When you have just one shot at impressing the judges, every note counts.

That’s why the eight members of Missouri Southern’s trumpet ensemble spent the spring semester focusing on the finer details of Erik Morales’ “Infinite Ascent” – the selection they performed during the 2017 National Trumpet Competition.

The ensemble was selected as one of 16 from around the country to compete at the event, held March 23-25 in Denver, Colo. They competed against peers from Oklahoma State, Baylor, Texas Tech, Southern Methodist University and others, and reached the semifinal round.
The focus of their intense rehearsal schedule leading up to the competition was to create a pristine performance.

“The song has a lot of highs and lows,” says freshman Valentin Vizcaino. “It starts out very beautifully, and about a third of the way through it picks up the pace. Everyone is doing their own thing before coming together at the end. It’s an intricate piece … very complicated.”

Trumpet professor Freddie Green says the eight students – including Jemetrius Brown, Tyler Jones, William Roach, Oliver Smith, Austin Kinard, Jalen Ybarra, Tony Sfortunato and Vizcaino – were extremely dedicated to performing at an elite level.

“They did a wonderful job in pushing and motivating themselves,” says Green. “I was proud to see their progress and maturity through
this process.”

The competition also provided students a chance to attend master classes and clinics, attend concerts by international artists and visit with representatives from potential graduate schools.