Published: Oct. 13, 2015 By

trumpet studio at competition

The CU-Boulder trumpet studio has its sights set on the biggest trumpet competition in the country. Twenty of the studio’s 22 members are getting their materials together to enter the National Trumpet Competition.

Members of the CU-Boulder trumpet studio attend the 2015 National Trumpet Competition at Messiah College in Pennsylvania. They're hoping to get back to the NTC in 2016.

After a strong showing last year—the University of Colorado Boulder was of the few universities to send multiple ensembles to the competition—Aaron Jensen and other members of the studio hope to do even better in 2016.

“The NTC has become the premier event for collegiate trumpet players to compete, learn and network on a national level,” says Jensen, a master’s student studying trumpet performance.

Jensen and fellow trumpet master’s student Matthew Koveal have been attending the conference for many years. “You make so many friends and meet teachers from other universities,” says Koveal. “In fact, a big reason I came to CU for my master’s is that I met Professor Sawchuk when he was a judge one year.”

The competition also gives students a look at what other programs are doing. “It exposed me to the level my peers are playing at across the country, expanding my musical perspective,” says senior music education major Hannah Harris.

“In Boulder, you can kind of live in a musical bubble, but this shows us how we stack up,” says Jensen. “There’s no age limit on excellence. You can play great at any level.”

In addition to the competition, the three-day event features master classes and concerts, held every year by a different top military band. Trumpet performance DMA student Carrie Blosser says last year was the first time much of the studio got to hear the President’s Marine Band. “It’s one of the most prestigious band placements you can win. Seeing them in concert for free is an amazing opportunity for young trumpet players.”

For the graduate students, there’s also a chance to learn new teaching methods. “The music community is so small,” says Blosser. “It’s a great resource to meet new people and have colleagues all over the country.”

Attending the conference is free, but the studio is hoping to raise enough money to cover applications for each participating student. “This experience last year was invaluable for the members of our studio and is something we want to be able to provide on an annual basis,” says Jensen. 

The NTC is coming up March 10-12 at Columbus State University in Georgia; the deadline to have all fees and audition materials submitted is Dec. 15. If you would like to help send our trumpet studio to the competition, please contact Katy Touysinhthiphonexay in the Office of Advancement at