Trumpeter Hunter Eberly has had quite the jet-setter week with nothing but good news.
The 2009 graduate of Grand Valley State University and native of Muskegon is performing Friday and Saturday, October 15-16, with the trumpet section of the Grand Rapids Symphony's production of “Lord of the Rings.” He flew in from Los Angles where he is currently in the fully endowed Artist Diploma Program at the Colburn School, and recently performed as a member of the Los Angeles Philharmonic trumpet section.
Earlier this week Eberly spent a couple of days performing as one of more than 100 people auditioning for the principal trumpet position of the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra in Florida. He made the cut to the final 17 people during a grueling 12-hour day, giving four additional audition performances as one of seven finalists, then four finalists, before winning the position.
“Each audition meant performing a different piece of music, with only about an hour's notice of what that piece would be,” said Eberly. “I was excited, but also felt prepared because of the excellent training I had at Grand Valley. Professor Rich Stoelzel prepared us for just this type of experience in the orchestra repertoire class. I can't thank him enough.”
Stoelzel, Grand Valley associate professor of trumpet, said 100 trumpeters, including professionals and conservatory graduate students, auditioned for the Jacksonville position. “I am very proud of him. The Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra is among the leading orchestras in the Southeast and ranks in the nation's top 30 to 40 orchestras,” said Stoelzel.
Eberly is no stranger to success. While a student at Grand Valley, Eberly won second prize in the 2009 International Trumpet Guild Mock Orchestra Audition and won first prize at the 2009 National Trumpet Competition College Solo Division. He was also a member of Grand Valley's trumpet ensemble in 2008, when it took first prize at this competition. Eberly was also a rare student member of the GVSU Faculty Brass Quintet, was principal trumpet of the GVSU Orchestra and principal trumpet of the Symphonic Wind Ensemble.
Eberly started playing piano when he was 3, and started trumpet in third grade. The Muskegon native is a graduate of Calvary Christian High School and the son of Cheri and Sam Eberly. “My mom is a band director at Calvary Christian Schools in Fruitport and a trumpet player, and I became interested in music through her,” said Eberly.