As I write this, I am flying south from West Chester, Pa., where I’ve just participated as a guest artist and exhibitor at the West Chester Trumpet Festival (WCTF), presented by the local chapter of the International Trumpet Guild (ITG) and organized by performer and West Chester University (WCU) professor J.C. Dobrzelewski. What a great weekend this has been!
Attendees had their ears filled with performances and clinics presented by Bobby Shew, Randy Brecker, Brian Bond, Bryan Appleby-Wineberg, James Ackley, Joey Tartell, Langston Fitzgerald, Scott Belck and myself.
High notes, low notes, fast notes, slow notes, written notes, improvised notes, even a few missed notes (not many!) were all on display. In addition, a unique presentation by Yamaha demonstrated how small changes in the instrument audibly affect the sound. In between each performance or clinic, participants headed into the exhibit room to browse a large selection of horns, music and accessories.
The Saturday night concert featured the WCU wind ensemble with guest soloists. The Sunday night concert featured the WCU big band with guest soloists, culminating in five of us wailing away on Clifford Brown’s trumpet anthem, “Joy Spring.”
Conferences like this one are an incredible opportunity to share thoughts, knowledge and music with our musical brothers and sisters. They are also an intense social experience. World-class players mingle with students and amateurs, sharing a strong common bond: the love for their instrument and respect for those who play it.
Whatever your instrument, there is an organization dedicated to it. Here is just a small sampling:
• ITG: International Trumpet Guild, www.trumpetguild.org
• ITA: International Trombone Association, www.ita-web.org
• ITEA: International Tuba Euphonium Association, www.iteaonline.org
I urge you to join—they usually offer very modest student membership fees—and attend one of the annual conferences. Once you do, you’ll be hooked!
About the Author
Chase Sanborn is a trumpet player and a member of the jazz faculty at the University of Toronto. He is the author of “Brass Tactics,” “Jazz Tactics,” “Tuning Tactics” and “Music Business Tactics.” Chase plays Yamaha trumpets and CS Signature Model mouthpieces from GR Technologies. For more information about Chase, visit www.chasesanborn.com.