USF trumpeters seek national competition, funding


For “hundreds and hundreds” of hours last semester, an ensemble of trumpeters and an organist practiced the fourth movement of “Saint Saens ‘Organ’ Symphony” that graduate student David Hinckley arranged himself. 

In previous years, members of the Trumpet Club submitted audition tapes and ensembles to be considered by judges at the National Trumpet Competition to perform in Mechanicsburg, Pa.. In past years schools such as the Eastman School of Music and Julliard have competed in the premiere competition for trumpeters. 

But for the first time in at least four years, a sextet and soloist from USF were selected by the panel of judges as one of 29 schools to participate in the semifinals. 

“It’s a great opportunity,” Trevor Butts, a senior majoring in music studies and president of the Trumpet Club, said. “It gets USF’s name out there on a national and international level.”

But after finding out the group qualified about a month and a half ago, it ran into another issue – funding. The cost of the total trip to Pennsylvania nears $4,000, including hotel stay and travel cost.

The group initially approached Student Government (SG), seeing if they could seek any Activity and Services (A&S) fees, but said SG did not have funds to allocate at that point in the year.

So last month, Bethany Finch, a senior majoring in music studies, started a petition for fundraising online via So far the group has collected more than $2,000, and its methods for fundraising will continue, having recently hosted a pancake breakfast and carnival. They will also take donations this week to let people pie them in the face.  

“Very few programs from the country are selected,” Finch said. “It’s a national competition. Not many people get to compete. It’s really significant for us.” 

Butts said he hopes the trip will allow the trumpets – and name – of USF to be heard at an international level. 

Wesley Snedeker, a junior majoring in music studies and religious studies, said the ensemble meets multiple times a week to practice.

Hinkley, who created seven or eight versions of the arrangement originally composed for the organ after listening to music for hours before settling on the version they auditioned with, said the first time he heard the ensemble play, he knew they stood a strong chance. 

Now, he said, he hopes the judges will hear them too.