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Trumpeter who's 'done it all' to perform, teach on campus

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – The upcoming performance of the Bethel College Jazz Ensemble I and Wind Ensemble comes in conjunction with the presence on campus of a Greer Visiting Artist who is one of the world’s best-known trumpet soloists.

Trumpeter Allen Vizzutti will solo with the Bethel groups in a concert Friday, March 14, at 7:30 p.m. in Krehbiel Auditorium of the Fine Arts Center on the Bethel campus.

Vizzutti will also give two trumpet clinics and master classes. The first features Bethel College trumpet soloists and is scheduled for Thursday, March 13, at 11 a.m. in Krehbiel Auditorium. The second, with area high school brass soloists, will be Friday, March 14, at 3:30 p.m., also in Krehbiel Auditorium. The clinics, master classes and concert are all free and open to the public.

Bethel’s director of jazz studies, Assistant Professor of Music James Pisano, and director of music education and instrumental ensembles, Assistant Professor of Music Richard Tirk (himself a trumpeter), are both excited to have Vizzutti on campus.

“He is considered one of the top trumpet soloists in the world,” Tirk said. “It’s pretty amazing that we have him coming here. He is a great clinician and a great guy who relates really well to students.

“[In the music world], trumpet players are often seen as not such nice people but [Allen] really breaks the mold,” Tirk continued. “He is an amazing performer and a super nice person.”

Tirk will direct the Wind Ensemble on three numbers with Vizzutti as featured soloist: “Carnival of Venice” (arr. Del Staigers); “Ode for Trumpet” by Alfred Reed and “Gavorkna Fanfare” by Jack Stamp.

“Everyone knows [Allen] as an incredible performer,” said Pisano. “He’s an amazing communicator in a master class and an educational format.” Area high school students are sending in recordings of themselves in order to be considered for the Friday afternoon master class with Vizzutti

“I went to a clinic where he was giving advice about brass playing to high school band directors,” Pisano continues. “He can demonstrate specifics and make great suggestions. He is an amazing and effective communicator who can tailor [answers] depending on what your approach to music is. It’s important to have students be able to say on a resume, ‘I played with Allen Vizzutti.’”

Pisano will direct Jazz Ensemble I, with Vizzutti soloing, on “It’s a Heavy Town” by Donald Byrd (arr. Mitch Farber); “I’ll remember April” (arr. Mike Tamaro); “One in a Million” by Dave Eshelman; “Night in Tunisia” by Dizzy Gillespie; and a number from the group’s recent performance for the Kansas Music Educators.

Based in Seattle, Allen Vizzutti has visited 40 countries and all 50 states, performing as a classical and jazz artist, often in the same evening. He has appeared with musicians and ensembles including Chick Corea, “Doc” Severinsen, the NBC Tonight Show Band, the Airmen Of Note, the Army Blues and Army Symphony Orchestra, Chuck Mangione, Woody Herman, Japan’s New Tokyo Philharmonic, the Budapest Radio Orchestra, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and the Leipzig Wind Symphony. Viewers in Germany, Poland, England, Sweden, Brazil, Canada, Japan, Australia and the United States have seen Vizzutti on national television. He has given solo performances at the Hollywood Bowl, Carnegie Hall, the Newport Jazz Festival, Montreaux Jazz Festival, the Teton, Vail, Aspen and Breckenridge Music Festivals and the Charles Ives Center and Lincoln Center in New York City.

Vizzutti’s continued commitment to music education and the value of music in everyday life leads to an extensive schedule of guest appearances at colleges and universities throughout North America, Europe, Japan and Australia. As artist-in-residence, Vizzutti has taught at Eastman School of Music, Banff Center for the Performing Arts, Kansas State University, Ohio State University, West Texas State University, the Skidmore Jazz Institute and the Trompeten Akademie of Bremen, Germany. He is currently artist-in-residence at the University of Washington. His extensive treatise, The Allen Vizzutti Trumpet Method, and his New Concepts for Trumpet (Alfred Music Publishing) have become standard works for trumpet study worldwide. His writing includes solo pieces for flute, clarinet, saxophone, trombone, tuba and harp as well as works for chamber groups, wind ensembles, jazz ensembles and symphony orchestra.

Vizzutti has done a number of solo recordings and has also recorded as a member of Chick Corea’s band, the Woody Herman Band and “Doc” Severinsen’s Tonight Show Band.

While growing up in Montana, Vizzutti studied with his father, a self-taught musician and trumpet player, until he left home to attend the Eastman School of Music on a full scholarship. At Eastman, he earned Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees, a Performer’s Certificate, a chair in the Eastman Brass Quintet faculty ensemble and the only Artist’s Diploma ever awarded a wind player in Eastman’s 85-year history.

Living in Los Angeles during the ’80s, Vizzutti performed on more than 100 motion picture soundtracks, including Back to the Future and Star Trek, as well as countless TV shows, commercials and recordings with such artists as Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Neil Diamond, the Commodores and Prince. He can be heard on recent projects such as the movies 40 Days and 40 Nights, Unfaithfully Yours, Gridiron Gang and Scary Movie Four and the video games Medal of Honor and Halo II.

“Allen has such a long resume – he’s done it all,” Pisano said. “I know students will really get a lot out of him. He’s an amazing, accomplished musician. The command he has on his instrument is just – well, you'll see. You’ll hear.”

The Greer Lecture Series brings visiting artists and scholars in the areas of music, visual arts or theater to the Bethel campus. The late Dr. Robert C. Goering, a native of Moundridge and a 1948 graduate of Bethel College, and his wife Amparo Goering, Wichita, initiated the Greer Fine Arts Endowment at Bethel College in 1979 in memory of Milford E. Greer, Jr., a native of Geuda Springs, Kan., and a close friend of the Goerings. Greer was interested in literature and music and excelled as an artist. He died in an auto accident in 1972 at age 45.

Bethel College Wind Ensemble personnel are: flutes, Megan Schrag, McPherson, and Erin White, Bel Aire; oboes Leanne Reimer, Hesston, and Sharayah Williams, Kalona, Iowa; clarinets, Megan Abrahams, Canton, Amy Balzer, Hesston, Daniel Graber, Marion, S.D., and Valerie Klaassen (guest artist), Whitewater; bass clarinets, Brent Badawieh, Parsons, and Kasey McClendon, Cunningham; bassoons, Rebecca Claassen, Moses Lake, Wash., and Heather Robertsen, Newton; alto saxophones, Brett Jackson, North Newton, and Joel Linscheid, North Newton; tenor saxophone, Leah Smith, Aurora, Colo.; baritone saxophone, Michael Linscheid, Reedley, Calif.; French horns, Jesse Mueller, Halstead, and Genevieve Rucker, Lawrence; trumpets, Arlin Buller (guest artist), North Newton, Ben Claassen, Davis, Calif., Dalen Dickerson, Moundridge, Justine Erb, Henderson, Neb., Aaron Linscheid, North Newton, Austin McCabe-Juhnke, North Newton, David Mueller, Halstead, Ryan Stutzman, Westminster, Colo., Kyle Unruh, Goessel, and Ken Ward, Hugo, Colo.; trombones, Andrew Toews, North Newton, Benjamin Harder, Hesston, Matthew Root, Topeka, and Daniel Glascock, Cunningham,; baritones, Natasha Esau, Hutchinson, and Vince Meyer (guest artist), Newton; tuba, Mark Lyles (guest artist), North Newton; and percussionists, Matthew Hershberger, Clay Center, Blake Long, Moran, Ben Stucky, Moon Township, Pa., and Nathaniel Yoder, Kalona, Iowa.

Bethel College Jazz Ensemble I personnel are: saxophones, Kyle Claassen, Andover, Evan Fast, Goessel, Brett Jackson, North Newton, Joel Linscheid, North Newton, and Heather Robertsen, Newton; trombones, Benjamin Harder, Hesston, Christian Loganbill, Wichita, Rob Tierney, Hesston (Bethel College music faculty member), and Andrew Toews, North Newton; trumpets, Alex Boldt, Parlier, Calif., Aaron Linscheid, North Newton, Austin McCabe-Juhnke, North Newton, Ryan Stutzman, Westminster, Colo., and Kyle Unruh, Goessel; bass, Michael Voth, Topeka; drums, Nathaniel Yoder, Kalona, Iowa; guitar, Bradley McKellip, Newton; and piano, Ben Stucky, Moon Township, Pa.

Bethel College is a four-year liberal arts college affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. Founded in 1887, it is the oldest Mennonite college in North America. Bethel is known for its academic excellence and was the highest ranked Kansas college in the national liberal arts category of U.S. News & World Report’s listing of “America’s Best Colleges” for 2008. For more information, see the Bethel Web site at www.bethelks.edu.

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