TAAB Chairman's Bursary: Samuel Lappan

Each year, the TYO is able to support a number of participants with bursaries, awards and financial assistance that are made available through the generous support of donors, sponsors and government agencies. 

In 2017, we were thrilled to administer the TAAB Chairman's Bursary on behalf of Arts Tasmania to TYO players Alexander Rodrigues and Samuel Lappan. We're excited to share Sam's account of the wonderful opportunities he was able to take advantage of thanks to this award. 

Tell us about your experience, Sam. 

I participated in the International Music Masterclass Festival 2017, based in Sicily, Italy. For three weeks, I received tutoring from some of the best trumpet performers and pedagogues in the world. In Chiaramonte Gulfi, a small town in Sicily, around 40 trumpet players participated in twice daily masterclasses with Kristian Steenstrup, Reinhold Friedrich and Andrea Lucchi. 

In the first week of classes, trumpet players would have one group session with Kristian Steenstrup, without piano, and one group session with Reinhold Friedrich, with piano. Masterclasses with Steenstrup were mostly based on trumpet technique and note production, working through efficiency of breathing, articulation and posture. He also delivered masterclasses on performance anxiety, using ideas and methods from renowned peak performance psychologist Dr Don Greene. Masterclasses with Friedrich were based around, because of the available accompanist, the performance of pieces and musical ideas and the story behind many popular trumpet works. 

The second week was with Andrea Lucchi, Principal Trumpet of the National Symphonic Orchestra of the Santa Cecilia Academy. Lucchi had many great ideas around different warm up exercises and the notion of the ‘warm up’. The third week was with Kristian Steenstrup, this time alone, and was a great reinforcement of the strong habits learnt in the first week of IMMF 2017. 

During the three weeks, there were rehearsals and concerts, both with all student trumpet players as a trumpet ensemble, and solo recitals from the artists. The festival ran from 30 July 2017 to 18 Aug 2017. 

What did you gain from this experience?

Spending hours with world-renowned trumpet players and teachers had a very positive influence on both my ability as a performer and a teacher. Two weeks with Kristian Steenstrup provided a great foundation for creating new, healthy habits regarding trumpet technique. I am still using the exercises and ideas learnt from Steenstrup daily, to reinforce correct breathing and postural habits. Working on peak performance has also had a positive influence on my performance. Focusing energy on the right things and being in the right zone mentally has enhanced my ability to deal with performance anxiety. Steenstrup’s reinforcement of focusing on song and wind, an Arnold Jacobs ideology, has also had a positive impact on my performance. It has also aided immensely in my ability to keep trumpet exercises and techniques simple for younger students.

Working with trumpet soloist Reinhold Friedrich was an amazing experience. His knowledge of all things trumpet shows the level required to be a world class soloist. His knowledge of performance practices for trumpet for most styles and genres was beneficial for all trumpet players involved in the festival. Friedrich demonstrated pieces and phrases many times and hearing his playing for a whole week was invaluable.

Andrea Lucchi, as an orchestral player, gave great insights into the performance and acute details of orchestral trumpet excerpts. The overall picture and different articulation ideas for many excerpts will be used in the future when I need to perform these excerpts, either in concert or audition scenarios. Watching the National Symphonic Orchestra of the Santa Cecilia Academy in rehearsal in Rome after the course was a great experience and made available through working with Andrea Lucchi.   

The third week with Steenstrup was a great reinforcement of all the new habits being created from the first week. It was also great to develop my understanding of performance anxiety and how to approach it personally with exercises designed by Dr Don Greene.

I recorded all of my lessons and performances throughout the entire three weeks, making them a useful resource for many years as I continue to develop my trumpet technique, and my teaching method.  

We look forward to see where this knowledge will take Sam and are thrilled to be able to offer him this opportunity through the TAAB Chairman's Bursary, Damian Bugg AM QC and Arts Tasmania!

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