GSU student wins international competition

Michelle Norsworthy

When sophomore Eric Spencer

and the Georgia Southern University Trombone Ensemble had yet another successful performance at last years International Trombone Festival, none of them knew

where they would end up today.

The International Trombone Festival was held in Columbus, Ga., and it was there that Eric Spencer first heard of the collegiate-level competitions for musicians. It is also where he first heard about the Larry Wiehe Solo Trombone Competition.

This competition, which is sponsored by the International Trombone Association, is for musicians that are 23 years and under, Spencer said.

He placed fifth out of nearly 300 musicians from around the world.

“Eric competed against students from prestigious music schools all over the world,” Richard Mason, professor at GSU, said.

Mason is one of Eric Spencers professors, as well as one-fifth of the GSU Faculty Brass Quintet.

These music schools included the Julliard School, Paris Conservatory, and The Royal Academy of Music in London, Mason said.

Competitors were tasked to play a solo piece by Gardell Simmons entitled Atlantic Zephyrs and send in their recordings. With the help of his friend Whitt Locke, who acted as his accompanist, Eric Spencer bested nearly 300 other musicians.

In the event that one of the four winners is unable to make it, he will take their place in the finals.

Spencer said, “Right now whats going to happen is my name is going to be published in the International Trombone journal – me, my teachers name, and my school. Thats kind of a big deal. Its putting my name out there. Its nice.