Kay gift launches trumpet competition

Roger Voisin Memorial Trumpet Competition honors famed musician.

Douglass Kay, M.D., and Susan Kay standing on the Wold stage
Douglass Kay, M.D., and Susan Kay

Douglass Kay, M.D., and his wife, Susan, have made a generous contribution to Lynn’s Conservatory of Music to inaugurate the Roger Voisin Memorial Trumpet Competition, with support from the Voisin Family Trust.

The competition takes place at the Keith C. and Elaine Johnson Wold Performing Arts Center Jan. 13 and 14, 2018. It is for trumpeters enrolled as full-time college students.

“It’s going to be such fun to watch it develop,” said Dr. Kay. “An event like this presents so many opportunities for students and faculty to meet trumpeters from all over the world and make lifelong friendships and career connections. All you have to do is provide the opportunity and just watch where they take it.”

Named for one of America’s most influential classical trumpet players, the Roger Voisin Memorial Trumpet Competition is the brainchild of associate professor of trumpet Marc Reese, who was Voisin’s student.

Roger Voisin Conducting
Roger Voisin

“He was my musical mentor when I was 18 to 22, my most crucial time for musical growth,” Reese said. “I wanted to honor his memory for all that he gave me and the trumpet world.”

Brian Garcia, ’14, a trumpet student from Costa Rica working toward his professional performance certificate at Lynn, said he intends to apply to the competition. 

“To see a competition from the inside, to see how the whole process unfolds, is a special opportunity,” he said. “Of course, I want to be a finalist, but it will also be a great learning experience just to be on campus while it’s being created. It’s really exciting.” 

The event’s benefactors have three connections to Lynn. The Kays’ daughter Alexis graduated with a degree in hospitality management in 2006. Dr. Kay has taught courses as an adjunct.

And, after retiring from a career in Maryland that spanned mechanical engineering, a psychiatry practice, teaching at The Georgetown University School of Medicine and partnering in a health insurance company, he wanted to make a donation to the conservatory in gratitude for the years of performances he and his wife have enjoyed.

Their donation took the shape of an international trumpet competition when Kay was introduced to Reese. It happened that Kay had been a trumpeter in high school, and his music collection included brass pieces performed by Voisin.

“From there, it all just sort of fell together nicely,” Dr. Kay said.

The Kay Family Commissioning Project has also asked composer James Stephenson III to write a piece for trumpet and piano, to be performed for the first time by the competition’s panel of judges during the opening ceremony. 


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