals.

Karl Sievers, professor of trumpet at Oklahoma University, nominated Brittney stating she is dedicated, hardworking, and expressive while possessing a true love for the art of trumpet playing. Brittney will receive a one-year complimentary membership in ITG. Congratulations!

October 2010 Winner: Adam Keefe

Our October 2010 Young Artist Award is presented to Adam Keefe, hailing from Olathe, Kansas, where he has been a private student of Phil Holmes, Director of Bands at Pioneer Trail Middle School. Adam is a recent graduate of Olathe East High School, having performed as principal trumpet in the concert, jazz and marching bands guided by Eric Griffin. Adam states emphatically that Mr. Griffin has greatly influenced his career decision to major in music education.

Adam’s musical career began with piano lessons at an early age, which led to a fascination with a variety of instruments, exploring guitar, bass, harmonica, percussion, trombone, and even the didgeridoo before he began to focus on the trumpet in middle school.

Throughout high school Adam participated in the Kansas Music Educator’s Association Solo and Ensemble Festivals and earned ten first division ratings. Adam was selected for the KMEA Northeast District Honor Band in 2007 and 2008, the State Honor Band in 2009 and the State Jazz Band in 2010. The capstone of his high school band career was a concert as principal trumpet performing Cloudburst with guest conductor/composer Eric Whitacre at Avery Fischer Hall in Lincoln Center, New York City.

Adam performs regularly at his church, gives trumpet lessons, and volunteers for the pit orchestra at the Gardner Community Theater. Adam notes that he is rarely found without his mp3 player and listens to all kinds of music—pop, classical, and jazz—constantly gathering friends to jam and enjoy in the artistry of others while sharing his love of music.

As of press time Adam has been accepted as a music education major at Kansas State University where he will study trumpet with Gary Mortenson. He plans to take a full load of classes and be an active participant in the KSU band, jazz, and brass chamber music programs. ITG congratulates Adam Keefe and wishes him a successful path to become a future music educator. Adam will receive a one-year complimentary membership in ITG.

Parents Brad and Eden Keefe as well as younger sister Alli have strongly supported Adam’s fascination with music and are very proud of his accomplishments and career path.

June 2010 Winners: Megumi Matsushita and Dylan Larkins

The June 2010 Young Artist Award recipients are Megumi Matsushita and Dylan Larkins, both seniors at Pioneer High School in Ann Arbor, Michigan. David Leach, Director of Bands at the Grammy Award-winning Pioneer High School nominated both students. Leach states, “These students are two of the finest musicians I’ve ever had the opportunity to work with in my 23-year career as a music educator.”


Dylan and Megumi are members of the symphony band, orchestra, and marching band, having shared in the responsibilities of the role of principal trumpet in each ensemble.


While Dylan hails from Ann Arbor and is also known for his dual enrollment and participation in Community High School’s Advanced Jazz Combo (frequently gigging around town), Megumi is originally from Otsu, Japan. Megumi came to the USA as a bright middle school student planning to attend school here for one year. After falling in love with American school music programs, she returned to Japan in ninth grade to attend the Osaka International School. Her love of music and American band traditions brought her back to Ann Arbor to finish high school for her final three years.


Both students have performed in the University of Michigan Youth Band and Orchestra throughout high school while also attending numerous summer programs. Dylan has been a member of the Interlochen All-State Orchestra from 2007 – 2009 and performed with the 2009 Michigan Youth Arts Festival Honors Orchestra. As an accomplished pianist, Dylan has completed all ten levels of the Michigan Music Teachers Association Piano Student Achievement Test, receiving the maximum five trophies. Dylan is an active soloist at his local church where he participates in numerous community service projects to help the homeless. Dylan plans to major in trumpet performance and is currently on the audition trail. He is the son of Carolyn Bybee and Charles Larkins, both professional trumpeters and teachers in Ann Arbor.


Upon completion of eighth grade in 2005, Megumi toured with the Blue Lake International Symphonic Band throughout Europe and in 2007 was selected to participate in the Asia Pacific Activities Conference Band Festival at Brent International School in Manila, Philippines. After attending the High School Trumpet Workshop at Interlochen’s National Music Camp in of June 2008, Miss Matsushita won first prize in the Junior Division of the Grand Valley State University International Trumpet Seminar Solo Competition that July. Both Dylan and Megumi were finalists in the 2009 Ann Arbor Concert Band’s Young Artists Scholarship Competition.


Megumi is a member of the National Honor Society, Pioneer Interact (which tutors Japanese students), and M.U.S.I.C. (Musicians United to Serve the Community) where she volunteers in nursing homes and hospices. Megumi is the daughter of artist/painter Uyen Tonnule and Keiichiro Matsushita, Economics Professor at Kansai University in Japan, and plans to major in chemistry and minor in music.


Megumi Matsushita and Dylan Larkins study trumpet privately with YAA Column Editor Jean Moorehead Libs. who states, “It has been an honor and privilege to serve as Dylan and Megumi’s trumpet teacher and mentor for seven years. Bravo to you both!” Both June winners will receive one-year complimentary membership in ITG.


March 2010 Winner: Lakyn Baker

The March 2010 Young Artists Award recipient is Lakyn Baker, a senior at Fayette High School in Fayette, Missouri.

John D. Perkins, who teaches high brass at Swinney Conservatory – Central Methodist University in Fayette nominated Miss Baker. Perkins stated that “Lakyn embodies all the ingredients of an outstanding young musician, is highly conscientious and possesses a unique determination to succeed.”

Lakyn is currently a member of the Fayette High School Pride Concert and Marching Bands, and the football and Pep Bands under the direction of Mr. Skip Vandelicht.

In 2006 and 2007 as a freshman and sophomore Lakyn held top chairs in the All-District Honorable Mention Band, attended the University of Missouri Mizzou Band Camps and was selected to perform in the Honors Brass Choir at CMU’s Brass Invitational Conference.

In 2008 after a rigorous round of auditions based on her performance of the Arban Conservatory method Characteristic Studies Miss Baker was selected to participate in the All-District Band and that July attended the Missouri Fine Arts Academy where she performed in instrumental music, visual arts, theatre, and dance.

Throughout Lakyn’s high school career she has received consecutive “superior” ratings at District Solo and Ensemble Contests and “excellent” awards at the state level performing works from Missouri’s Prescribed Graded Music List. 2010 marked Miss Baker’s fourth season as the solo cornet in the Regional Conference Band. During this time Lakyn also received the Underclassmen Band Award, Upperclassmen Band Award and the Award for Mu s ical Excellence at Fayette High School. Lakyn solos regularly at the Grace Fellowship Church and salutes America’s service men and women playing Taps on Veteran’s Day at all schools in her district.

Outside of her musical endeavors Lakyn is a member of the National Honor Society, the Math and Science Club and volunteers for clean up duty for her community’s “Adopt a Highway” program. Lakyn currently resides with her proud mother Rebekah Baker and siblings Dustin and Grace. In the fall of 2010, she plans to attend Central Methodist University with a dual major in music education and English. With that combination, a prospective ITG Journal writer may be in the making… Miss Baker will receive a one-year complimentary membership in ITG. Congratulations, Lakyn!

Photo Credit: © 2009 Anna Dougherty

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