September 13, 2014

Trumpeter Jason Crafton Visits Comstock Hall

Seiler Smith —

The lights in Comstock Hall lowered on Wednesday September 10, as Dr. Jason Crafton, David Ball and Dr. Richard Masters took the stage. Crafton played trumpet, Ball played trombone and euphonium and Masters played the piano for the concert.

Crafton, who is a professor of Trumpet at Virginia Tech University, performed as a guest artist, per the request of Dr. Mark J. Lynn, a professor of Trumpet at U of L. He also worked with students in one-on-one practice sessions, lectured in classes and played the free recital.

Lynn, Crafton and Jason Doebel, a trumpet professor at The University of Kentucky, attended a university in Northern Texas, where they became friends. Lynn asked Crafton to visit U of L for a day and play a concert that night. Music professors regularly invite their colleagues to be guest artists for the day so the students have time to ask the artists questions and receive tips from them. Monday, the school of music will be hosting another guest artist: Dr. Ryan Gardner, a professor of trumpet at Oklahoma State University. Likewise, Lynn plans to visit a school in West Virginia soon.

The trio played two standard pieces, or musical numbers that are commonly played at concerts, as well as three contemporary pieces, two of which were world premieres. The two premieres were “Exigencies,” written by Kent Holliday, and “Trio” for Trumpet, Trombone and Piano. The two standard pieces were “Divertimento” for Trumpet, Trombone and Piano, by Boris Blacher and “Cousins,” by H.L. Clarke. The performers also played Eric Lyon’s “Grand Duo” during the hour-long concert.

The concert had a very casual feel to it, despite the tailored suits Crafton and Ball wore. Before each piece, one of the three would talk about it as if he were talking to his friends, not an audience. The performers seemed to enjoy themselves while playing, shooting smiling glances at one another, even though there were only around 40 people in the audience. After every piece, the artists disappeared backstage, and while it was not clear what they were doing, you could hear muffled discourse and jovial laughter trickle out to the audience.

To learn more about free concerts being held in the School of Music, call them at 502-852-6907, follow their twitter page: @UofLMusic, like them on Facebook page: University of Louisville School of Music, or check the events calendar at

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