BOONE—When Mitchell Townley was in fourth grade in Woodbine, Maryland, he decided to play trumpet in the elementary school’s band after his best friend also selected trumpet. While his classmate moved on to other pursuits, Townley stuck with his choice of instrument and continued to play throughout middle school after his family moved to Raleigh and at Wakefield High School, where he play in the marching band.
Now a junior music education major at Appalachian State University, Townley recently was accepted as a semi-finalist for the National Trumpet Competition’s undergraduate solo division. He will perform “Legend” by George Enesco.
He will compete with 39 other undergraduate trumpet players from across the country, including those enrolled in music programs at UCLA, The Juilliard School, Indiana University and Eastman School of Music. The competition will be held March 19-21 at Messiah College in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania.
His audition and competition piece is considered a standard in the trumpet repertoire. “I choose the Enesco piece to build my performance repertoire, and if I go to graduate school, it’s one of those pieces a trumpeter will have to learn,” Townley said. “The piece moves from low and lyrical in the trumpet’s range to high and technical. I guess you could say there is something for everybody in this piece.”
The National Trumpet Competition also includes a conference for students, faculty and others. While in Pennsylvania, Townley will have the opportunity to attend master classes by performing artists such as Rick Baptist, who performed with Frank Sinatra, Natalie Cole, Michael Jackson and on Dancing with the Stars. Others are John Rommel, former principal trumpet with the Louisville Orchestra, and Scott Wendhol, who has performed with the Carnegie Hall Big Band, Maria Schneider’s Big Band, the Bob Mintzer Big Band and the Buddy Rich Big Band.
Townley is principal trumpet in the Appalachian Wind Ensemble this semester. He performs with the Hayes School of Music’s trumpet choir and is a member of a brass quintet. Last spring he won the music school’s Concerto/Aria Competition.
To view Townley’s National Trumpet Competition audition video, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TweqUy4yjFQ.
About the National Trumpet Competition
Inaugurated in 1992, NTC has provided performing opportunities, master classes, exhibition concerts, historic and commercial exhibits and an educational, supportive environment for nearly 3,000 students. To date, these students have represented 40 states as well six foreign countries. Nearly 100 artist faculty members from universities and symphony orchestras around the nation have donated their time and talents to judge the musicians.
About Appalachian State University
As the premier public undergraduate institution in the state of North Carolina, Appalachian State University prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The Appalachian Experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and to embrace diversity and difference. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Appalachian is one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System. Appalachian enrolls more than 19,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.
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