Amazing Students Profiles

Rory Powell

Rory T. Powell
Rory Powell

You might have seen Rory Powell playing his trumpet before. During the first few weeks of school in his freshman year, Powell was selected as the Battle Hymn trumpet soloist for the Redcoat Band. Now he plays with the Wind Ensemble and Symphony Orchestra, as well as numerous other solo and ensemble performances. In fact, he says he has played in more solo recitals and concerts on campus than he can count! He is on the Dean’s List and is a member of the Phi Eta Sigma honor society, and he studies and speaks Spanish. After graduation, he plans to attend graduate school and either play in a professional orchestra or earn a doctorate in music and teach at a university.


Stockbridge, Georgia

High School:

Stockbridge High School

Degree objective:

Bachelor of Music in trumpet performance

Expected graduation:

May 2006

University highlights, achievements, awards and scholarships:

I’m a two-time winner of the Albert Ligotti Trumpet award and scholarship, presented to the most outstanding UGA trumpet student, and I’m one of the founding members of the BBQ Brass Quintet, a group which has performed in Athens and Atlanta and for many concerts on campus. In my first summer of college, I toured as the youngest member of the American Wind Symphony Orchestra and Brass Quintet, a position won by an international audition. The next year I was awarded a scholarship at the International Trumpet Guild Conference, and participated in a week-long audition only international trumpet seminar at Northwestern University. This past summer I was one of 6 trumpeters selected nationally for the Bar Harbor Brass Week in Maine, a program presented by the Philadelphia Orchestra brass which gives full scholarship to those selected. As an orchestral trumpet player on campus, I won the audition for principal trumpet of the UGA Symphony Orchestra in my sophomore year.

Current Employment:

Since high school I have been a freelance musician, playing weddings, church services, with the occasional rock band and other random jobs around Georgia. I have been teaching private trumpet students since high school, when my first students were several beginning 6th grade trumpeters. Since then I have also taught seminars and clinics around in Athens and Atlanta Schools, in addition to being the trumpet teacher for Jackson County High School’s marching band camp during the late summers. This semester, I will begin an internship with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, working behind the scenes and with the educational department.

I chose to attend UGA because…

…it is close to home. My family is very important to me, and most of them currently live in Atlanta. Also, of course, because of the reputation of the School of Music faculty.

My favorite things to do on campus are…

…walk around listening to music, making people laugh, and riding the campus buses. The most relaxing part of my morning is when I’m stuck in the back of the bus against the window surrounded by other people, with nothing to do but think about the upcoming day’s events.

When I have free time, I like…

…to practice the trumpet, to write music, to work on computers (I have built several), and to read the news. I have an obsession with knowing everything that’s going on in the world all the time. Sometimes, if I find a really interesting story, I will read 4 or 5 times a day to see if there are any new developments!

The craziest thing I’ve done is…

…learned how to swim very quickly while white-water rafting a river in a very unstable canoe.

My favorite place to study is…

…by the window overlooking campus on the 7th floor of the library. Most of the library’s music collection is on the the 7th floor, so when I get bored, I can explore and find something new!

My favorite professor is…

…my trumpet teacher, Edward Sandor. There are many great trumpet teachers and players out there, but Dr. Sandor is unique because in addition to possessing those qualities he is also a family man and a great role model. Not to mention we have the same kind of dog, a West Highland White Terrier. Mine is named Max.

If I could share an afternoon with anyone, I would love to share it with…

…my mom. She is an awesome teacher, mother, and animal lover. She’s the person I most admire because of all the things she does every day and the never-ending amount of support she gives to those whom she loves. I always look forward to going home so I can spend time with her.

If I knew I could not fail, I would…

…be a stand-up comic. Ever since the 4th grade, when I did a comedy act for my class, I have loved to make people laugh. I get the greatest joy from seeing other people happy.

After graduation, I plan to…

…attend graduate school, to get even better at the trumpet and learn more about music in general. After that I hope to either play in a professional orchestra or earn a doctorate in music and teach at a university.

The one UGA experience I will always remember will be…

…the first time I played the Battle Hymn trumpet solo in Stanford Stadium. For a classical musician, there are very few chances to play for 92,746 screaming fans.