PITTSFIELD — Trent Austin remembers what it was like to be a young music student in high school and receive instruction from guest artists.

He remembers them as “seminal moments,” and he wants to do the same for students now that he’s the visiting guest.

“I’m here to inspire students and make them feel great at what they do,” Austin said. “If I can get one or two of these students to feel the same way I do, that means everything to me. I love the look in the student’s eye when they get it. It’s just magical.”

Austin, 37, is an accomplished trumpet soloist in the Boston area who grew up in Corinna and graduated from Nokomis Regional High School in 1993.

On Monday, he arrived at Maine Central Institute for two days of working with music students that culminates with a free jazz concert tonight open to the public. The performance starts at 7 p.m. in Parks Gymnasium and will feature Austin and various student ensembles.

MCI has been hosting guest jazz artists for the last 12 years or so and Austin was selected this time because of his longtime connection with Dean Neal, MCI’s music department head. Neal was living in Palmyra about 1990 when he taught Austin in private lessons.

“He was one of my first students when I was finishing my college degree in music education,” Neal said.

While in high school, Austin was selected to play at the opening of Euro-Disney and was also a featured performer at the 1992 Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. He was also named to the Maine all-state music festival while in high school.

Austin received a bachelor’s in music performance from the University of New Hampshire, where he studied classical trumpet on a full music scholarship.

He has performed with artists as such as Tony Bennett, Natalie Cole and Joe Williams, and was recently a featured trumpet soloist with the prestigious Artie Shaw Orchestra. He teaches at the University of Southern Maine as well as trumpet lessons throughout the Boston area. He also runs a private studio in Salem, Mass.

Austin said he visits 25 to 40 schools, including some internationally, each year.

At MCI, Austin is working with about 45 students, who are in five different music groups, during the two-day visit.

“It’s a great way to bring in professional artists to work with the students, not just come in and do a performance,” Neal said. “The bulk of time is working with students in small group setting and providing something that will have a lasting impact.”

Neal said music students have been working on the concert material for the last five weeks or so, which Austin said is a big advantage in preparation to help with the performance.

Austin describes his jazz trumpet style as a post-modern style that also includes Dixieland and be-bop, and he cites jazz greats Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis and Chet Baker as top trumpet influences.

Austin said he’s enjoy his time in central Maine, as he also can visit his mother, Carol Austin, in Waterville and sister, Tara Fraizer, in Bangor.

“It’s always great to get home,” he said.

Scott Monroe — 861-9239

[email protected]


Jazz concert

Maine Central Institute, Pittsfield

7 p.m., Nov. 1, Parks Gymnasium

Featuring MCI music students and Boston-area trumpet soloist Trent Austin

Free, open to the public

For more information on Trent Austin, visit his website at www.trentaustinmusic.com

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