GV trumpet student wins first place at national competition

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Grand Valley State University senior Hunter Eberly won first prize at the 2009 National Trumpet Competition College Solo Division. The competition was held last weekend at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. Hunter is the first Grand Valley student to win the top prize in the college solo competition.

Grand Valley’s Trumpet Ensemble “A,” which includes Eberly, Mark Peterson, Adam Cuthbert, Alex Wilson, and Neal Andrews, won 3rd prize in the Trumpet Ensemble Competition. Juilliard and Northwestern University won first and second prizes respectively.

“It was a lot of fun, and it was an awesome experience for me,” said Eberly. “I performed the first movement of Eino Tamberg’s “Concerto for Trumpet,” which has a pretty dark mood, a lot of odd interval jumps and a lot of fast technical sections, but those are contrasted by a few lyrical flowing sections, that give the piece sort of a feeling of hope.”
 
Eberly started playing piano when he was three, and started trumpet in third grade. The Muskegon native is a graduate of Calvary Christian High School and the son of Cheri and Sam Eberly.

“My mom is a band director at Calvary Christian Schools in Fruitport and a trumpet player, and I became interested in music through her,” said Eberly, who has studied at Grand Valley with Richard Stoelzel, associate professor of trumpet and the brass department coordinator.

“This competition is the most notable national competition for trumpet players,” said Stoelzel. “I am extremely proud of Hunter’s outstanding accomplishment.  His first place win is a milestone for the trumpet studio and the music department.”

Success has come steadily for Eberly. He was just named one of three international finalists in the 2009 International Trumpet Guild Mock Orchestra Competition. The competition will be held this year in Harrisburg, Pennsylania in May. He was a member of Grand Valley’s trumpet ensemble last year, which took first prize at the competition. He also won an International Trumpet Guild scholarship last year, has performed with the GVSU trumpet ensemble at one ITG conference, and will perform again at this year’s conference. Eberly was also a rare student member of the GVSU Faculty Brass Quintet last year, was principal trumpet of the GVSU Orchestra last semester and is currently principal trumpet of the Symphonic Wind Ensemble.

Eberly will graduate this spring and plans to pursue a master’s degree in music. He has been accepted to Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, and is in the finals for The Colburn School in Los Angeles. “These are my two top choices, so I will be studying in either Houston or Los Angeles next year,” said Eberly. “My ultimate goal is to be a professional trumpet player and teacher. I want to play in a major symphony orchestra, as well as be a trumpet professor at a university.”

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