Well before they were invited to attend the National Trumpet Competition, two students from Missouri Southern were already sounding a positive note.

Oliver Smith, a junior music performance major from Carthage, and Seth Marshall, a sophomore instrumental education major from Ankeny, Iowa, were selected for the competition after each submitted performance videos.

“The sheer drive these two students have is amazing,” said Freddie Green, assistant professor of music. “They both said, ‘I’m going to the National Trumpet Competition.’ There was no question. Some students said they wanted to go, these two said, ‘I’m going.’”

Smith and Marshall were selected for the semifinal round of the competition, which was held March 8-10 at the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas. Selection for the round was based on performance videos submitted by the students.

The event drew student musicians from around the country, including more than 50 in the division in which two Missouri Southern students competed.

While they did not make the top three spots to qualify for the final round, attending the competition was an exciting opportunity, said Smith.

“Everyone comes back from these events knowing more than before they came in, and able to do more than they could before,” he said. “You get to be around other players who are at or above your own level. We had the chance to listen to legends and high-level ensembles, and to learn more about what we all strive for as musicians.”