Arts & Culture

March Madness Hits UK School of Music

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 24, 2010) − The university's basketball teams aren't the only ones with their eyes on the Final Four this month. The University of Kentucky Trumpet Quintet has also experienced March Madness after taking the 4th Place Ensemble Award at the National Trumpet Competition 2010, held earlier this month in Washington, D.C. The UK Trumpet Quintet is no stranger to the national recognition, as this marks the quintet's third appearance in the competition's final four.

As part of the National Trumpet Competition, the UK Trumpet Quintet competed against ensembles from across the country. Held annually in Washington, D.C., the competition is the single largest and most prestigious forum of its type in the world. The panel of judges and guest artists at the competition represent performers and educators from across the globe. After performing in semi-final and final rounds, the UK Trumpet Quintet was presented with the 4th Place Ensemble Award at this year's closing ceremony held March 14.

The "starting five" of the UK Trumpet Quintet, who study under Mark Clodfelter, associate professor of trumpet and Yamaha performing artist, are: Ryan Bickett, a linguistics junior from Whitesville, Ky.; Don La Fleur, a music performance junior from Lexington; Jas Lidyard, a music education senior from Hebron, Ky.; Andrew McGrannahan, a music performance senior from Lexington; and Eric Millard, a music education freshman from Mechanicsburg, Pa.

The UK Trumpet Quintet is comprised of members of the UK Trumpet Ensemble, a 25-member group at the UK School of Music.

Initially, the UK Trumpet Quintet participated in a preliminary taped audition round for the national competition. From a field of 60, approximately 30 ensembles from across the country were selected to attend live semi-final and final rounds. After the semi-final round was played, nine finalists (the "Elite 9") were announced and the groups chosen for the finals performed again that evening. The other winners in the Trumpet Ensemble Division were: Juilliard School, who took first place; Indiana University, who took second place; and Grand Valley State University, who took third place.

Since faculty member Clodfelter’s arrival at UK in 2002, the UK Trumpet Ensemble has participated in the National Trumpet Competition four times, each time advancing to the semi-finals with three trips to the final four, one of which resulted in a 1st Place win.

When asked about this extraordinary winning record, Clodfelter stated, "We are fortunate to have serious students here at the UK School of Music. We have an aggressive approach to self improvement and a passion for the art of music. This, fortified by an outstanding team of faculty members, really postures us for our greatest success. Thanks to everyone who has touched the lives of these students, we are in your debt."

For more information about the UK Trumpet Studio or Mark Clodfelter, visit or