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Texas A&M-Kingsville trumpet ensemble releases four-song jazz album

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Out of the Blue by the TAMUK Trumpet Studio

Out of the Blue by the TAMUK Trumpet Studio

KINGSVILLE (January 13, 2023) — It’s time to listen to some cool jazz tunes from your music collection. Who do you choose? Why the Texas A&M University-Kingsville Trumpet Studio and their new album Out of the Blue of course!


A nine-member trumpet ensemble, all with experience on the university’s Jazz Band, were chosen to perform on this four-song EP that is available on all of the major streaming services including Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon, Tidal and YouTube, said Dr. Kyle Millsap, associate professor of trumpet and jazz.


The album, which dropped late last year, features two songs written by Dr. Thomas Zinninger, assistant professor of saxophone at Texas A&M-Kingsville and two written Erik Morales, who Millsap calls the virtuoso of trumpet ensemble composing.


This is the third album recorded at the new School of Music recording studio. One was a solo album by Millsap and the other was recorded by the university’s Jazz Combo.


According to Millsap, the EP makes them only one of a handful of trumpet studios in the country to release an ensemble album. “It’s the second student album to be released from the School of Music which helps with momentum,” he said, “It shows what we can do as a School of Music –students, faculty, facilities.”


“Recording is always part of a musician’s life,” Millsap said. “It’s another avenue of performance. It’s also very humbling. We record ourselves in the practice room to more objectively evaluate our progress.


“As an educator, I think getting students involved in recording is incredibly important. It gives them a record of their time in school, an achievement they will always have and know that they had to work to make it happen. Everyone is accountable and no one can hide because the mic reveals everything. One of the great teaching tools is to go back afterward and show them the visual version of the recording, what the engineer is looking at from each of their mic channels,” he said.


“It feels awesome to have our music out there for everyone to hear,” said Brandon O’Donohue, a master’s student in music performance from Harlingen. “But, it also is a little bit intimidating because there are so many great trumpet albums out there with ours. It is still an honor to be a part of it.


“It was a little surreal at first seeing our album cover on Apple Music. Listening to the music was also a cool experience because it took me back to the time when we were in the recording studio for many days making sure everything was as precise as it could be,” he said.


“I feel blessed that other people get to listen to music that we worked so hard on,” said Carolina De La Rosa, a recent music education graduate from Los Fresnos. “The TAMUK Trumpet Studio has been doing amazing things the last few years and it’s great to showcase what we’ve been up to here in South Texas.


“I feel very proud listening to the music we released because we get to represent the university, the Kingsville community, our hometowns and anyone who has ever taught us. I never thought I would be part of something like this,” she added.


“It’s important for musicians to record because it allows us the opportunity to showcase our talents as well as listen to ourselves from a ‘listener’ perspective and see how we can improve and grow as a player,” De La Rosa said.


“It’s important for any musician to record because it gives you more of an understanding of a different part of the music world that sometimes goes unappreciated,” O’Donohue said. “Recording this album also can open doors that we never knew possible. Anyone can look up our album. It could be someone who knows nothing about trumpet playing or someone who may be a recruiter for a major university or studio.”


This can be important as De La Rosa is currently auditioning for a master’s program and both she and O’Donohue hope to receive their doctoral degrees and teach at the university level.


Songs on the album include Sequence Six and De Colores Fuertes by Zinninger and Divertimento in Blue and Crystal Spheres by Morales.



Category: Arts/Sciences , General Univ

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