Guest trumpet player, music professor reunite for performance


Olivia Swenson-Hultz | The Daily Eastern News

Benjamin Hay and Jonathan Bowman perform “Centennial Horizon” on the piano and trumpet Monday evening.

Olivia Swenson-Hultz , Associate News Editor

Guest artist Benjamin Hay, playing the trumpet, reunited with his undergraduate professor and performed with music professor Jonathon Bowman, who played piano, during the Guest Artist Series Monday night.

Music professor Andy Cheetham was Hay’s trumpet teacher when Hay attended Oklahoma State University 14 years ago.

“He would come into my office and we would play trumpet together. We both play classical style. I played with him during recital at Northeastern State University in Oklahoma last semester, so this is our way of exchange,” Cheetham said.

Hay dedicated his final piece, “Farewell to Stromness,” to Cheetham. He said it is a musical love note to a small town in Scotland and described the piece as simple, folk-like and lyrical.

“My favorite piece was the last one because I got to say thank you to one of my favorite teachers,” Hay said.

Bowman said he met with Hay the night before and only ran through their pieces once.

“It’s always great to find a musician you can just click and play with. He knows his pieces really well so it all fit together nicely. He’s a really great musician,” Bowman said.

Another piece Hay played portrayed Centennial, Colorado, with the first movement describing a high Rocky Mountain Aspen Grove and the second movement describing the whitewater rapids of the Roaring Gunnison river.

“I went to school in New Mexico and would frequently visit my brother in Colorado. I’ve spent a lot of time hiking in the Rocky Mountains, and it’s one of my favorite things to do. This piece is fairly cinematic and reminds me of the music of John Williams,” Hay said.

Another piece that was featured was called “Marfa Lights,” which is about Marfa, Texas. Hay said it is an art hotspot where people claim to see UFO lights.

Hay said he has nothing but good things to say about performing at Eastern.

“It was a very welcoming experience and the students were very receptive. This is a beautiful facility,” Hay said.

Keaton Shumard, a sophomore music education major, said he was inspired by Hay and Bowman’s performance.

“I like being able to learn from guest artists that come to the university. Overall, the concert was well performed, and it was nice to listen to some classical contemporary music,” Shumard said.

Hay attended Oklahoma State University for his undergraduate degree and then attended the University of New Mexico to obtain his master’s in music performance.

Currently, he works as a trumpet theory instructor at Northeastern State University.

Olivia Swenson-Hultz can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].