UO trumpet student takes third in national competition

When Tony Glausi@@[email protected]@ thinks about the future he doesn’t envision riches, fancy cars or a mansion in Beverly Hills. In fact, he doesn’t have much of a plan for himself beyond finishing graduate school. Occasionally he ponders becoming a composer, a professor or a wandering artist. Honestly, Glausi says, his number one ambition is just to keep grooving with jazz music.

“For musicians I think it’s kind of weird because there’s no specific thing that you do after school, you just graduate and sort of get gigs if you try hard enough,” Glausi said. “If I had nothing else better to do, I’d just travel the world and play, and make a net loss of money.”

Now a freshman at the University of Oregon School of Music and Dance, Glausi began his music career playing piano as a child. At the age of 10, he began taking trumpet lessons, learning the ropes of the brass instrument quickly thanks to his background in piano.

Over the years, Glausi’s aptitude and passion for trumpet increased with lessons and exposure to jazz music, however, it wasn’t until high school — where he won the Oregon state trumpet solo competition both his sophomore and senior years — that he decided to professionally pursue his musical inclinations.

“Although I always had a knack for music and a like for music it was never something that was so fun or exciting that I thought ‘wow this is for sure what I’m going to do’ until my senior year in high school,” Glausi said. “It was a handful of really, really successful gigs that I got to play that I really enjoyed that made me think, ‘Wow that was so fun, that was awesome, this is what I want to do.'”

As a jazz studies major, Glausi participates in the Oregon Jazz Ensemble as well as a small jazz ensemble in the music school. He also heads a group of musicians and participates in a friend’s group. Glausi’s ideal jam session is in the intimate setting of a relaxed jazz group in which each individual builds on the creativity of others and unintended accidents often inspire the improvisation of a whole new song.

“My ideal setting is just a standard quintet. There’s just a total unique vibe, setting and groove,” he said. “There’s a crucial reliance on everyone else … If those guys aren’t solid, then you’re not solid. It’s totally a group effort.”

Despite his preference for a team dynamic, Glausi has recently gained acclaim on a national level as a solo jazz trumpeter. In mid-May, Glausi took third place in the National Trumpet Competition hosted by George Mason University in Farifax, Va. To qualify for the tournament, Glausi submitted a video of his trumpet performance. He was then chosen as one of 12 applicants nationwide — ranging from high school to graduate students — to participate in the jazz division of the trumpet competition at George Mason. Of those 12, Glausi made it into the final round of competition and was awarded third place.

“It was a good experience. It was fun, I got to meet people,” Glausi said.

Regardless of his recent achievements, Glausi maintains a humble mindset, recognizing that his success depends upon the specific preferences of competition judges.

“It’s totally subjective. Those five people thought I got third place, cool — another five people could have thought I deserved 12th,” Glausi said. “It’s art and everyone has their own opinion.”

Because of the inconsistency in judging musical performances, Glausi sees competitions as more of a fun way to gain experience than a serious indication of his musical progress, a view shared by his musical adviser and trumpet professor Brian McWhorter. @@[email protected]@

Although Glausi is still in the preliminary stages of his jazz education at the UO, McWhorter believes that regardless of the career path his student chooses to pursue after college he has the potential to become a driving force in the trumpet world.

“Competitions are more like chances to play, chances to meet more people in the future and just to kind of gauge how it will feel in the real world,” McWhorter said. “The main thing is that Tony shows all of the potential for being an evocative artist when he leaves, in the field of jazz and the field of music and the field of trumpet. That for me is way more important.”

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Sami Edge

Sami Edge

Sami is the Editor In Chief of The Emerald. Former intern at Willamette Week and aspiring international investigative reporter. Swimmer, writer, dreamer, reader, thinker, explorer and drinker of strong coffee.