For the third straight year, Tarleton State University’s trumpet ensemble advances to the prestigious National Trumpet Competition (NTC).

Tarleton’s ensemble—five student musicians—will compete against 39 other colleges and universities March 8-10 at the University of North Texas in Denton, marking only the third time any Tarleton music ensemble has advanced to the final round of a national competition.

Led by assistant professor of trumpet Dr. Brian Walker, the ensemble will perform his arrangement of “Finlandia” by Jean Sibelius, originally written for orchestra. The piece, originally composed in 1899, is as old as Tarleton itself. Students began rehearsing competition music in August, fine-tuning the arrangement ahead of next month’s NTC.

Student ensemble members are senior music education major Akira Okamoto of Frisco, Texas; senior music education major Tim Wilson of Midlothian, Texas; junior music education major Danny Norton of West, Texas; senior music education major Matt Edwards of North Richland Hills, Texas; and senior music education major Chad Wiley of Clifton, Texas.

A panel of professional trumpet players selected the Tarleton ensemble in December based on an unedited video of their performance. Tarleton made the final cut of the top 40 performers out of more than 100 entries. Tarleton’s undergraduate ensemble will compete against other teams made up of graduate and doctoral students.

Among the universities represented at the 2018 NTC are Oregon, Kentucky, Oklahoma State, Florida State, Baylor, Michigan State and Tennessee.

“I’m really proud and excited for these students to represent Tarleton for the third year in a row at this competition,” Walker said. “As with any competition, it is difficult to continually repeat success year after year, and these students have made the commitment to do just that. This competition is our ‘March Madness,’ and we look forward to see how we stack up with the great competitors from other schools.”

For more about bands and select ensembles at Tarleton, visit www.tarleton.edu/band.