Lamar welcomes legendary trumpeter


Ronald Romm, a preeminent trumpeter and clinician, will be on the Lamar University campus Nov. 7 – 9 as a guest artist in the Mary Morgan Moore Department of Music. Romm will give a presentation to Lamar students, lead master classes for majors and coach a student brass quintet. His visit will conclude with a recital featuring Lamar students, and his wife, pianist Avis Romm, a Steinway artist.

All events are free and open to the public.

Invited to campus by Brian Shook, assistant professor of trumpet at Lamar, Romm is a founding member of the Canadian Brass, an internationally acclaimed performing brass quintet. He has appeared worldwide on the stages of most major concert venues, music festivals and international music conferences. Since his retirement from the Canadian Brass, he and Avis present clinics and workshops, and perform duo recitals and special pops shows with symphony orchestras. Romm is also professor of trumpet at The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

“Ronald Romm is one of the world’s best trumpet players,” said Shook. “As a founding member of the Canadian Brass, he helped pioneer the popularity of brass quintet performance around the globe. It’s an honor to have Ron visit Lamar and share his expertise with our students.”

Romm earned his bachelor and master’s degree at The Juilliard School, where he studied with William Vacchiano, legendary teacher and former principal trumpet of the New York Philharmonic. After establishing himself as a successful freelance musician in New York City, Romm joined the newly formed Canadian Brass in 1971. In June of 2000, he retired from the group after participating in well over 4,500 concerts, 60 recordings, numerous television specials, videos and hundreds of master classes. He has performed with major orchestras and with the greatest living conductors in the world, sharing the stage in live performance and recorded CDs with leading artists including Wynton Marsalis, Arturo Sandoval, Jon Faddis, Doc Severinsen, and brass performers from the Boston Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra and Berlin Philharmonic.

The schedule for public events of Romm’s visit to Lamar is as follows:

  • Friday, Nov. 8, 2:15 - 4:45 p.m. - Master class with Lamar students in the Landes Auditorium, Galloway Business Building, Room 101.
  • Saturday, Nov. 9, 1-2:30 p.m. - Brass quintet rehearsal and master class with Lamar students in the Rothwell Recital Hall, located in the Simmons Music Building
  • Saturday, Nov. 9, 7:30 p.m. - The Ronald and Avis Romm Trumpet and Piano Duo in concert in the Rothwell Recital Hall, located in the Simmons Music Building. Reception to follow.

“It will be a real treat for our students to have the opportunity to learn from and perform with Ron,” said Shook. “It’s always been a dream of mine to work with him. The very first CD I ever purchased was “High, Bright, Light, and Clear,” by the Canadian Brass. Ron’s big message is to enjoy life, enjoy music and help others. That’s his main drive in all that he does.”

Shook and Romm are writing a book together based on Romm’s musical experiences. Lamar students will also assist with research for the book, for which Shook received a Research Enrichment Grant funded through the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs.

For more information, call the Mary Morgan Moore Department of Music at (409) 880-8144 or visit

Student-composed fanfare will herald arrival of LU’s new president

Jonathan Blake, a graduate student in trumpet, has composed an original fanfare for the investiture of Kenneth Evans as the 15th president of Lamar University.

The investiture will be held Thursday, Nov. 7, at 3 p.m. in the Montagne Center. A public reception will be held after the event to give the public opportunity to meet President Evans and his wife, Nancy.

“They had a fanfare picked out that was very nice,” said Courtney Horton, special assistant to the president. “I had been over to hear recordings of all the chosen music.”

"We had one we were going to use, but we wanted to up the spirit of it,” said Kurt Gilman, chair of the Mary Morgan Moore Department of Music. “Jonathan said, ‘I could write one that fits the bill.’”

“Jonathan told Kurt that the fanfare was not nearly grand enough for this momentous occasion and he had written something better,” Horton said. “Kurt said to me, ‘You told me you wanted this music to be big and grand. Well, this fanfare is spectacular.’"

Blake said, “Dr. Scott Deppe mentioned something about a trumpet fanfare that the president’s office requested for when Dr. Evans steps up. That kind of got the wheels spinning in my mind. That is kind of neat, maybe I should write something, just for myself, whatever.”

“So, I went home and started writing, and I just came up with some ideas, but I let it sit for about a week or two,” he said.

Writing original music is fairly new for Blake. Apart from some theory projects and arrangements, he hasn’t put all that many notes to paper. That doesn’t mean he isn’t thinking musically. “I’ve always got ideas running in my mind, but I usually don’t write them down, unfortunately,” he said. “I was just so impressed by this occasion that I felt the need to write this down.”

“In wind ensemble the two trumpets played a fanfare that day, and it was just … it didn’t really work,” Blake said. “It didn’t really fit the occasion. Dr. Deppe said he didn’t think it was quite what we were looking for, but let’s keep looking. I don’t know, I guess I just saw that as my opportunity.

“I told him I was writing this thing, and I pulled it out and finished it and showed it to Dr. Deppe and my trumpet instructor Dr. Shook in class the next day,” he said. “They both liked the fanfare and Dr. Shook suggested some revisions.”

Blake said, “It is kind of a collaborative effort. We played it in trumpet ensemble, and I made revisions from their suggestions, and that’s how it came to be.”

Blake, a 2011 graduate of McNeese State University with a bachelor’s degree in trumpet performance, grew up in Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana, and considers Lake Charles his home.

Now in the second year of a master’s in music education, he will complete the music portion of his degree in the spring and will continue with student teaching in the fall.

He is finding being a graduate student intense. “The course work is much more demanding, although you don’t go to class as much,” he said. “A lot of it has to do with budgeting time between classes, music for the classes, and ensembles that you are in.”

“Really, it is my fiancé, Amber, who keeps me on track,” Blake said. “I was inspired by the occasion of the investiture. It is a big deal, a very prestigious thing. I just thought I would like to show my support for Lamar and for Dr. Evans. That was my way of doing it, my little creative outlet.“It’s all about building,” Blake said, describing the fanfare. “It starts out in unison and the parts kind of split and it grows. It is very stately. It grabs the attention at the very beginning and commands the attention of the listener.“It is very articulate, and it continues to build and build and has a nice rhythm at the end that ends in a large chord.”

“We plan to call it the ‘Investiture Fanfare’ written in honor of our new president Dr. Kenneth Evans,” Gilman said.

For more information, visit or call (409) 880-8419. Funding for the investiture generously provided by Gay and Bill Scott.

(Lamar press releases)