Kieran McNamara is a Trumpet Performance major with a second major in music media production, from Bloomington, Indiana.

“I’ve been playing trumpet for about 14 years now, I started around 4th or 5th grade. It’s kind of funny now, but I remember I started playing because of cartoons of all things. I’d get up early so I could watch looney tunes on Saturday morning but we also had a few VHS tapes of Merrie Melodies, Silly Symphonies, and the original Tom and Jerry episodes that I’d play endlessly muchto the dismay of my family. I’d ask my parents what made each sound and I particularly loved the sound of the trumpet fanfares and melodies. Once I found out what it was, I wouldn’t let it go until my parents ended up surprising me with a trumpet for Christmas. I started taking private lessons a few months later and I’ve been playing ever since!

“One memory that sticks out to me the most would have to be all the stuffI got to do with Beneficence Brass. We spent a week in Bavaria thanks to Dr. Van Hof; next school year we raised a few thousand dollars and spent a month traveling and performing through Germany, the Netherlands, and Switzerland. We had the chance to see the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra perform some of “Ma Vlast” and even went hiking in a lower area of the Swiss Alps. It was unforgettable trip with the most wonderful people and that memory will stay with me the rest of my life. I still see people wearing our hats and shirts around the school and it brightens my day remembering that group and the people in it through the years.

“It was the smaller size and more individual instruction that brought me to Ball State. I grew up on IU’s campus and none of the undergrads in the school of music ever got to do any of the exciting stuff, it was always grad students. I wanted to actually experience some of these things instead of watching from the sidelines. One of my two great band directors at Bloomington High School North, Tom Wilson, was a BSU grad and they encouraged me to look here and I couldn’t be more thankful they did.”