With a little love and maintenance, a trumpet can shine, and its sound — intensely bright and occasionally darker — also deepens with attention and care. Allen Bachelder gave to his trumpet students similar care to help them excel in Virginia Tech’s School for the Performing Arts. And because of the nurturing reputation of this professor emeritus of music, a special festival effort is raising funds to support a scholarship in his name.
The Virginia Tech Trumpet Festival is the brainchild of Jason Crafton, an assistant professor of music. He resurrected the Bachelder scholarship in 2014, along with a weekend-long event to help raise awareness and funds for it. Now Crafton is going a step further by using Virginia Tech’s crowdfunding platform, JUMP, to provide support for the trumpet festival itself.
“We’re doing this to support current students, attract talented prospective students, invest in the future of the arts at Virginia Tech, and honor the legacy of a legendary teacher and performer,” Crafton said.
The scholarship allows Bachelder’s dedication to Virginia Tech’s music program to remain an inspiration to future generations.
“I am so fortunate to be able to say that I loved every minute of my career in music,” Bachelder said. “I loved making music, I loved learning how it works, and I loved teaching. I was blessed with wonderful, talented students who became the joy of my existence.”The JUMP goal is to raise at least $3,000 to augment the festival and offer financial support to two students each year — a prospective student and one who is an exemplary and established undergraduate in the trumpet program.
Crafton decided to start a JUMP crowdfunding campaign as a way to bring alumni, students, faculty, staff, and music lovers together to continue the festival tradition and to honor Bachelder’s 30 years of dedication to students.
“For me, receiving this scholarship serves as a sign I’m on the right track with my progress as a musician,” said Chris Thomas, a junior trumpet performance major from Newport News, Virginia. “When I first came to Virginia Tech, I was awed by the level of playing I heard from my colleagues in the trumpet studio and knew I wanted to get there, too. It’s taken a lot of hard work, and the Allen Bachelder Trumpet Scholarship serves as encouragement to keep going.”
By contributing to the Virginia Tech Trumpet Festival, donors will do more than fund a scholarship; they’ll also provide educational opportunities for students. Those in the music program will broaden their learning by hearing and interacting with world-renowned trumpet players.
This fall will mark the third annual Virginia Tech Trumpet Festival. The event, which will take place September 28 and 29, will feature guest artists, performances, and masterclasses. The celebration will culminate in a scholarship benefit concert to augment fundraising efforts.
One of this year’s guest artists will be Allen Vizzutti, known for his performances on more than 150 movie soundtracks, such as “Back to the Future” and “Star Trek.” He is currently artist in residence at the University of South Carolina.
Fincastle native Kelley Corbett ’02 will be the Virginia Tech guest alumnus. He is principal trumpet in the U.S. Army Band “Pershing’s Own.”
“We must fund ways for young people to pursue careers that they genuinely love — so that they may become models that inspire,” Bachelder said. “I’m tremendously honored to have this effort in my name. It is indeed the capstone of my career.”
To support students like Thomas, donate to the Virginia Tech Trumpet Festival’s JUMP campaign. And be sure to save the date for 2018 Trumpet Festival on September 28 and 29.
Written by Leslie King and photographed by Courtney Flickinger, a junior majoring in multimedia journalism