The Pic: yeah...I'm a musician The Story: It began arguably in the 17th century. As music started to evolve into the common practice period as we know it today, composers started writing more structured and organized music. From Purcell to Bach to Beethoven, the early years of modern classical music began coming into it's own during this majestic time period as did the musicians who performed these historic works. Now understand, no one knows where and how exactly it all started, but around the beginnings of the common practice period, the average musician had been as poor as a fat kid in a candy store. Now please don't take offensive when I say all fat kids eat candy...I know a lot of "heavier than average" kids that much rather have a nice moist cake in place of candy. But I am beside myself. As we all know, you seldom find a musician of this new era living in nothing more than a small one-bedroom apartment. Not a single one that I know of had heat (other than fire place), running water, or even electricity! And that was if you were fortunate enough to live with the greats like Beethoven in downtown Venice. I doubt that anything less would not be considered a livable lifestyle. These conditions of poverty went on for the next few centuries for average, money making musicians. Efforts have been made to fix this problem via the modern-day soup kitchen, food stamps, homeless shelters...the list goes on forever. But in the early 20th century something happened, something new and creative - never before heard. Jazz. It started as a form of singin' in the endless fields of cotton to pass the time away and later evolved into a complex and extremely creative form of music to pass the wealthy upper-classman's time away because they had nothing better to do than spend money anyway. Now there is a point I must make involving the choice of instrumentation. Back roughly around 1900 in New Orleans there was a natural disaster, I do not know the details but it ruined most instruments avalible to the people of the area so in an effort to get rid of these junk instruments, they were sold for very very cheap. Now because the musicians of the day were no richer then the musicians of the 17th century, this was a deal they couldn't pass up. So if you ever wondered why in traditional jazz there are not many violins or bassoons or whatever, it is because the local musicians of the area couldn't afford it. Returning to the main story. The age of jazz gave more gigs and job opportunities than ever before. For a while, to say you were a working musician was to say you are going to have something to eat later, but then out of nowhere this other form of music came with there load guitars and over-played drums. People loved this thing they called "rock and roll" and I do to very much so, but for us classical and jazz musicians (or almost anything with a trumpet) the universe forgot about us and things went to how there were before. So time went on and the music never stopped evolving, even the musicians kept evolving despite the considering. Think about it, if you discovered the time machine and put an average guy but excellent musician like Trent Austin (whom just happens to be my instructor) and stuck him with the Louis Armstrongs and Miles Davis' of the time, I think he or anyone else would easily be able to hold there own. So here I am in modern day, me being no exception to the musician's life having to pay for a .5 credit jazz band partly with quarters living off whatever "gigs" I can find in the Gorham/Portland area and throughout Maine. But one thing is certain for me and most every other musician when I say I absolutely love every minute of this thing called life souly because God has blessed me with the gift of music even if i do live on a bench. I wouldn't trade it for the world. Why should I win this contest: 1. You'll be helping out a poor college student and fellow musician/trumpeter. 2. I love to play! I'll do ANYTHING! (that's not over my head at least) If you need a trumpet, I am your guy even if it is free. (that should explain the pic) I practice classical trumpet like a mad man...jazz...well it's getting there. I just started jazz last year so I have some catching up to do but that is why I take lessons with the big TA (trent austin). One day I hope to be on top and I am sure I will get there eventually sheerly because of my desire. I am an ok player now but one day I am going to smoke. 3. I dented my trumpet in the process of the picture taking. 4. I have played Trent's horns and they are the first horns I have played that have the intonation level of a monette without all that weight and it's very easy to shape your sound (on top of looking cool) and to put it simply...built by just a cool bunch of people, who else do you know that has given away a free horn?? Before January I have never heard of any contest involving free world class instruments and was STUNNED to find out the company of my dream horn was giving away a free instrument. Now I am not saying i need another trumpet, none of us need another trumpet any more than Michael Jackson needs some more plastic surgery. But an eclipse is like the ferrari of the trumpet world, any one that hasn't played one really doesn't know what a trumpet can be capable of . To put it simply, eclipse is my dream horn...even before I heard about this contest (you can thank Trent for that). Just a thanks to Leigh and all the people at eclipse for offering us all a chance to win one of these beautiful horns. We are all very lucky to have such active and generous trumpet makers in the world.