SHSU School of Music to host prestigious jazz competition


The Sam Houston State University School of Music will host the Carmine Caruso International Jazz Trumpet Solo Competition on September 19th. While it is considered the most prestigious jazz trumpet competition in the world, Dr. Amanda Pepping has been working for over two years to host the event at SHSU.


“With the help of my colleagues, I wrote a grant two years ago proposing to host the competition here,” Pepping said. “We were selected from a pool of universities who all applied.”


The Carmine Caruso Jazz Trumpet Solo Competition first began in 1993, and only takes place every two years. The competition is open to players internationally who are under the age of 30.


“Competitors from all over the world submitted recordings that were judged blindly by a panel of experts,” Pepping said. “The top five performers from that round were selected as finalists, and these finalists are traveling here to compete in the final round.”


She went on to describe the Carmine Caruso competition in greater detail.


“It is sponsored by the International Trumpet Guild and underwritten by the Herb Alpert Foundation,” Pepping said. “It is the most prestigious jazz trumpet competition in the world. Winners all go on to have successful careers in music.”


The Carmine Caruso Competition gives young musicians a chance to compete at high levels in both jazz and improvisation. Pepping said all finalists will perform the same standard but will then be able to add their own style through their improvisation.


The first place winner will be awarded $10,000, and the runner-up will receive $5,000, meaning this competition is set at an incredibly difficult skill level. All five finalists are in their mid-twenties, already having done astounding things in both jazz and general music.


Judging this competition is: Clay Jenkins, Ingrid Jensen, and Bobby Shew.


While no SHSU students were selected as finalists this year, the Carmine Caruso is open to the public and there is no charge for admission.


There are three events that will take place on Saturday, September 19 at 10 a.m. Judge Ingrid Jensen will be holding a master class about the different Carmine Caruso teachings.


From 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., the finals competition will begin with finalists

Zubin Edalji, has DMA from University of Illinois,

Max Goldschmid, 21-years-old, studying at University of Arizona in Tucson,

Aidan Lombard, 20-years-old, studying at the University of Miami,

Hermon Mehari, has bachelors in jazz performance from University of Missouri-Kansas City and

Joshua Shpak , 22-years-old, studies at Berklee College of Music in Boston.


At 7:30 p.m., there will be a gala concert featuring all five finalists, judges, and the Sam Houston All Star Big Band under the direction of Aric Schneller who is also the Director of Jazz at Sam Houston State University. In addition, the University of North Texas Rhythm Trio featuring Ed Soph, Lynn Seaton, and Stefan Karlsson will be performing.


“People should come and bring their friends! It’s a one-time-only, world class event we are honored to host here at SHSU!” Pepping said.


Finals can also be accessed through web stream located on the SHSU School of Music website. All events will be held on campus at the Sam Houston State University School of Music Gaertner Performing Arts Center.

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