MURRAY, Ky. — Murray State University trombone major Luke Weatherly recently won the Blue Grass Brass Young Artist Competition (age 19-26). The competition is sponsored by the Kentucky Music Teachers Association (KMTA), a nonprofit educational organization representing music teachers in studios, conservatories, music schools, public schools, private schools, colleges and universities. The purpose of KMTA is to further music education in the state of Kentucky and to nurture growth and professional development by providing programs that encourage and support teaching, performance, composition and research.
Weatherly, a sophomore from Paris, Tennessee, was required to upload video and audio of trombone solo pieces to a form on the KMTA website. He chose to play three pieces, two of them with piano accompaniment, that were vastly different in style and time period to showcase his range of musical skills. Weatherly is a student of Dr. Li Kuang, assistant professor of music.
At Murray State, Weatherly performs in both instrumental and vocal groups in the Department of Music.
“I’d always had a passion for making and performing music but I was too scared to sing,” Weatherly said of his interest in music. “I started playing the cello in third grade because it was close to the male voice, and then I picked up the trombone in sixth grade for the same reason. I played both until high school when I settled on the trombone, and then made enough strides musically to where I was able to sing as well.”
Weatherly says the balance of program size and quality of instruction offered in the Department of Music was a draw for him.
“Murray State is truly a diamond in the rough when it comes to the music faculty and the quality of music education I am receiving,” he said. “I am able to receive quality individual attention, as opposed to a much bigger school, while also learning and performing with some incredible musicians who are my peers.”
Weatherly believes music touches everyone’s lives and is an important area for people to study.
“Music, ultimately, is a form of entertainment,” he states. “Everyone listens to music, has needs for music, and has reactions to it. In order to continue to give people the music they deserve, it is important to have people who have intimate knowledge of music and work hard on their craft in the form of teachers, performers and composers.” Weatherly’s performance of Carolina Calvache’s Trombonsillo is available at https://youtu.be/jBNR_SafOhE.