UND ensemble among top 25 selected for National Trumpet Competition semifinals March 20-23


Kate Menzies

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UND ensemble among top 25 selected for National Trumpet Competition semifinals March 20-23

What does the University of North Dakota's music department have in common with the likes of Baylor University and Boston University?

They each have an elite group of musicians who have made it to the semifinals of the 2014 National Trumpet Competition.

UND's trumpet ensemble is led by trumpet professor Ronnie Ingle, and is made up of students Cory Driscoll, Dillon Parker, Nathan Stoerzinger, Alexander Tally and James Kerzman.

These talented trumpeters will compete against some of the most storied music programs in the nation during the National Trumpet Competition, which runs from March 20-23. The competition, held in Washington D.C. for the last 22 years, will now take place at the new Calvin and Janet High Center for Worship and Performing Arts at Messiah College in Mechanicsburg, Pa.

This year is the first time that a trumpet ensemble from North Dakota has made it to the live semifinal round of the competition. UND's group is considered a standout, as only the 25 best ensembles across the nation are chosen.

"What sets these guys apart is their dedication to the ensemble and their ability to make good musical decisions," said Ingle. "They rehearse on their own and put in a lot of extra time outside of class."

The group made it to the semi-finals with their moving rendition of Cityscapes, which takes listeners on a rhythmic journey through city-life with movements such as Rush Hour, Skyscrapers and Rhythm of the City.

"Making it to the semifinals shows that we aren't just another boring state school," said Driscoll. Indeed, this competition puts UND on higher playing field than most other schools in nation.

The National Trumpet Competition allows these students to demonstrate their musical chops and implement what they've learned in the classroom. "We definitely have something to say musically," said Kerzman.

This accomplishment will allow UND to recruit talented musicians on a national scale, with hopes of continuing the tremendous growth of the trumpet program.

"This competition is a chance to expand the education of students beyond the classroom," Ingle said. "It shows that what's going on at UND is on par with the best schools in the nation."

Due to the many hours of practices spent together, these students have become great friends. That chemistry has allowed them to build off each other's strengths and weaknesses to push each other to be the best performers they can be.

"It's nice having other people that share the same goals as you," Parker said.

The trumpet ensemble consists of individuals enrolled in the course for credit, and is open to both music majors and non-music majors. This group has set their musical bar high, and rest assured their efforts won't fall flat.

Kate Menzies University & Public Affairs student writer

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