Honoring famed musician Roger Voisin

Named for one of America's most influential classical trumpet players, the Roger Voisin Memorial Trumpet Competition has been a dream of Lynn University’s trumpet professor Marc Reese since he came to work at Lynn almost two decades ago. Reese, a student of Voisin, created the competition to honor his teacher and mentor. The Roger Voisin Memorial Trumpet Competition is meant to create a venue for trumpeters from all over the world to meet and compete in a positive atmosphere. For Lynn trumpet students, it serves as an invaluable behind-the-scenes look at the inner workings of a competition, as well as exposure to some of the world’s greatest trumpeters.

Roger Louis Voisin

One of the most influential orchestral trumpet players of the mid-20th century; youngest ever to join the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

One of the few remaining links to the storied Koussevitzky era of the Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO), Roger Louis Voisin, joined the trumpet section in 1935 (at age 17) and retired in 1973. His career spanned four music directors, and he served as the BSO's principal trumpet from 1950 to 1965.

Born in Angers, France, and moving to Boston at age 11, Voisin’s first teacher was his father, Réne, who was also a member of the BSO. Around 1933, while Voisin was serving as a signaler at the Esplanade concerts, he came to the attention of Boston Pops conductor Arthur Fiedler. He later joined the Boston Pops and then, with a nod from Fiedler, auditioned for the BSO at age 17.

Over the years, Voisin has edited dozens of editions of trumpet works for International Music, including several volumes of orchestral excerpts, which aid students by serving, effectively, as road maps of the orchestral trumpet repertoire. After his retirement from the BSO, he taught at New England Conservatory and Boston University and at the Tanglewood Music Center, where he both coached performance and taught solfege. His trumpet students have taken up positions in professional orchestras from Honolulu to Montreal.

The competition

The next competition is Jan. 8–10, 2020, in the Keith C. and Elaine Johnson Wold Performing Arts Center on Lynn University’s beautiful Boca Raton campus.

The competition is open to trumpeters up to age 27 enrolled as full-time students in undergraduate or graduate students. Those interested in entering the competition must submit a preliminary video and application by Nov. 1, 2019.

The winners

The Roger Voisin Memorial Trumpet Competition has three winners. First place winner receives $5,000, second place winner receives $2,500 and third place winner receives $1,500.
Jury for 2020 competition: Reinhold Friedrich, Vincent DiMartino and Rex Richardson.

Congratulations to the 2018 winners:

  • First place: Steven Franklin
  • Second place: Maximilian Morel
  • Third place: Federico Montes
Marc Reese Trumpet Web 1600X1600
He was my teacher and mentor at the most crucial time in my musical development. I wanted to honor his memory for all that he gave me and the trumpet world.
Marc Reese, Roger Voisin Memorial Trumpet Competition director

Commissioned work

Marc Reese has always been a strong advocate of new music. To that end, he has decided to present a newly commissioned work every time the competition occurs.

For this inaugural competition, James Stephenson III has been chosen as the commissioned composer.

Learn more about James Stephenson III

Leading American orchestras, instrumentalists and wind ensembles around the world have performed the music of Chicago-based composer James M. Stephenson, both to critical acclaim and the delight of audiences. Stephenson came late to his full-time composing career, having performed 17 seasons as a trumpeter in the Naples Philharmonic in Florida. As such, the composer is largely self-taught, making his voice truly individual and his life’s work all the more remarkable.

His catalog boasts concertos and sonatas for nearly every instrument, earning him the moniker “The Concerto King” from Chicago Symphony clarinetist John Yeh. The vast majority of his compositions came through commissions by and for major symphony principal players, in Chicago, Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Minnesota, Washington D.C., St. Louis, Oregon, Milwaukee and Dallas, among others.

Stephenson is also a highly sought-after arranger and conductor, rounding out his constantly busy schedule. His arrangements have been performed/recorded/broadcast by virtually every major orchestra in the country, including the Boston Pops, Cincinnati Pops, New York Pops and more. On the podium, Stephenson has led orchestras in Bozeman, Charleston, Ft. Myers, Modesto and Wyoming, in addition to numerous concert bands. With the Lake Forest Symphony, near his Illinois home, he has not only conducted but also has served for six years as Composer-in-Residence.

The Kay Family

The Roger Voisin Trumpet Competition is made possible by a generous donation from Douglass and Susan Kay with support from the Voisin Family Trust. The benefactors have several connections to Lynn. The Kays’ daughter Alexis graduated with a degree in hospitality management in 2006. In addition, Dr. Kay has taught courses at Lynn as an adjunct professor. After retiring from a career in Maryland that spanned mechanical engineering, a psychiatry practice, teaching at Georgetown University and partnering in a health insurance company, Dr. Kay wanted to make a donation to the conservatory in gratitude for the years of performances he and his wife enjoyed. It is no coincidence that this generous donation found itself in the trumpet studio as both Douglass and his brother played the trumpet as young men.

For questions about the competition, contact Marc Reese.
Email: mreese@lynn.edu
Phone: +1 561-237-9006