Wednesday, April 24, 2024
45.0°F

CWU musician shines at National Trumpet Competition

by CONTRIBUTED REPORT/CWU/DAVID LEDER
| April 2, 2024 12:22 PM

ELLENSBURG — A Central Washington University music student etched her name in the history books last month when she won the undergraduate solo division at the National Trumpet Competition (NTC).

Corinne “Corie” Williamson outperformed other collegiate trumpet players from around the country at the March 8-11 event in Kingsville, Texas, walking away with $3,000 in prize money and the knowledge that she is among the most accomplished trumpeters in the United States.

“We were competing against the best of the best, so it’s hard to believe I came out on top,” said Williamson, who was joined in Texas by Professor John Harbaugh and four CWU classmates. “There were some pretty amazing music programs represented, and I was just grateful to be invited.”

Williamson selected the first movement of Concerto for Trumpet and Orchestra by William Lovelock for her NTC performance. She said the selection isn’t a common piece in her repertoire, but she put in hours of extra practice leading up to the competition.

“It’s a pretty obscure piece and it’s also pretty challenging,” said Williamson, a senior from Gresham, Ore., who will graduate this spring with a degree in instrumental and choral education. “I spent a lot of time preparing, and it paid off.”

Looking back on her four appearances on the NTC stage, Williamson said she was most proud of her semifinal performance.

“Musicians are always our own worst critics, so I would say none of my performances were flawless,” she said. “But in the semis, I felt like I was the most vulnerable and played with the most expression. I feel like I left everything on the stage.”

About 70 trumpeters competed in the undergraduate solo division, including fellow CWU students Gregory DeArmond and Dylan Thompson. The field was pared in half for the quarterfinals, while 12 remained for the semifinals, and three for the finals.

The competitors weren’t able to observe one another’s performances, but Williamson knew she had to bring her best.

“I felt like I was a little more reserved in the finals because my nerves were so high,” she said. “But I was also really happy with that performance.”

In addition to being selected as soloists, Williamson, DeArmond, and Thompson also played alongside CWU peers Alessandro Squadrito Moore and Nate Kaplowitz in the ensemble division.

CWU sends a quintet to the NTC most years, but having three soloists chosen in the same year was a surprise, Williamson said, adding that she’s not aware of any other CWU musicians who have won the national competition.

“To my knowledge, having someone from CWU advance this far hasn’t happened in a long time,” she said.

Now that Williamson has had time to get used to the idea that she is a national champion, she’s beginning to look at student-teaching opportunities at elementary schools around the Northwest.

She also looks forward to giving campus tours in her role as a student employee in the Music Department.

“Telling people about my experience at CWU is my favorite part,” Williamson said. “I remember when I was in high school, I took a tour and fell in love with the campus. The students I met would talk about how much they loved it here, and now it’s my turn.”