Music student wins trombone competition

contact: Mark Schwerin
| WMU News
Photo of Nick Dewyer playing the trombone.


KALAMAZOO, Mich.—A Western Michigan University music student has won an important competition for young trombonists, one of two recent contests in which he was a finalist.

Nick Dewyer, of Chelsea, who will be a sophomore this fall, won the Larry Wiehe Solo Competition at the 2014 International Trombone Festival at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. With the win, Dewyer brings home a new trombone worth approximately $4,000.

The competition was for students up to age 23, pitting the young Dewyer against students several years older. With the victory, Dewyer was invited to perform in the Competition Winners Showcase Recital at the festival. The recital featured all seven winners from various solo competitions.

'A tremendous year'

"Nick has had a tremendous freshman year on trombone," says his teacher, Dr. Stephen Wolfinbarger, WMU professor of music. "This past March, he traveled to Washington, D.C., to a competition in the National Trombone Solo Competition, and he was also a finalist in two international trombone solo competitions. No other freshman from another university had so much success. Nick is very talented, and I'm really looking forward to his next three years at WMU."

WMU students have won the Larry Wiehe Solo Competition two of the past five years. In years WMU has not won, the winners have come from DePaul University, Baylor University and The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. In the Gilberto Gagliardi Solo Competition, the second ITF competition in which Dewyer competed, he lost to a student from The Juilliard School. In addition to those events, Dewyer recently was able to play in a master class with Toby Oft, the principal trombonist of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, a huge honor for him and a highpoint in his playing career.

"I honestly couldn't have imagined my freshman year going any better," Dewyer says. "Participating in these competitions gave me the opportunity to attend some important trombone events and, as a result, I learned a lot and met some fantastic people. I felt truly honored to represent WMU at these events, and I'm fortunate to have the support and guidance of professor Wolfinbarger and the school of music."