Dr. Michael Ewald

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Dave Loken, Sep 13, 2008.

  1. Dave Loken

    Dave Loken New Friend

    Sep 13, 2008
    Very sad news this weekend for the trumpet community. Dr. Michael Ewald passed away yesterday afternoon after a battle with liver cancer. I feel blessed and humbled to have known and studied with him. He will be deeply missed. This is from my post on a similar thread at the other site.

    This is a very sad time for everyone who knew Dr. Ewald, and for the trumpet community at large.

    I studied with Doc while I was at U of I from 2000 - 2005. It's impossible to overstate the influence he had on me. In addition to being an unbelievable musician, he was a terrific human being. He was generous, humble, gracious, and honest. As Jeff said, he cultivated strong personal relationships with his students. His office was always a welcoming place, always filled with a positive energy.

    Doc and Ronnie fostered an atmosphere of cooperation and teamwork within the trumpet studio at Illinois. They had a shared studio, and I studied with both of them during my time at school. They instituted an open studio policy, and you could sit in on anybody's lesson, and anybody could sit in on yours. I loved that concept. I learned so much not just from my own lessons with Doc and Ronnie, but from other students who sat in on my lessons, and from the guys when I sat in on the lessons of others. My lessons often evolved into the playing of duets, trios, and quartets during the latter portions of my allotted time; these memories will stay with me forever.

    Doc's advice and counsel to me was always succinct, to the point, and never esoteric. He never spoke harshly to his students, and always had his own gentle way of telling you when to pick up the slack. At one of my lessons, he put a Bordogni etude on the stand and told me to read it in A (he did this often). After I got done butchering it, he didn't get upset, didn't put me down. He said plainly, "Well, I didn't know you had so much trouble with this." That was the last time I skimped on my transposition practice.

    He had a dry sense of humor, and a great rapport with all his students. I remember an incident in masterclass where a friend of mine felt ill and faint while performing, and had to be helped into a chair. Doc turned around and said wryly, "Is there a doctor in the house?" One of the students shouted back, "Yeah, you!"

    Doc Ewald had impeccable taste when he performed. His sound was captivating, brilliant, and pure, and he never played to show off. The memories of his performances are crystal clear in my mind, and I listen to the recordings of his recitals weekly.

    I could write for pages about Dr. Ewald and his influence on me both as a musician and a person. He led by example, and he was a consummate professional and a perpetual student of music and the trumpet. My thoughts and prayers are with his family, Ronnie, and everyone whose lives were touched by this outstanding human being. We miss you, Doc.

    And as he always said, "Don't try to play in tune. Play the tune, and it will come out in tune."
  2. ecarroll

    ecarroll Artist in Residence Staff Member

    Jul 13, 2005

    I had no idea that he was ill. I feel terrible about this and will e-mail Ronnie. Thank you for being the bearer of sad news.

    Down on a beautiful afternoon in Montreal,
  3. Dave Loken

    Dave Loken New Friend

    Sep 13, 2008

    I was also unaware that he was ill. I received a wedding card from him this summer, and he made no mention of an illness. From what I understand, it was sudden and rapid.

    There will be a memorial service tonight in Urbana at the Twin City Bible Church at 6pm.

    For those on facebook, there is a group dedicated to Dr. Ewald. Folks have posted some great pictures, quotes, and clips of his playing.

    Incidentally, you can find some of Doc's playing at www.trumpet-at-illinois.org and Faculty | Bio : University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: School of Music.

  4. TheRiddler

    TheRiddler Pianissimo User

    Oct 8, 2006
    Very sad... I remember the summer after my 8th grade year going to ISYM and taking masterclass with him... Amazing player/teacher, helluva gentleman.
  5. Terrence Harrington

    Terrence Harrington New Friend

    Sep 19, 2008
    Katy Tx

    I was priveledged in my youth to study trumpet and Music theory with Dr. Ewald at Mcneese State University in the 1980s in Lake Charles LA. He was a good man who tried to encourage me in the best way he could. I wish I would have not quit when I did. The news of his loss saddens me. I hadnt seen him in over 20 years but I know I will miss him.

  6. djDave

    djDave New Friend

    Jan 30, 2008
    North Hills, CA
    Wow - What a shock!
    A long time ago, we spent many hours driving back and forth to Long Beach talking about many things with Larry Lippold and Bob Senescu. Of course Mike was the guy playing the difficult trumpet solos in front of the band. Mike was a solid Christian so he is in Heaven. He is going to be missed down here in a BIG way!
    David Johns

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