Chris Petrella, a trumpet player and incoming junior at Shawnee Mission South, won the High School Solo Division of the 2021 National Trumpet Competition.
The National Trumpet Competition is considered the premier competition event for trumpet players in the United States. In the high school division, 40 soloists were selected for the semi-final round, and three soloists advanced to the finals, with Petrella ultimately taking the top prize.
SM South band director, Steve Adams, shared why he believes Petrella won, “All of the finalists are amazing trumpet players, however, Chris has an incredible balance of technical control of the instrument and maturity in his musicality. I believe it was Chris’s maturity on very challenging musical material that ultimately brought him to the top.”
Petrella began playing the trumpet in fifth grade. He said he enjoys playing the trumpet for its expressiveness, explaining it can be both a powerful and gentle instrument. He practices several hours every school day and seven to eight hours on the weekend.
Reflecting on advice he might give other aspiring student musicians, Petrella said, “Make sure you’re having fun. If you’re not having fun, it doesn’t matter how much effort you put in, it won’t be worth it.”
The final round of the National Trumpet Competition took place at the University of North Carolina Greensboro on May 22. Petrella’s performance of Concertino by André Jolivet can be viewed online at the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ss1GQcrkZ-o