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Student wins regional music competition

By Hillary Akers
Around the Town Editor

January 26, 2012


Ed Gunther
Photo by Hillary Akers
Ed Gunther practices his scales to prepare for the national MTNA competition.

Ed Gunther won the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) Divisional Senior Brass competition in Clinton, Miss., on Jan. 15.

Gunther, a freshman majoring in music, will compete at the National Finals in New York City that will be held March 24-28.

"It's very exciting," Gunther said.

Gunther said Dr. Timothy Altman, chair of the Department of Music, originally asked him to be a part of the competition. Gunther competed in the age group that capped off at 18 years old.

Gunther played three pieces in the competition, he said, one on B flat, E flat and piccolo trumpet.

"I practice at least an hour everyday. Sometimes two or more," Gunther said. "But there's only so much you can have a trumpet on your face every day."

To prepare for the finals, Gunther said he would continue to practice the three pieces everyday.

Gunther said his decision to come to UNCP was largely influenced by Dr. Altman, who recruited him while in high school. Gunter took monthly trumpet lessons from Dr. Altman in his junior and senior years of high school.

"Being in music, you don't often pick which college you're going to attend by the program or department. You choose it for your teacher," Gunther said referring to Dr. Altman.

Gunther began playing trumpet in his sixth grade middle school band. Since then he has been involved in numerous bands in middle school, high school, college and community bands.

Some of his best band experiences have been being accepted as a sub for the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra and playing with the UNCP Faculty Brass Quintet, Gunther said. He is the first student member of the quintet.

"My goal is to get as many opportunities as I can to get my myself out in this community," Gunther said. "Any ooportunity I get is one more connection I can make to people.

Long term , Gunther said he could see himself teaching at a university, being a studio musician, playing full-time in an orchestra, or play in a military band.

The best and the most rewarding part about playing music is the effect it has on people, Gunther said.

"I can't imagine my life without music," he said. "it would be boring."

Gunther has also entered into the National Trumpet Competition(NTC), and has been selected for the semi-finals, where he will compete in a group of 40 undergraduate student in February.

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