LAWRENCE — The KU Trumpet Ensemble will perform in the Presidential Inauguration Parade in Washington, D.C., on Monday, Jan. 21. The ensemble is the only group from Kansas invited to perform.
A group of 16 trumpeters, including 10 "Herald Trumpets," proudly displaying Kansas banners, will march in the parade. Two graduate student percussionists will also join the Trumpet Ensemble. The ensemble will be directed by Steve Leisring, associate professor of trumpet and division director of brass and percussion in the School of Music at the University of Kansas.
The parade’s performing groups are organized into five divisions, each led by groups representing one of the five branches of the U.S. Armed Forces: Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard. The KU Trumpet Ensemble will be in the parade's first division, just in front of the U.S. Marine Band, and will represent the state of Kansas in the event. Traditionally, just one group is chosen from each state.
The Inaugural Parade will take place in the afternoon, after President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden have been publicly sworn into office. The president and vice president will depart the U.S. Capitol and then travel down Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House, where they remain to view the parade as it passes by.
“The KU Trumpet Ensemble is very proud to have the opportunity to represent the state of Kansas, the university and the KU School of Music with this honor,” said Leisring.
Assisting Leisring, and also performing, will be Sharon Toulouse, assistant director of bands. Until her KU appointment this year, Toulouse was a captain with the U.S. Army Field Band in Washington, D.C. Toulouse was a member of the KU Trumpet Ensemble as an undergraduate and graduate.
The students and faculty members will leave Lawrence by bus on Friday, Jan. 18, and return to campus on Tuesday, Jan. 22.
About the KU Trumpet Ensemble
The Kansas University Trumpet Ensemble (KUTE), under the direction of KU Professor Steve Leisring since 2004, is a group composed of approximately 16 music majors in the KU School of Music whose applied instrument is the trumpet. Its recent members have come from throughout Kansas, as well as approximately 10 other states, Puerto Rico, and as far away as Latvia and China. The group first gained significant recognition in 2006 and 2007, when it was named finalist in consecutive years at the National Trumpet Competition in Virginia.
In recent years, the ensemble made a five-city tour to China and performed to packed houses in large halls in Beijing, Kunming, Shenyang and Qujing, culminating with performances at the Central Conservatory of Music Beijing and the Concert Hall of the People's Liberation Army Band in the capital city. In February 2008, KUTE performed to a standing-room-only crowd at the Kansas Music Educator's Conference in Wichita. Later that May, the members were featured in a premier work with the Kansas City Symphony, "Fanfare for Those Who Served," written specifically for the Kansas City Symphony and the KU Trumpet Ensemble, performed at the Celebration at the Station Memorial Day Concert in Kansas City. The event was broadcast live on public television through the Midwest. Additionally, the ensemble received national exposure performing the national anthem and alma mater on ESPN Gameday prior to the KU vs. K-State men's basketball game in 2011.
KUTE has also performed for former Kansas governors Kathleen Sebelius, Mark Parkinson and other dignitaries such as Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito.
Learn more about KUTE here.