- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 9, 2002

About 250 young trumpet players from across the nation and Canada will blow into the Performing Arts Building at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., next week to compete against one another and receive lessons and inspiration from horn luminaries Jon Faddis and John Hagstrom.

The occasion is the National Trumpet Competition, one of the largest contests of its kind for students ages 11 to 28.

"It's going to be fabulous. There will be an amazing level of skill among these young players," says Dennis Edelbrock, who founded the competition 10 years ago at GMU. Sixty students participated in the first one.

Mr. Edelbrock, an adjunct professor of trumpet, says he created the competition because there was nothing like it. Piano and string competitions abounded, but musicians aspiring to be the next Miles Davis or Wynton Marsalis had to go without.

"I saw a need to push young players along," Mr. Edelbrock says. "There is talent everywhere."

Divisions include middle-school, high-school and college/jazz, and the winners get cash prizes and professional-quality trumpets.

The four-day competition, which begins next Thursday, will provide seminars and workshops for the students and concerts with some of the young players' musical heroes.

"The kids get face time with people like Jon Faddis and John Hagstrom. So they feel like they know them," says Mr. Edelbrock, a trumpet player with the U.S. Army Band since 1975.

Mr. Faddis and the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band, which he directs, will perform at 2 p.m. March 17 in the GMU Center for the Arts. They will play arrangements by John Coltrane, George Gershwin, Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk and Louis Prima.

The concert may be one of very few opportunities this year to see the ensemble perform, since Carnegie Hall in New York City has announced it will no longer fund the musicians.

However, the 16-member band wants to continue and is looking into other funding possibilities, Mr. Edlebrock says.

In stressing the band's importance, Mr. Edelbrock says, "The Carnegie Hall performance with Jon Faddis is the jazz event of the year. It's kind of a no-brainer."

Their local performance is the only one in the competition that carries an admission charge. It's $25.

Another event highlight will be Mr. Hagstrom, a trumpeter with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, who will perform as a soloist with the U.S. Army Orchestra and Herald Trumpets at 3 p.m. March 16.

"That will be a nice family event," Mr. Edelbrock says. "We want to give kids an opportunity to fall in love with music."


WHAT: The National Trumpet Competition

WHERE: Performing Arts Building, George Mason University, Fairfax campus, Braddock Road and Route 123

WHEN: Thursday through March 17. For a complete schedule, see www.nationaltrumpetcomp.org or call 703/524-6260

TICKETS: Daily admission free except Carnegie Hall Band concert at 2 p.m. March 17, which costs $25.

PHONE: 703/218-6500


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