Etienne Charles and the U.S. Army Blues Band Headline the 13th Annual Trumpet Fest. at West Chester University

Etienne CharlesOn February 21 and 22, West Chester University’s Swope Music Building and Performing Arts Center will be “full of hot air” as hundreds of trumpeters from around the region gather together for the 13th Annual Trumpet Festival.

The weekend-long festival is FREE to WCU students ($25 for adults/$20 for students outside of WCU) and includes mass ensemble rehearsals, clinics by world-class trumpeters, exhibits, and performances by the U.S. Army Blues Band featuring Etienne Charles and the esteemed West Chester University Wind Ensemble.

Jean-Christophe Dobrzelewski, Assistant Dean of Student Affairs and Professor of Trumpet at WCU says, “The Trumpet Festival is a great opportunity for our West Chester University Brass students to work with and experience world-class soloists. We open it to the wider community because we want to give trumpeters of all skill levels these same opportunities. They can come and play with the group, take clinics with world-class artists and then see them on stage for free or very low cost.”Steven Heitzer

The fun starts Friday evening with a mass trumpet ensemble rehearsal for trumpeters of all skills from elementary school on up. It’s followed by a FREE performance of the U.S. Army Blues Band, the premier jazz ensemble of the United States Army. The band will perform with soloist Etienne Charles, whose latest recording, Creole Soul has received worldwide critical acclaim for its fusion of root grooves from the Afro-Caribbean. This performance opens with the West Chester University Trumpet Ensemble.

Saturday is a full-day of clinics from Etienne Charles (Developing Improvisational Ideas Through Everyday Exercises and the Importance of Listening for Building Vocabulary), Jason Bergman (Centered, Resonant, and Full: Ideas for Improving Your Sound), and Steven Heitzer (Rehabbing Chops after Overuse and Injury.)

The culminating event is a performance of WCU’s Esteemed Wind Ensemble featuring soloists Jason Bergman, Jean-Christophe Dobrzelewski and Robert Skoniczin. The mass trumpet ensemble will open the 5:30 p.m. concert. Tickets are $12 at

Both performances take place in the Emilie K. Asplundh Concert Hall, 700 S. High Street, West Chester. All other events are in the Swope Music Building and Performing Arts Center, 817 S. High Street, West Chester.  

Jason Bergman

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