Monday, March 02, 2020

A History of Trumpet at the University of Kentucky

The University of Kentucky (UK) School of Music was founded in 1919 and recently celebrated its 100th anniversary. In the 100 years of the School of Music, many fine trumpeters have taught at UK. This week’s blog will trace this lineage of teachers and offer a brief snapshot of their background and contributions.

Bernie Fitzgerald
Bernard Fitzgerald (1912-2005) 
Professor at UK in the 1950s
"Bernie" Fitzgerald taught at the University of Kentucky in the mid 20th century.  He also held positions at the University of Idaho, the University of Texas at Austin, the Jordan College of Music, and the Emporia State Teachers College. Today, he is remembered mostly as a composer and arranger, and contributed more than 100 compositions and arrangements to the trumpet repertoire. 
Bernie Fitzgerald guest conducting the UK Trumpet Ensemble, performing his Trumpet Guild Fanfare  at the 1982 ITG Conference (L to R: Fred Ashby, Brad Goode, David Poer, Steve Wade, Doug Martin, Dave Welch, LaShelle Montfort, Kelly Harding, Andy Mill, Bernie Walker, Forrest Johnson, and Fitzgerald) Photo Credit: Vince DiMartino

According to Harry Clarke, Emeritus Professor at the University of Kentucky, Fitzgerald was originally hired as the band conductor, taught in the music education area, and also for a time was interim department chair. Clarke described Fitzgerald as a “great friend and golf partner.” 
UK professor emeritus Bernie Fitzgerald (left) chats with Vince DiMartino (right) following DiMartino's concert of Fitzgerald's music at Fitzgerald's retirement center (Photo Credit: Vince DiMartino)

Jack Hyatt
Jack Hyatt 
Professor at UK in the 1960s
Hyatt was the trumpet professor at UK in the 1960s. In 1968 he released the album Trumpet Solos with pianist Ruby Hyatt. He later moved to New York City and became a professor at Lehman College, a division of the City College of New York.
Hyatt album Trumpet Solos

Walter Blanton

Walter Blanton (1944–2017)
Professor at UK 1969
Walter Blanton was from Kent, Washington. He earned degrees from Western Washington State College and Indiana University. He moved to Las Vegas and enjoyed a vibrant performance career there. He played in the major casinos for numerous top entertainers throughout his 52-year career including Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra Sr. and Jr., Henry Mancini, Johnny Mathis and James Brown. He toured with the Woody Herman Band, the Broadway musical "Hair," the Las Vegas/New World Brass Quintet and played principal trumpet for the Las Vegas Philharmonic and Nevada Symphony Orchestras. Walt taught at Indiana University, the University of Kentucky, UNLV, Nevada School of the Arts and the College of Southern Nevada, retiring in 2012 after 44 years of teaching. 

Blanton came to UK from his career in Las Vegas in 1969, and after a stint as UK’s trumpet professor, returned to Las Vegas to resume his previous career there. 

Vincent DiMartino

Vincent DiMartino  
Professor at UK 1972–1993
As evidence of his prodigious talent, Vince 
DiMartino was hired as UK’s trumpet professor in 1972 at the age of 23 with only a bachelor’s degree. He has established himself as one of the world’s greatest trumpet players 

Without a doubt, the legacy of the UK trumpet program owes a huge debt to this wonderful man. He truly catapulted the UK trumpet studio to international acclaim, with legions of successful alumni now teaching and performing all over the worldDiMartino also served two terms as President of the International Trumpet Guild (ITG) and hosted the ITG Conference at the University of Kentucky in 1982.  
Vince DiMartino (Left) in the UK Faculty Brass Quintet (1979)
Vince DiMartino has been the lead and solo trumpet in the Lionel Hampton Band, the Chuck Mangione Band, the Clark Terry Band and The Eastman Arranger’s Holiday Orchestra. He has also performed with some of this country’s finest college jazz ensembles.  

Mr. DiMartino has been soloist with many symphony orchestra including Cincinnati, Buffalo, Sante Fe, North Carolina, Orlando, Baton Rouge and Rochester, New York. He also appeared as guest soloist with the Boston Pops on their Summer Tour in 1999 and for a national television broadcast of the same. He has also been a soloist with the Army Blues Jazz Band, The Army Brass Band, The U.S. Air Force Band of Flight, and The United States Marine Band. Mr. DiMartino is the first civilian to perform with this ensemble.  
Vince DiMartino with guest artist Clark Terry in 1973 at the University of Kentucky. Terry was DiMartino's first guest artist during his tenure at UK. (Photo Credit: Vince DiMartino)

Mr. DiMartino is also prominently featured on some of the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra’s recordings including Mancini’s Greatest Hits, Bond and Beyond, Big Hit Parade, and Hollywood’s Greatest Hits. He recorded Mel Torme’s Christmas Album as lead trumpet. Mr. DiMartino also has completed a recording project on Summit Records with jazz artists Allen Vizzutti and Bobby Shew and The Summit Brass called Trumpet Summit. 

DiMartino was the 2004 CASE Professor of The Year for the state of Kentucky. This award is given nationally each year to one person in each state in The United States. He is the recipient of The Governor’s Lifetime Achievement Award for 20082009 for the state of Kentucky. 

Professor DiMartino taught at the University of Kentucky from 1972–1993. At that time, he became an artist-in-residence at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky. There he taught trumpet, jazz history, and coached brass and jazz ensembles as a distinguished Matton Professor of Music. He retired from Centre in 2012. He returned to the University of Kentucky as interim professor of trumpet for the 2012–2013 school year. 

Now retired from full-time teachingVince DiMartino continues to perform internationally. He and UK’s Miles Osland continue to co-direct The DiMartino-Osland Jazz Orchestra (DOJO) and have recorded two CDs on Seabreeze records, Quotient and Off the Charts.  He also performs as a founding member of the nationally touring Quintasonic Brass. He is a Pickett Brass/Blackburn artist.

Bob Thompson
Bob Thompson 
Professor at UK 1993–1994
Bob Thompson taught at the University of Kentucky during the 1993–1994 academic year. He holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music and University of South Florida.  He was a member of the critically acclaimed Rhythm and Brass.

After his one-year position at UK, he moved to Europe to pursue a performance career. He later became involved in the music publishing business and in 1993 he was appointed Vice President of G. Schirmer, Inc./AMP, based in G. Schirmer’s New York headquarters.  At the time of this writing, Thompson is now President of Schirmer.

Terry Everson

Terry Everson
Professor at UK 1994–1998
Terry Everson taught trumpet at UK from 1994–1998. He hosted the International Trumpet Guild Conference at UK in 1998. During this time he also served as the School of Music's Director of Undergraduate Studies.
UK Trumpet Ensemble with Terry Everson at the 1998 ITG Conference
Hailed by the Boston Globe for his “dazzling, clarion brightness with elegant edges,” and in the Boston Musical Intelligencer for “virtuosity and musicality that was simply stunning,” trumpeter Terry Everson is an internationally renowned soloist, educator, composer/arranger, conductor, and church musician. He first gained international attention in 1988, winning (on consecutive days) both the Baroque/Classical and 20th Century categories of the inaugural Ellsworth Smith International Trumpet Competition, with further success as First Prize laureate of the 1990 Louise D. McMahon International Music Competition. Mr. Everson has premiered major works by composers Richard Cornell, John Davison, Stanley Friedman, Jan Krzywicki, Elena Roussanova-Lucas, and Gary Ziek. His collaboration with pianist Susan Nowicki has produced two complete recordings of numerous notable modern works, as well as single entries on two discs devoted to the works of Davison and Krzywicki; he has also recorded as soloist with the New England Brass Band, the Lexington Brass Band and the Eastern Wind Symphony. 
UK Faculty Brass in 1998: (L-to-R: Everson, Skip Gray, David Elliott, Dale Warren & Tim Altman)
Mr. Everson has been an active church musician for more than two decades; he was Minister of Music at True Light Community Ministries in inner-city Philadelphia, and held the same position at Family Worship Center in Lexington. From 2003 to 2005 he was Worship Pastor at Metro Church in Marlborough, MA; he and his wife, Lori, are currently elders and members of the Worship Team.

As composer, Mr. Everson has filled commissions from Wizards! double reed ensemble, the Texas Tech Trombone Choir, the Lutheran Music Program (brass quintet), and Messiah College and the Philadelphia College of Bible (trumpet ensembles). His setting of W. L. Thompson’s There’s a Great Day Coming has been recorded by Philip Smith (former Principal Trumpet, New York Philharmonic) on the Cala label’s New York Legends series. More recently, the BU Trumpet Ensemble’s performance of his arrangement of the Finale of Felix Mendelssohn’s Fourth Symphony at the 2007 ITG Conference received an enthusiastic standing ovation.
Terry Everson coaches UK trumpet student Zach Robinson during Everson's return to Lexington as a guest artist in 2016
Mr. Everson is currently the trumpet professor at Boston University and a member of the Board of Directors for the National Trumpet Competition. 

Rolf Holly  (b. 1965) 
Professor at UK 1998–2001
Rolf Holly studied trumpet at the Julliard School and was a founding member of the Meridian Arts Ensemble. He came to UK in 1998 as a one-year professor and subsequently won the national search for the full time position in 1999 and taught at UK until 2001. 

Scott Heersche

Scott Heersche (b. 1971)
Interim Professor at UK 2001
After Rolf Holly’s departure, a doctoral student, Scott Heersche, took over the reins of the UK trumpet studio for the 2001–2002 academic year as interim instructor of trumpetA Lexington native, Heersche previous earned a bachelor’s degree from UK and a master’s degree from Indiana University. 

At present, Heersche is Pastor of Worship for Lexington’s Centenary Methodist Church as well as the trumpet instructor for Transylvania University. He is a highly visible and active leader of central Kentucky’s musical community. 

Mark Clodfelter

Mark Clodfelter (b. 1966) 
Professor at UK 2002–2012
Mark Clodfelter taught trumpet at the University of Kentucky from 2002–2012. He established new events such as UK TrumpetFest and led the UK trumpet ensemble in highly successful performances at the National Trumpet Competition and International Trumpet Guild Conferences. During his time at UK, he was Co-Conductor of the Bluegrass Area Jazz Ambassadors and the Central Kentucky Youth Jazz Orchestra.  He organized UK trumpet trips to Greece and Italy and also participated in the UK Faculty Brass Quintet's 2006 tour of Russia. His many successful UK trumpet students continue to win important professional placements as performers and educators throughout the country.
Mark Clodfelter with the UK Faculty Brass in Russia (2006)
Clodfelter can be heard as Principal Trumpet of the Asheville Symphony Orchestra, the Trade Winds (Tamp Fl.) and with the Palladium Brass. At home in a great array of styles, his commercial affiliations have  included split lead with the DiMartino/Osland Jazz Orchestra and the Kentucky Jazz Repertory Orchestra. He is member of Covalence, a chamber duo, with Rebecca Wilt, his wife and renowned collaborative pianist. Additionally, he spends summers as a member of the faculty of the InterHarmony International Music Festival in Arcidosso, Italy.
Clodfelter with UK students in Greece (2007)
Coldfelter entered collegiate teaching as Instructor of Trumpet and Director of Jazz Band at Mars Hill College. He has served on the faculty of the prestigious Eastern Music Festival and has taught the Carolina Crown Drum and Bugle Corps. He was a founding member of the Giannini Brass and has held positions with the Greensboro Symphony, Orchestra Kentucky, the North Charleston Pops, the Western Piedmont Symphony, the Salisbury Symphony, the Greenville (SC) Symphony and the Eastern Philharmonic Orchestra. 

Clodfelter left UK in 2012 to become Professor of Trumpet at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. In 2019, he became Professor of Trumpet at the University of Delaware. 

Vince DiMartino, Chase Hawkins, Doc Severinsen, and Rui Li, in the UK trumpet studio during DiMartino's interim appointment for the 2012-13 school year

Vince DiMartino returns 
Interim Professor at UK 2012–2013
Vince DiMartino returned to UK for the 2012–2013 academic year while the School of Music conducted a national search for Clodfelter’s replacement. Teaching assistants Rui Li and Chase Hawkins also had a large role in leading the studio during that time.

Jason Dovel

Jason Dovel 
Professor at UK 2013–Present
The current trumpet professor at the University of Kentucky is Jason Dovel.  Dovel came to UK in 2013. Since his arrival, he has established the UK Summer Trumpet Institute, organized UK Education Abroad (study abroad) programs to Greece, Australia, and Poland, initiated student recording projects, and developed an early music program, including the UK Baroque Trumpet Ensemble, UK Early Music Collective, and two Certificate programs in Baroque Trumpet. 

Dovel has led UK trumpet ensembles on three compact disc recording projects, including Competition Pieces for Trumpet Ensemble (2015), Music for Natural Trumpets (2017) and Andromeda: New Music for Trumpet Ensembles (2019). Dovel hosted the National Trumpet Competition at the University of Kentucky in 2019. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for both the International Trumpet Guild and Historic Brass Society. 

(Jason Dovel is also author of this blog, and for more information, you can visit his website, )

UK Trumpet Ensemble Compact Disc: Andromeda: New Music For Trumpet Ensembles (2019)
UK Baroque Trumpet Ensemble CD: Music for Natural Trumpets (2017)

UK Trumpet Ensemble Compact Disc: Competition Pieces for Trumpet Ensemble (2015)

Four living University of Kentucky trumpet professors converge in Lexington for the 2019 National Trumpet Competition. L-to-R: Terry Everson (1994-1998), Jason Dovel (2013-Present), Vincent DiMartino (1972-1993 and 2012-2013), and Mark Clodfelter (2002-2012).

University of Kentucky Trumpet Alumni 

While this article primarily focused on the UK faculty, any story about the UK trumpet studio would be incomplete without mention of the numerous UK students who can literally be found all over the world. Below is a partial listing of names that have been sent to me during my research.  Errors and omissions from this list are not intentional, and I welcome any corrections or additions to be sent via email to 

Dovel-Era Students

Stephen Wadsack (DMA in progress) - instructor of trumpet at Wright State University
Clint Linkmeyer (DMA in progress) – instructor of trumpet at Eastern Mennonite University
Samuel Oliveri (DMA in progress) – instructor of trumpet at Arkansas State University
Javier Salinas (MM ’21) – instructor of trumpet at Texas A&M Kingsville
Abby Temple (BM '20) - adjunct instructor at University of Kentucky
Jeff Barrington (DMA ’19) - lecture of brass/trumpet at Asbury University 
Marisa Youngs (DMA ’18) - instructor of trumpet at Winthrop University
Steven Siegel (DMA ’17) - assistant professor of music at Univ. of Wisconsin-Superior
Stacy Simpson (DMA '16) - instructor of trumpet at Bellarmine University
Michael Black (DMA '16) - assistant professor of music at Northwestern Oklahoma State University

Band Directors: 
Taylor Huffaker (BMME '21) - Director of Bands at Powell County High School
Tyran Ellis (BMME ’19) - Director of Bands at Lewis County High School 
Shelby Napier (BMME, ‘18) - band director at Royal Spring Middle School in Georgetown, KY (2018) 
DiaShamar Marshall (BMME 2017)  band director at Lynhurst 7th/8th Center in Indianapolis, Indiana 
Conner Kinmon (BMME 2017) - Director of Bands at Henderson County High School in  
Henderson, KY
Sean Piatt (BMME, 2016) – band director atHarrison County High School
Michael Cotten (BMME, 2016) - Director of Bands at Hector High School in Russelville, Arkansas. Previously band director La Salle Catholic School in Cincinnati
Katie Safa (BMME 2017) -Director of Bands at Barker Middle School in Michigan City, Indiana  (2017) 

Performing Positions: 
Sabrina Musick (BMME 2016)- trumpeter with the U.S. Marine Band in San Diego, California.
Ray Li (DMA 2015), performs full-time with the National Centre for Performing Arts Orchestra in  Beijing, China
Phillip Chase Hawkins (MM 2014) Principal Trumpet of the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra.  (Also earned a DMA at CCM)
Stacy Simpson, Louisville Orchestra

Arts Admin/Business Positions:
Matthew McMahon, Artist Operations Coordinator, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra
Joel Crawford, Recording Engineer for the University of Cincinnati and owner, Joel Crawford Recording
Taylor Gustad, Pickett Brass
Franki Arroyo, Production Technician, WTVQ-DT ABC TV station
Ally VerSteegh, Special Events Coordinator for Lyric Opera of Chicago

Graduate School Placement:
Madison Barton (MM 2022) now pursing DM at Florida State as Trumpet TA
Drew Reynolds (BM 2022) now pursuing MM and Certificate in Baroque Trumpet at University of Kentucky
David Vest (BM 2021) now pursuing MM at University of North Texas
Javier Salinas (MM 2021) now pursuing DMA at University of Texas – Austin
Abby Temple (BM 2020)  completed her MM at Longy School of Music
Will Lovan (BM 2019) now pursuing his master’s degree in performance at UCLA with Jens Lindemann as a teaching assistant
Coleman Scott (BMME 2019) received MM at University of Colorado-Boulder, now pursuing DMA at Louisiana State University as Trumpet TA
Shelby Napier (BMME 2018) now pursuing MM at University of Kentucky
Jared Wallis (BM 2015) completed both a MM and DMA at the Eastman School of Music as Trumpet TA
Matthew Coile (BA 2019) is now pursing a PhD at Northwestern University
Rhiannon Montgomery (BA 2019) is now pursuing doctoral study at the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy
Zach Robinson (BMME 2018) now pursues a MM in music therapy at the University of Kentucky
Caden Holmes (BM 2017) won Trumpet Teaching Assistantship at Oklahoma State University in Fall 2017
Robert Elliott, who graduated from UK in 2015, won a Teaching Assistantship at the University of North  Carolina at Greensboro, where he is pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts in trumpet performance. 
Zac Byrd (BA 2019) receive the first-ever fellowship to study the brewing industry through an individualized graduate program at the University of Kentucky (Fall 2019)

Pre-Dovel Era

Julian Kaplan, principal trumpet of the Kansas City Symphony

Rob Parton
Professor of Jazz Trumpet, University of North Texas

Eric Millard (BM, ‘13)
assistant professor of trumpet at the University of North Carolina - Charlotte.

T.J. Tesh
Assistant Professor of Trumpet, University of Southern Mississippi

Brad Goode
Associate Professor of Jazz Studies, University of Colorado
Richard Illman
Emeritus Professor of Trumpet, Michigan State University

Al Hood

Professor of Trumpet, University of Denver

Gordon Henderson
Director of Bands, Professor of Music, Vice Chair of the Music Department at UCLA

Todd Hastings
Professor of Trumpet at Pittsburg State University (KS), 1996-Present

Michael Miles
Director of the School of Music, University of Southern Mississippi

Richard Byrd
Professor of Music, Eastern Kentucky University

Paul Rathke
Fine Arts Chair, Grand Prairie Regional College in Canada (Alberta, Canada)

Jonathan Stites, band director for Fayette County Public Schools

Scott Heersche, pastor of worship, Centenary Methodist Church

David Hummel,

Director, Bluegrass Area Jazz Ambassadors
Instructor/Staff, Hurst Music

John Laverty
Director of Bands, Syracuse University

Daniel King
Professor at Capital University, Otterbein University
Instrumental Music Teacher, Columbus (OH) City Schools

David Welch
Teaching Assistantship at University of Northern Colorado 1985
Glenn Miller Orchestra, 1986-1987 (Lead Trumpet)
Employed at Disney Productions in Orlando 1989-1994
Music teacher in Jefferson Co. Schools (Retired)

Paul Klontz
Trumpet in The U.S. Army "Pershing's Own," 1990-Present
Assistant Professor of Trumpet at University of Montana at Billings 1990-1991

Stuart Smith
Faculty, Mclean School of Music (McLean, Virginia)

Peter Bellino
Trumpet Professor, Schenectady Community College (New York)
Performances with the Buffalo Philharmonic, New York Repertory Orchestra, Air Force Band of the Midwest, Walt Disney World, Jeff Tyzik and Gap Mangione Big Bands, Aretha Franklin, Doc Severinsen, Jamey Aebersold, Oliver Lake and James Williams.

Bart Jones
3rd Trumpet, Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra
New Hampshire Music Festival
Formerly member of Alabama Symphony Orchestra, the Oklahoma Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of Oklahoma City, Queen City Brass Quintet, Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra, and Lakeside Symphony

Eric Murine
Staff, Pickett Brass and Blackburn Trumpets

John Altman
Trumpet, U.S. Army Jazz Ambassadors

Timothy Altman (DMA in 2005 from UK)
Professor of Trumpet, UNC-Pembroke

Steve Walters
Teaching Assistant at The Eastman School of Music 1982
ITG Jazz Finalist in 1979
Free Lance musician Orlando, Florida

Bernard Walker
Nashville freelance and studio performer
Teaching Fellowship at Arkansas State University 1985
Trumpet in The Memphis Symphony 1989-1990
Solo Eb Cornet in The Jack Daniel's Silver Cornet Band

Tim Stutler
Minister of Music in Glasgow, KY, 1992-Present
First Trumpet Disney All Collegiate Band 1989
First Trumpet at Busch Gardens at Williamsburg 1990-1991

Dwyane Hollenbach
Lecturer of Trumpet, University of Nevada at Reno
Principal trumpet, Reno Baroque Ensemble

Doug Martin
MM in Orchestral Conducting, University of Michigan
Currently a lawyer in Lexington, KY

Greg Sturgill
Full Tuition Scholarship for doctoral study at University of Cincinnati, 1991
U.K. Concerto Competition Winner, 1990
Aspen Award, 1990
Trumpet Instructor, Campbellsville College 1994
Eric Masters
Band Director, Paris High School

Tim Dailey
Director of Bands at 
 Milford Exempted Village School District

Tara Nogle
Public school music teacher

Lamar Boulet
Freelance trumpeter, Houston, TX
Disney All Collegiate Orchestra and Medley Band, 1989
Jazz Writing Scholarship at University of Maimi, 1991-1993
Universal Studios, Orlando, 1994-2012

Sam Miller
Lawyer in Texas

Jason Dovel is associate professor of trumpet at the University of Kentucky and a Yamaha Performing Artist. He is host of the annual UK Summer Trumpet Institute held every June in Lexington, KY (USA).

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