Brandon University trumpet student hits high note with first-place finish at National Music Festival

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BRANDON – A Brandon University (BU) student has been named one of Canada’s best young musicians. Kayla Solomon was awarded first place in the brass category for her outstanding performance on trumpet at the prestigious 2017 National Music Festival earlier this month.

Solomon, who last year placed third at the same event, was among 62 of Canada’s best young amateur musicians from across the country at this year’s competition, held from August 8–12 at the University of Ottawa. They competed and represented their provinces in eight different disciplines: piano, strings, voice, woodwinds, brass, classical guitar, chamber groups, and musical theatre.

“We are thrilled with Kayla’s success at the National Music Festival,” said BU Dean of Music Greg Gatien. “She is an excellent example of the quality of student — musically talented, extremely dedicated, and willing to do the work of studying with our superb faculty members — that we are so fortunate to attract to the School of Music.”

“It has been such an honor to represent Manitoba and Brandon University twice in the National Festival,” Solomon said. “Performing with Nancy Davis was an incredible experience and I am thrilled that I got the chance to perform with such an amazing collaborative pianist.”

She says that the supportive culture at Brandon University has been instrumental to her success at the National Festival.

“The professional atmosphere in the BU School of Music has encouraged and supported me throughout my development as a musician over the last three years. This support has provided me with opportunities to travel, to perform abroad, and to train and perform alongside professional musicians,” Solomon said.

“The professors at BU have been very accommodating, have supported all these opportunities, and made time to help me prepare for experiences like the National Festival.”

BU music professor Ed Bach, an instructor of Solomon’s who attended the festival, said that her performance was outstanding.

“Kayla played stunningly to earn her first-place award. The judge at the master class said this was the best live performance of the Hummel Concerto they had ever heard,” Bach said. “Everyone thought Kayla was a graduate student — so that bodes well for her future as a professional musician. I am exceedingly proud of this young lady and just think she is both a terrific player and person.”

Solomon returned the praise.

“I am extremely grateful to have a teacher like Dr. Bach who gives extra time to all of his students and who motivates us to be our best,” she said. “Preparing for the Festival was time consuming and a lot of hard work but in the end it was worth it and I am looking forward to new performing opportunities in the future.”

Since 1967, the National Festival, organized by the Canadian Federation of Music Festivals, has sponsored competitions in piano, strings, woodwinds, brass, voice, music theatre, percussion, classical guitar, and chamber groups. Competitions at local, and then provincial levels, lead to national competition, where each performer selected represents a province or territory.


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