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Student wins international music competition

Aug. 7, 2009

KALAMAZOO--A student in the Western Michigan University School of Music has been named the top student jazz trombonist at a recent international competition in Denmark.

Eric Bowman, a junior from Portage, Mich., competed in the Carl Fontana Jazz Trombone Competition during the International Trombone Festival June 25-28 in Aarhus, Denmark. He was one of three finalists invited to compete, with other students coming from the likes of the Berklee College of Music.

The students competed in front of three internationally recognized judges--two from London and one from New York--with Bowman taking top honors and winning a new Edwards jazz tenor trombone donated by Edwards Musical Instruments Inc.

Bowman's victory is even more remarkable because he competed after missing his only rehearsal with a provided rhythm section. A flight delay robbed him of the extra day of practice his competitors enjoyed.

In addition to winning the Carl Fontana Jazz Trombone Competition for jazz music students ages 22 and under, Bowman also was a finalist in the Robert Marsteller Trombone Competition, a classical trombone competition for the same age group. A student from Canada won that competition.

Both the Fontana and Marsteller competitions are among several held as part of International Trombone Association's annual festival.

Bowman, a student of Drs. Scott Cowan and Steve Wolfinbarger, WMU assistant professor and professor of music, respectively, has a long history of performance with WMU bands, including the advanced jazz combo, jazz orchestra, symphony orchestra, symphonic band, trombone choir, Latin jazz ensemble and Gold Company. He often performs locally at New Year's Fest, Cancer Center Summerfest, weddings, corporate and church events and at The Union Cabaret and Grille.

Media contact: Mark Schwerin, (269) 387-8400, mark.schwerin@wmich.edu

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