June 2024 Winner: Oliver Lampson

This issue’s featured young artist award winner is Oliver Lampson, a 17-year-old trumpet player from Houston, Texas who is going to begin his senior year of high school at Clear Lake High School this coming fall. Oliver currently performs in his high school’s wind symphony, symphony orchestra and jazz band and performs in the Houston Youth Symphony.

Oliver had an early start in music, first learning piano before briefly picking up the trumpet in 3rd grade and then the saxophone. In 5th grade, he became dedicated to the trumpet and began to take off in his studies thanks in large part to the support of his trumpet teacher, Roman Jakubas. Before even beginning high school, he was on a path of success thanks to the support of his middle school teacher Rick Brockway and Clear Falls High School band director Brian Moreno who also introduced Oliver to Mr. Jakubas. In 8th grade, he won the junior division of the Houston Brass Band competition and he began playing solo cornet with the group in 9th grade. Most recently Oliver won the Houston Brass Band’s Bridget Jenson award and performed the solo, Song and Dance by Philip Sparke with the band in fall 2023. Speaking of competitions, Oliver won spots in the Texas Music Educator Association’s All State Symphony Orchestra in 2022 and 2023, he performed in the AFA Texas Symphony Orchestra and Brevard’s Concert Orchestra and Wind Ensemble in summer 2022 and in the National Youth Orchestra (NYO) in the summer of 2023. Additionally, Oliver won 1st place in the National Trumpet Competition High School Division in 2023. A highlight for him in these experiences was getting to play principal trumpet on the NYO’s commissioned piece, Giants of Light by Valerie Coleman. Another favorite opportunity was when Oliver got to perform in side-by-side concerts with the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra as part of the Houston Youth Orchestra in spring 2023 and 2024. He was also a participant at the Chosen Vale Trumpet Seminar and Eastman Trumpet institute in summer of 2023. Additionally, Oliver was nominated by the Virtuoso International Music Awards to attend a gala concert in Salzburg, Austria in fall 2023.

Oliver’s goal is to major in trumpet performance at a university and to one day perform in a symphony orchestra and teach trumpet. He has been inspired by his trumpet teachers, Roman Jakubas and Richard Harris of the Houston Symphony, whom he has been working with since 2021. Oliver is grateful for the opportunity to learn from both teachers, not only about technique and musicianship, but also how to adapt in ensembles and how to teach. Additionally, he is very grateful for Greg Goodman who is the Fine Arts director for his school district for his generous support. Mr. Goodman invited Oliver to perform at his home church and helped him reserve the church space for audition recordings and he also got him the opportunity to perform the national anthem at an Alumni event. Rich Harris, speaking very highly of his pupil and his many successes says: “He has a very clear path ahead of him and as his teacher I feel compelled to give my highest ever recommendation to this outstanding young man.”

Oliver greatly enjoys watching his teachers perform and frequently attends Houston Symphony Orchestra concerts. He loves Giuliano Sommerhalder’s solo recordings and has felt that the beautiful tone quality of Phil Smith and Michael Sachs have greatly influenced him. In addition to playing trumpet, Oliver has begun teaching trumpet privately to some middle school trumpeters and he enjoys playing sports such as spike ball and pick-up basketball and football and going to the beach with his friends. As the June 2024 ITG Young Artist Award winner, he will receive a one-year complimentary membership to ITG. Congratulations Oliver!

March 2024 Winner: Sam Ferguson

This issue’s featured young artist award winner is Sam Ferguson, a 17-year-old trumpet player from Winnipeg Manitoba, Canada. Sam is currently a senior attending Fort Richmond Collegiate School and is planning on majoring in trumpet performance at a soon-to-be-determined university beginning in fall 2024. At Fort Richmond, Sam performs in the Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble and Senior Jazz Ensemble under the direction of his band director and mom, Cheryl Ferguson. Sam also performs solo cornet with the Rupertsland Brass Band, a group he has been playing in for six years. For the past two years, he has been performing as principal trumpet with the Winnipeg Youth Orchestra and also performs with the Canadian Mennonite University Concert Band. Other recent successes include earning first place in the 2019 ITG Junior Solo Division competitions, winning the Winnipeg Wind Ensemble Solo Competition in 2022, winning the Youth Orchestra Solo Competition in 2023 and tying for the position of Most Outstanding Musician at the 2023 Winnipeg Music Festival.

Sam has studied trumpet with his father, Darryl Ferguson, since he began playing trumpet at 8-years-old. Additionally, he has taken lessons with Larry Knopp, principal trumpet of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and Paul Jeffrey of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. In Summer 2023, Sam was a fellow at the Boston University Tanglewood Institute’s Young Artist orchestra in summer 2023 which he found to be a very motivating experience. In particular, Sam is very grateful for the support and encouragement of the trumpet teachers at Tanglewood and the brass players of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. Sam’s dream job is to perform full-time in a symphony orchestra and he has greatly enjoyed learning from these orchestral musicians. As his teacher and father, Darryl Ferguson explained, “Sam consistently demonstrates a strong passion for learning the trumpet and regularly seeks out opportunities to study and to grow.” In addition to playing trumpet, Sam loves playing soccer, a sport he has played since he was 5-years-old and he greatly enjoys creative writing. As a music lover, he really enjoys listening to trumpeters such as David Bilger, Terry Everson, Michael Sachs and Phil Smith. As the March 2024 ITG Young Artist Award winner, he will receive a one-year complimentary membership to ITG. Congratulations Sam!

January 2024 Winner: Oliver Zhang

This issue’s featured young artist award winner is Oliver Zhang, an 18-year-old trumpet player who graduated Blue Valley North High School in Overland Park, Kansas last spring. Oliver is currently a freshman trumpet performance major at Northwestern University where he is studying with David Bilger.

Oliver was born in Canada and moved to Shanghai, China when he was 5-years-old. While living in China, Oliver began playing the trumpet in 2nd grade and moved to Kansas with his family when he was in 5th grade. It was then that he began playing with the Fountain City Youth Brass Band in which he continued to play all through grade school and high school, performing on flugelhorn for three years and solo cornet for five years. In his first year with the Fountain City Youth Brass Band, Oliver won the North American British Brass Band Association (NABBA) youth solo competition. In 5th and 6th grade he also performed in the Kansas City Youth Symphony. Once he was in high school, Oliver performed with the Kansas All State Band and Orchestra for all four years of high school, he performed with the All National Honor Ensemble Concert Band for three years and he performed in his high school’s wind ensemble, jazz band, pit orchestra and full orchestra throughout that time.

Oliver first started studying trumpet with Dr. Jeff Curtin in 5-8th grade and during 9th grade he studied with Dr. Jen Oliverio. He participated in the semi-finals of the National Trumpet Competition Youth Division every year since 7th grade and he won the division in 2022, performing the first Peskin Concerto and he earned 2nd place in 2023 performing the first movement of the Tomasi Concerto. From sophomore through senior year of high school he studied trumpet with Dr. Keith Benjamin who was a huge reason for his success as he always encouraged him to play music and tell a story rather than just play trumpet. He taught Oliver many life lessons and introduced him to his network without reservation. Dr. Benjamin also brought him to UMKC trumpet related events and Kansas City Symphony performances. When speaking of Oliver, Dr. Benjamin says, “His strongest talent is an amazing ability to learn things as quickly and as thoroughly as anybody I've ever taught - he has an incredible knack for hearing an idea once, then just executing that idea from that moment on, without needing to come back to the issue.”  

Oliver also credits his family as being a major supporter of him. As a young child, Oliver’s parents played classical music for him which fostered his love and passion for classical music. Throughout his development, his father pushed him to be the best he can, often sitting side-by-side with him as he learned piano and trumpet and his mother always supported his passions. Oliver says, “She's been there every single minute from start to finish, and she's been my strongest supporter in my music career. My parents have been the backbone of my life, and I am forever grateful for them.” Oliver is also very close with his older and younger brothers, David and Max, who are always there for him to offer support and encouragement. Oliver’s dream job would be to continue pursuing his passion for classical music by performing in a symphony orchestra.

Some of Oliver’s favorite trumpeters to listen to are Maurice Andre, Sergei Nakariakov, Giuliano Sommerhalder, Omar Tomasoni, Wynton Marsalis, Chris Botti and Eric Miyashiro. When he’s not practicing, performing or listening to trumpet, Oliver is a dedicated athlete. He has been swimming since 1st grade, competing on his high school swim team and making state for three years in a row. During his senior year, he and his teammates won the Kansas State Swimming Championship. As the January 2024 ITG Young Artist Award winner, he will receive a one-year complimentary membership to ITG. Congratulations Oliver!

October 2023 Winner: Christopher Petrella

This issue’s featured young artist award winner is Christopher Petrella, an 18-year-old trumpet player who graduated from Hudson High School in Hudson, Ohio last spring. Chris is currently a freshman trumpet performance major at the Curtis Institute of Music where he is studying with David Bilger.

Originally from Kansas City, Missouri, Chris’s musical journey was greatly influenced by his participation in the Fountain City Youth Brass Academy Honor band for three years and his studying with Professor Keith Benjamin whom he studied with for five years. While living in Missouri, Chris earned a seat in the KMEA All-State Band his freshman year and was the first chair in the KMEA All-State Orchestra his sophomore year. He has also performed as a member of the Youth Symphony of Kansas City during sixth grade. Once he moved to Ohio, Chris began studying with Michael Sachs and Michael Miller of the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra and became principal trumpet in the Kent State Youth Winds Ensemble in addition to playing in his high school’s marching band and wind ensemble.

In 2020, he was a finalist in the Ictus International Trumpet Competition and was a semifinalist in the National Trumpet Competition, which was canceled due to covid. Additionally, in 2020, Chris was selected to perform in the NAfME  All-National Honor Band on the first trumpet part. In 2021, Chris was selected to perform in the NAfME All-National Symphony Orchestra on the first trumpet and was awarded first prize in the High School Solo Division at the National Trumpet Competition in Greensboro, North Carolina. This past year, Chris was a finalist in the Presidents Own Marine Band Concerto Competition.

Chris credits his parents with a lot of his success because they have been incredibly supportive of him and because he began his musical journey taking piano lessons with his mom. He is also very grateful for the wonderful music teachers and trumpet teachers he has had in his life. In addition to performing trumpet, Chris values staying physically active. He was a member of a swim team for eight years, swimming competitively all through high school. Chris hopes to make a living as a professional trumpet player and would love to do so as a trumpet soloist both through giving solo recitals and soloing with orchestras like some of his trumpet idols such as Maurice André and Håkan Hardenberger. As the October 2023 ITG Young Artist Award winner, he will receive a one-year complimentary membership to ITG. Congratulations Christopher!

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