WMU senior named a finalist in international trombone competition

contact: Mark Schwerin
| WMU News
Photo of Evan Clifton.

Evan Clifton

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—A Western Michigan University senior has been named a finalist in an elite international trombone competition and is headed to Spain.

Evan Clifton, of Howell, has been named a finalist in the Donald Yaxley Bass Trombone Competition and will travel to Valencia, Spain, in July to compete for a 2,000 euro gift certificate toward a new trombone at the 2015 International Trombone Festival.

A notable honor

The honor is especially notable for a several reasons.

The competition ranged to age 25, which means the 21-year-old Clifton will compete against students who are likely much older from the top conservatories in the world. Other finalists and honorable mentions are impressive, with the other two finalists coming from The Juilliard School in New York and the Rotterdam Conservatory in The Netherlands. The two alternates are from the University of North Texas and Northwestern University, and the honorable mention is also from Northwestern. In addition, Clifton was named the honorable mention selection in the bass trombone orchestral excerpt competition.

"While it's exciting news for Evan, for the WMU trombone studio it also means that we have had students named finalists in the most important international competition for student trombonists in the world 18 times over the past 11 years, with winners named six of the past eight years," says Steve Wolfinbarger, a WMU professor of music and Clifton's instructor. "It's wonderful to see so many talented WMU students like Evan being showcased on an international stage."

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