January 2009 Winner: Cory Johnson

Our January 2009 Young Artist Award recipient is Cory Johnson, a junior at Mustang High School in Mustang, Oklahoma. Cory’s teacher, James Klages, professor of trumpet at the University of Central Oklahoma, recommended Cory for the award. ITG members may recall that Cory was the winner of the 2008 ITG Senior Youth Competition held in Banff, Canada. He performed the first movement of the Hummel Concerto and Broughton’s Oliver’s Birthday, both from memory. His performance was secure and very musical, but he commented later, “During the whole day before and after the competition I was really nervous. I felt confident about my performance but after hearing everyone else play I wondered if I had even placed. When Mr. Irish called my name as the winner at the banquet, I went numb all over. It was an amazing experience.”

In 2007 and 2008, Cory has participated in, and won the Oklahoma Music Olympics Carver Competitions, sponsored by the Oklahoma City Orchestra League. Contestants must play two contrasting works from memory. Cory played the Goedicke Concert Etude and the second movement of the Haydn Concerto in 2007, and the first movement of the Hummel Concerto and the Berdiev Humoresque in 2008.

Last year, as a sophomore, Cory was selected as overall first chair in the Oklahoma All-State auditions, and chose to participate in the orchestra, which gave him the chance to perform Bernstein’s Overture to Candide.

Cory says that Maynard Ferguson is his all-time trumpet hero. When Mr. Ferguson passed away a couple of years ago, his Cadillac was put up for sale on eBay. Cory’s dad Tony made the winning bid, and Cory is pictured here with his very special set of wheels.

Cory is currently participating in Mustang High School’s marching band and wind ensemble under the direction of Bryan Myers, Bradley Harrison, and Belinda Watson, and jazz band, directed by his middle school director Roger Sharp. Cory also plays polka music with the Bohemian Knights at Czech Hall in Yukon, Oklahoma, and continues to play principal trumpet of the Oklahoma Youth Orchestra. In his spare time, Cory works at his family’s ranch, Paradise Acres Llamas.

Congratulations, Cory!

October 2008 Winner: Mark McKee

The International Trumpet Guild Journal is proud to announce that Mark McKee, a senior at Maryville High School in Maryville, Tennessee, is our Young Artist Award recipient for October. Stewart Cox, Mark’s teacher and a freelance performer and respected Knoxville educator, and Cathy Leach, professor of trumpet at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, nominated him for the award.

Mark started on trumpet at the age of ten, and admits he was a bit let down when his dad pulled out a less-than-shiny trumpet from a case in the closet for him to take to band. However, the “Wow!” his band director exclaimed after looking over his Bach Stradivarius helped Mark to realize just how special his dad’s gift was.

Mark has participated in numerous regional band clinics and seminars, and was a scholarship camper at the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp and the Jamey Aebersold Jazz Camp (2004 and 2005). In summer 2006, he attended the Governor’s School for the Arts. Later that school year, as a sophomore, he won a chair in the Tennessee All-State Band.

During the fall of his junior year Mark qualified for both the All State Symphonic and Jazz bands. Having qualified for the symphonic band the year before, he chose the jazz ensemble to have a different experience—and won the spot as lead trumpet. Additionally Mark was invited to participate in the University of Tennessee’s Honors Festival as both a classical and jazz performer. Rounding off his high school musical highlights Mark is in his second season as principal trumpet of the Knoxville Youth Symphony and Jazz Orchestra. Mark also performs at local churches, and has played some public service concerts at area night spots like Tomato Head and The World Grotto. Mark says this, “I like to listen to Clifford Brown, Dizzy Gillespie, and Wynton Marsalis. I like the emotion in the music of Miles Davis, especially his Kind of Blue album.”

In addition to his activities in music, Mark is a member of the National Honor Society and volunteers at the Habitat for Humanity Home Store. He also loves to hike and mountain bike.

Mark will receive a one-year complimentary ITG membership. Congratulations!


June 2008 Winner: Steven Miller

It is with great pleasure we welcome Steven Miller as our June ITG Young Artist Award recipient. Steven graduates this month from East Meadow High School in East Meadow, New York. Steven enjoyed a remarkable high school career as a top performer in the jazz ensemble, pit orchestra, wind ensemble, and marching band.

In his recommendation for this award band conductor Stephen Engle states that Steven is one of those rare gems that come along once in a teacher's career and further praises his exceptional talent and fine character.

Steven represented his high school district throughout high school in the NMEA All-County Jazz Ensemble and was principal trumpet in the 2006 and 2007 NYSSMA Wind Ensemble and Symphony Orchestra. Additionally, Steven sat principal trumpet in the Long Island Youth Orchestra and the Nassau-Suffolk Performing Arts Wind Symphony. The capstone of Steven's high school performance career was competing as a finalist in the President's Own Marine Band Concerto Competition. In February of 2008 Steven won the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra Concerto Competition and will make his Carnegie Hall debut as guest soloist with the orchestra on June 6, 2008.

As conscientious in his academics as with his music, Steven is president of the Science Honor Society, a member of Key Club, National Honor Society, and the Math Team. He is a recipient of the 2007 Rensselaer Medal for Math and Science Achievement and has been awarded a $60,000 scholarship.

At press time Steven had narrowed his college choices to three schools and is interested in double majoring in engineering and trumpet performance. In recognition of his outstanding talent, ITG will provide Steven with a complimentary one-year membership. Bravo Steven!

March 2008 Winner: Kristen Wall

Please welcome Kristen Wall as our March 2008 ITG Young Artist Award winner. Kristen is a senior at Century High School in Rochester, Minnesota, where she performs in the Century Symphonic Winds, the orchestra, marching band (as the section leader of 35 trumpets), and jazz band-all under the supervision of band director Levi Lundak. She also sits in with a professional jazz band called Swing Street. Her private teacher is Warren Bandel, also of Rochester, Minnesota. In his recommendation for this award, Bandel writes enthusiastically about Kristen's character. “I just can't say enough good things about her. She is what every student should be-she works hard, has fun playing the trumpet, and leads by example.”

She is a two-time Minnesota All-State member, last school year as a member of the All-State Orchestra and this year in the All-State Symphonic Band (2nd chair). She is also a member of the Southeastern Minnesota Youth Orchestra. Currently, Kristen is working hard for state solo contest, at which she will be playing the Arutunian Concerto.

Kristen is also an accomplished pianist, and puts those skills to work at her church where she accompanies the K-2 children's choir. Other church activities include teaching Sunday School and playing on the church women's volleyball team.

As conscientious with her academics as she is with her music, Kristen has been the student-of-the-month in music, math, and Spanish and is in Who's Who Among American High School Students, the National Society of High School Scholars, the National Honor Society, Outstanding Students of America, a National Merit Commended Scholar, and an AP Scholar.

At press time, Kristen has narrowed her college choices to three schools, where she intends to continue her trumpet studies but will concentrate on elementary education, international relations, and Spanish. Kristen is the daughter of proud parents David and Janet Wall.

In recognition of her outstanding talent, ITG will provide Kristen with a complimentary one-year membership. Congratulations, Kristen!

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