ARLINGTON - Adam Hanna, a 19-year-old University of Texas at Arlington sophomore music performance major from Durand, Okla., won the International Trombone Association (ITA) Larry Wiehe Solo Competition at the International Trombone Festival on May 30 in Salt Lake City, Utah.
The Wiehe Competition is one of several solo contests sponsored by the ITA to encourage solo playing in general, promote particular genres of literature, and to identify and reward new talent on the instrument. Past winners have gone on to appointments to some of the most prestigious orchestral posts in the world, as well as accepting teaching positions at major colleges, universities and conservatories in this country and abroad.
The competition is named for the late Larry Wiehe, longtime solo trombonist of the United States Air Force Band and, in his day, the leading practitioner of the solo tradition of Arthur Pryor. Pryor was the turn-of-the-century American trombonist whose pyrotechnic solo playing helped him achieve celebrity status comparable to that of today’s pop stars, playing first in the touring band of John Philip Sousa and, later, in his own band.
Hanna was advanced to the finals along with two other candidates following a recorded first round in December 2007 and played his final round for a jury of three professional players in front of a live audience of several hundred trombonists from around the world. One of the judges for the competition, Gary Greenhoe of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, commented that the young musician “displayed great technique while staying completely relaxed.” He went on to compliment Hanna's “beautiful phrasing” and said “Mr. Remington (the legendary trombone pedagogue who trained three generations of orchestral trombonists and teachers during his 50-year tenure at the Eastman School of Music) would have been delighted to hear your performance.”
University of North Texas trombone professor Vern Kagarice, director of ITA competitions, noted that Hanna’s performance was one of the strongest interpretations of the Pryor style that had been heard during the competition's history.
“He sounded like he had been playing that repertoire his entire life,” Kagarice remarked.
Hanna's winnings include a prototype of a new instrument currently in development by the Yamaha Corp.
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