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K-State Today

August 27, 2013



K-State trumpet students perform in Germany

By Tom Roesler

The K-State Trumpet Ensemble at Haus Marteau in Lichtenberg, Germany with Principal Bolshoi Trumpeter Andrei Ikov  From left: Adam Ladd, Caleb Kuhlman, Omar Tanus, Andrei Ikov, Elizabeth Roggenkamp, Aaron Fisher, James Johnson

The Kansas State University Trumpet Ensemble was one of only two ensembles from the United States invited to attend Brass im Frankenwald, a brass instrument chamber music workshop, July 29-Aug. 4, at Haus Marteau, home to first-rate chamber music offerings in Lichtenberg, Germany.

Rekkenze Brass, a professional brass quintet based in Germany in its 35th year of existence, served as the resident hosts of the annual workshop. The featured instrument at this year's workshop was trumpet and the featured performer was Andrei M. Ikov, principal trumpet/cornet of the Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra in Moscow, Russia. Ikov holds the title honored artist of Russia.

Gary Mortenson, director of the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance in the College of Arts and Sciences, directed the K-State Trumpet Ensemble, composed of trumpeters James Johnson, Adam Ladd, Aaron Fisher, Caleb Kuhlman, Omar Tanus and Elizabeth Roggenkamp. The other invited ensemble was the Scholarship Brass Quintet from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn. The K-State group performed music by Harold Arlen, arranged by James Johnson; Giovanni Gabrieli, arranged by David Marlatt; and Jukka Viitasaari.

"The greatest joy I experience as an educator is getting to see the world all over again through the eyes and ears of my students when I'm able to take students overseas," Mortenson said. "It makes my mind and heart swell with joy."

The sextet’s featured piece for public appearances was "Conquest" by Erik Morales, a work that featured Spanish-flavored melodies, significant interplay between the members of the group and several lyrical sections that gave relief to the overall technical nature of Morales’ composition. At various points throughout the workshop the groups received coaching sessions from Andrei Ikov, Martin Hodel, Mortenson and all five members of the Rekkenze Brass. Mortenson said the students received priceless advice and feedback and steadily improved in their interpretations of their repertoire as the week progressed.

The culmination of the Haus Marteau brass workshop included three public concerts given in Hof, Lichtenberg and Kulmbach, all towns in the Fankenwald area of Germany. On Saturday, Aug. 3, the student groups performed a lunchtime concert in the shopping district of Hof, a large town about 12 kilometers from Lichtenberg. Later that evening a large warehouse in Lichtenberg was transformed into a concert hall and featured a two-hour culminating concert highlighting the talents of Andrei Ikov, Rekkenze Brass, the student groups from St. Olaf College and K-State, a large brass ensemble composed of workshop participants from all over Germany, before concluding with several selections performed by a massed ensemble of everyone who took part in the workshop.

The workshop concluded with all participants traveling 50 kilometers to Kulmbach, Germany, and performing an abbreviated version of their Saturday night concert in front of an audience of 500 people at a local beer festival. The audiences for all three performances were attentive, engaged and enthusiastic.

This once-in-a-lifetime experience for these K-State students was made possible through the assistance of the Academic Excellence Fund and through support received from the College of Arts and Sciences dean’s office. It was a memorable experience that will last a lifetime for everyone who was able to participate.

"Germany was incredible," said Elizabeth Roggenkamp, a senior in music education. "Not only did I see amazing places and meet new friends, but I also grew as a woman. It was definitely a life-changing experience.”