Baylor student wins Yamaha competition

Photo Courtesy of Joey Tkach

By JP Graham | Reporter

Leander sophomore Joey Tkach was selected as one of 11 winners nationwide at the 2018 Yamaha Young Performing Artists Competition.

Yamaha Corporation of America, the world’s largest manufacturer of instruments, annually recognizes 11 students between the ages of 18 and 22 who have potential for becoming professional musicians.

Tkach and other winners in this year’s competition received an all-expense-paid trip to the Music for All Summer Symposium in Muncie, Ind., this March. There, Tkach will perform in front of thousands with Yamaha Performing Artist Allen Vizzutti. He will also receive access to workshops and clinics, where he can learn more about becoming a professional musician.

Wiff Rudd, professor and coordinator of brass, said Tkach has hit the ground running in terms of improvement since arriving at Baylor as a music performance major, describing him as someone who has exceeded expectations in his short time at the university.

“He just had certain things in place when he got here. I think he does have a gift, and he’s honoring that gift really well,” Rudd said. “He’s meeting with certain levels of success as a younger musician that is not typical for somebody his age.”

At Baylor, Tkach has won first place in both the Small and Large Trumpet Ensemble Divisions of the National Trumpet Competition, and he was named a winner of the Semper Pro Musica Competition in both solo and ensemble divisions, for which he will perform at Carnegie Hall in May. Additionally, Tkach became a semi-finalist in the Houston Symphony’s Ima Hogg Concerto Competition, and is one of three finalists in the International Trumpet Guild’s Orchestral Excerpts Competition.

When Tkach is not traveling for his performances, he gives private lessons for the Waco Independent School District. Tkach said he enjoys teaching students because of the mutual benefits that both he and the students receive from these lessons.

“I love teaching, so getting to work with these students has been educational not only for them but for me as well,” Tkach said. “You tend to learn a lot about yourself when you have to teach others how to do something.”

Tkach said he wants to find a way to use his musical abilities to benefit others, a theme he has noticed among Baylor students both inside and outside the School of Music.

“There’s more than a desire to get an education here,” Tkach said. “there’s a desire to help other people with the gifts we’ve been given, and I seem to notice that not only in the school of music but people I’m in other classes with.”

Rudd said Tkach’s future looks bright, especially given the pairing of his skill and his enjoyment of playing the trumpet.

“It’s very unusual for anybody to make a living in this world just on solos on trumpet, but I think it could be a very important and significant part of his career,” Rudd said. “There will be a lot of people that want to be around a person that plays that well and has fun and causes you to want to be better.”

Pictured is the ensemble for the Semper pro Musica competition. Joey Tkach, third from the right, was recently selected as one of 11 winners in the 2018 Yamaha Young Performing Artists Competition. Photo Courtesy of Joey Tkach