Grand Valley alumnus Hunter Eberly has been named principal trumpet of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO). Eberly, 26, will perform his first concert in his new position on March 7, at Congregational Shaarey Zedek, in Southfield.
The DSO held a three-year, international search with candidates arriving from Canada, Germany, Mexico and across the U.S. Eberly was the single candidate to advance to finals and subsequently earn a trial with the orchestra during the first two weeks of February.
“I am deeply honored and excited to be joining the incredibly talented musicians of the DSO,” said Eberly. He said he and his wife, Kimberly, who is also a Grand Valley alumnus, trumpet player, and conductor, look forward to moving back to Michigan from Florida and being closer to their families.
Eberly received a bachelor’s of music degree from Grand Valley in 2009; he studied with Richard Stoelzel, professor of trumpet. During his years at Grand Valley, Eberly showed great promise as a musician. He won first prize at the 2009 National Trumpet Competition College Solo Division, and was also a member of Grand Valley’s 2008 trumpet ensemble when it took first prize in this same competition. Eberly was also very involved in the performing ensembles offered at Grand Valley. He was principal trumpet of the orchestra and symphonic wind ensemble, and a rare student member of the GVSU Faculty Brass Quintet.
“Hunter was rarely seen without a trumpet in his hand and, more importantly, planted on his lips,” said Stoelzel. “His work ethic is second to none. As a guest artists at the GVSU International Trumpet Seminar he inspired every student in attendance. I couldn’t be more proud of his accomplishments.”
Following graduation from Grand Valley, Eberly moved to Los Angeles to attend The Colburn School Conservatory of Music, where he studied with James Wilt, associate principal trumpet of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. He left Colburn in 2010, after winning the audition for principal trumpet of the Jacksonville (Fla.) Symphony Orchestra. Shortly after, he was awarded a Professional Studies Certificate from Colburn. Eberly has also performed with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, the Grand Rapids Symphony, the Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra (China) and the Antalya Symphony (Turkey).
Danny Phipps, professor and chair of Grand Valley’s Department of Music said Eberly is the first Grand Valley graduate to hold a position as principal in a major U.S. orchestra. “We are all very proud of him,” said Phipps. “This is a tremendous accomplishment for this young trumpet performer and without a doubt brings great credit on his teacher and our entire program.”