ITG Recognizes 2020 Solo Division Finalists

The cancellation of the 2020 International Trumpet Guild (ITG) Conference in Columbus, Ohio also meant the cancellation of the many competitions that take place at the annual conference. ITG recognizes the hard work and dedication of these wonderful young women and men. In an effort to honor our talented young artists, ITG will be featuring each of the finalists on the ITG Website and in the October 2020 ITG Journal.

Finalists in the four major divisions (Solo, Jazz, Wind Band, Orchestral) will each be named Co-Finalists, receive a $500 cash prize, receive free admission (registration fee waived) to the 2021 competition, and be recognized in a special way by ITG in its publications.

ITG President Grant Peters selected the required solo piece, Fisher Tull's Three Bagatelles. All preliminary competitors also selected a second piece of their choosing. The preliminary judges of the Solo Division were:

Raquel Rodriquez-Samayoa, University of North Texas
Gabriel DiMartino, East Carolina University
Teresa Linn, Rollins College

The 2020 ITG Solo Competition finalists are:

Miguel Angelo Coutinho Pais, Independent Artist, Aveiro, Portugal
Grace O’Connell, Middle Tennessee State University
Robin Park, Sydney Conservatory of Music, Australia

Miguel Pais


Miguel Ângelo Coutinho Pais was born in Aveiro (Portugal) and began his musical studies in 2000 at the Conservatory of Music of Jobra. In 2007 he continued his studies at the Escola Profissional de Música Espinho and in 2016 he concluded the bachelor’s degree in music performance at the Escola Superior de Música de Lisboa. In the same year he started his studies in music education at the Universidade de Aveiro where he concluded the master’s degree in 2018.

Pais has studied with Hernâni Petiz, Sérgio Charrinho, Telmo Barbosa, Rui Mirra, Ivan Crespo, Vasco Faria, Sérgio Pacheco, David Burt, Stephen Mason and Luís Granjo and he also attended master classes with Mathias Höfs, Giuliano Sommerhalder, Gábor Tarkövi, Guido Segers, Pacho Flores, Pierre Dutot, Javier Simó, Cameron Todd, John Aigi, and Fábio Brum.

He has won many awards in competitions, including: 3rd and 1st place in Terras de La Salette - Wind Instrument National Competition (2009 and 2010); 1st place in the Terras de La Salette - Wind Instrument International Competition (2013); 3rd place in the II Edition of the Póvoa de Varzim Trumpet Competition (2011); 3rd place in the 24th edition of Prémio Jovens Músicos(2010); and 2nd place in the Solo Competition of the International Trumpet Guild (2017).

Grace O'Connell

Grace O’Connell is a freshman music performance major at Middle Tennessee State University where she studies under the direction of Dr. Michael Arndt. She performs regularly with the MTSU Symphony Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, Trumpet Ensemble and plays various chamber ensemble roles at MTSU. She is also an active freelance musician and teacher in the Nashville area.

A native of Wisconsin, Grace studied for four years with John Aley, Professor Emeritus of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Prior to her time at MTSU, Grace played with the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestra, Tibbetts Brass Quintet, and Orquesta SalSoul Del Mad. Grace has also performed with the World Youth Symphony Orchestra during her time at the Interlochen Summer Arts Camp where she studied with Vince DiMartino, Tom Drake, Mike Davison, and John Aley. She also attended the Tanglewood Trumpet Institute where she studied with Terry Everson. Grace was most recently the winner of the MTSU Orchestral Excerpt Competition. As a soloist, Grace has been a finalist/semi-finalist in the Bolz Young Artist Competition (Madison Symphony Orchestra), Stars of Tomorrow Concerto Competition (Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra), Tom Naylor Solo Artist Competition, and was the winner in the High School Division of the 2019 National Trumpet Competition. Grace plans on continuing her studies in graduate school, eventually completing her doctorate. She aspires to be an active soloist, orchestral, and chamber musician as well as teach at the collegiate level.

Robin Park

Robin Park recently completed a Bachelor of Music Performance on Trumpet at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music with Bruce Hellmers. He achieved his Associate Diploma in Music in 2015 and Licentiate Diploma in 2016.

In 2018, Robin was a finalist in the ITG Solo Competition in San Antonio, Texas, USA. He was also the principal trumpet player of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music Wind Symphony during their Spain tour in July 2018.  Most recently, Robin was awarded the William and Marie Souter Award, a scholarship given to an outstanding musician based on his impressive academic merit and performance standards whilst undertaking studies at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. He was also awarded a scholarship for an Outstanding Brass Player in recognition of outstanding achievement at the Sydney Conservatorium Association in 2018.

Robin performed as a soloist in Carnegie Hall, NYC, and at the Parco della Musica in Rome as the recipient of the First Prize in the Golden Classical Music Competitions.  Among numerable awards and prizes he has won, some notable achievements include being awarded the Outstanding Instrumental Finalist and subsequent invitation to perform at the Ryde District Music Club Award Finals, Fine Music 102.5 FM Radio Young Virtuoso Finalist and radio broadcast in July 2016. Robin has also achieved many first places and championship titles. As a winner on two consecutive years in 2017 and 2018, he will be published in the Ryde Eisteddfod’s 30 Amazing Years. He was also awarded the Senior Wind Scholarship sponsored by Bluescope at the open age championship held at Wollongong in 2017.


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