Making a career in music

Trumpeter Byron Stripling delivers life lessons to students


Photo by Tyler Henderson/The Spectator

Bryon Stripling, renowned trumpeter, spoke to a group of students Monday about what it takes to have a successful music career.

World-class musician Byron Stripling was on campus to put on a clinic for a packed Phillips Recital Hall in the Haas Fine Arts Center on Monday night.

Stripling was born in Ohio and attended Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y. Stripling is well known for touring as a trumpeter and singer with famous musicians Clark Terry, Lionel Hampton, Woody Herman and Count Basie. He is also an expert on jazz legend Louis Armstrong; a musician whom Stripling is often compared to. He has performed classically with Boston Pops, the Seattle Symphony, the Minnesota Orchestra and many more.

He spoke about how students can approach a career in music with tips on a regular regimen, setting goals for yourself and realizing those goals through hard work and dedication even in a time when music performance jobs are hard to find.

“Indeed for you guys, the answers have changed,” he said. “For every single thing, especially a career in music.”

This was Stripling’s second time at UW-Eau Claire since last spring, when he was one of the featured guest artists at the Eau Claire Jazz Festival in April. Then he performed for a full house at Eau Claire Memorial High School with fellow guest artist Wycliffe Gordon. This visit was less about him playing his trumpet, which stayed in its case, and more about preaching to students about what steps they need to take to succeed in life.

“I liked how Byron’s talk involved different quotes from fields other than music,” Josh Huot-Gallus, senior, said. “His message was not just applicable to musicians, but all college students.”

The clinic was hosted by the jazz studies department and lead by professor Robert Baca.

“This is not a talk that you’ll just want to listen to,” Baca said to all of the students before the class. “You’re going to want to take notes, you’re going to want to have that laptop out, because this deals with fundamentals that will make you successful in whatever you do.”