The best consolation–music of Adolphus Hailstork

Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and this great man said, “Music is the best consolation for a despaired man.”

There are not many classical composers. And of those who wrote for the trumpet, very few. I am familiar with the great Ulysses Kay, who wrote Tromba for trumpet and piano and Three Fanfares for Four Trumpets. There is also Frederick C. Tillis, who wrote a piece for piccolo trumpet and piano called Spiritual Fantasy. The amazing contemporary black , Tyshawn Sorey, has written an unaccompanied trumpet piece called “For Peter Evans (Apologies for the Brevity).”

American composer, Adolphus Hailstork

But as far as I am aware, the most prolific African-American composer for the trumpet is Adolphus Hailstork. He wrote Concertino for trumpet, Four Hymns without Words, Sonata for Trumpet all for trumpet and piano. Also, he wrote a brass quartet, Bagatelles for Brass, and a brass trio, Ghosts in Grey and Blue.

He also wrote a wonderful unaccompanied piece called Variations for Trumpet. I learned about this piece and most of the others mentioned on this post by the great Howard University trumpet teacher and jazz band director, Fred Irby, III. I did a live recording of this piece today. I think you’ll agree that this piece, while challenging for the trumpeter, can be a great consolation to perform.

Zoom clinicians

Since the global COVID-19 pandemic hit us in 2020, trumpet teachers have shifted almost exclusively to virtual lessons and . This has had the negative effect of not being able to listen directly to students’ tones (and, of course, students’ audio equipment and the fickle sound quality of has not helped).

But a great positive effect has emerged–virtual clinics. These have enabled trumpet clinicians to give clinics anywhere in the world–from anywhere in the world, at the push of a button. In the spring of 2020, I hosted 10 guest clinicians, at Colorado State University. For the fall of 2020, we were fortunate to have 13 guest artists. Some of my personal favorites were , Ashley Hall, , , Michael Suttle, Raquel Samayoa, Bill Pfund, , Kenny Rittenhouse and (but there were many other awesome clinicians–too many to list here!).

This upcoming spring semester, I will be hosting 18 clinicians by Zoom!  Here is the lineup and the general topic of each clinic:

Jan 27 Corry Peterson (music educator/trumpet and jazz)
Feb 3 Ashley Killam (advocating for underrepresented composers)
Feb 10 Wiff Rudd (building community)
Feb 17 Elisa Koehler (research as a trumpeter)
Feb 24 Friedemann Immer (Baroque trumpet; keyed trumpet)
Mar 3 Jason Dovel (academic career; baroque trumpet)
Mar 10 Sarah Stoneback (maintaining a good presence on social media)
Mar 17 Justin Emerich (chamber/orchestral differences)
Mar 24 Brian Shaw (jazz/lead/soloing)
Mar 31 Natalie DeJong (Suzuki trumpet and being trumpeter in Canada)
Apr 7 Nancy Taylor (healthy musicianship)
Apr 21 Tom Palance (jazz and classical crossover)
Apr 28 Chris Sala (efficiency; military music)
May 5 Stian Aarkeskjold (keyed trumpet, chamber music etc in Norway)
May 12 Billy Gerlach (orchestra trumpet)

Also, we will have a virtual trumpet day on March 27 (9am to 12:30pm, mountain time zone) with fantastic featured artists:

José Chafer (renowned Spanish soloist and teacher)
Ed Carroll (prof. at CalArts; expert in extreme trumpet literature)
Chris Still (2nd trumpet, LA Phil; founder of “Honesty Pill”)

If you are interested in listening to these, most will be live streamed and archived on the CSU Trumpet Studio Facebook Page. If you want to actually participate on the Zoom meeting, comment below, and I will help you with the credentials.

My prediction: after this pandemic has gone away, I think the virtual clinic will stay with the entire trumpet community.