SFCM Ensembles Place in National Competitions

MTNA Chamber Music Competition

SFCM’s Oak Trio, a student-organized ensemble comprising Kaiyuan Wu ’20, Bowen Liu ’20, and Jinzhao Xu ’20, was awarded first prize in the string division of the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) Chamber Music Competition. The Competition, which took place March 16–17 in Spokane, Washington, featured ensembles from conservatories and music schools around the country vying for top honors in multiple categories.

“It was our first live experience to play in a competition,” said Wu. “So, we really appreciated the opportunity.”

At the Competition, the Oak Trio performed Mendelssohn’s Piano Trio No. 2 in C minor, Op. 66 and Mozart’s Piano Trio in C major, K. 548, two masterworks that span the spectrums of lyricism and virtuosity.

“Both of the pieces were exciting yet demanding works, so we spent quite amount of time refining them,” added Wu. “We would like to express our thanks to our coaches, Prof. Jean-Michel Fonteneau and Prof. Yoshikazu Nagai, on the process of preparing for the competition, which gave us tremendous inspiration.”

National Trumpet Competition

The SFCM Trumpet Ensemble made a strong showing at the 2019 National Trumpet Competition (NTC), advancing to the finals and placing third in the Competition’s Getzen Trumpet Small Ensemble Division. The event, which took place March 14–16 at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, regularly sees the best trumpet players and ensembles from around the country compete for top prizes in solo and ensemble categories of multiple age groups.

Competing in the event were SFCM students Robert Giambruno ’19, Michail Thompson ’22, Maggie Wei ’20, Karlee Wood ’22, and Kin Sing Chan ’20. Giambruno also made it to the finals of the Blackburn Trumpets Solo Graduate Division, earning second place.

“Playing with the Trumpet Ensemble was great as we continually drove each other to get better and improve every single rehearsal,” remarked Giambruno. “Additionally, the love and support I felt both as a soloist and member from the Ensemble from the entire brass faculty and student body was immense!”

Trumpet faculty member Adam Luftman, the Ensemble’s coach, was equally as thrilled at the Ensemble’s outcome.

“We are all incredibly proud of the hard work and dedication the students put in to preparing for this competition,” he said. “I think it was a wonderful bonding experience for all of them.”


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