An Evening with Allen Vizzutti
by Brian Phillips, Band Director
“Breathe deeply and make a beautiful sound.” This is the mantra of trumpet virtuoso and Yamaha recording artist Allen Vizzutti, as well as the main takeaway from our 160+ band students during Allen’s visit to our school in November. The Stillwater Music Department has committed to the mission of bringing world-class musicians to our valley each year in an effort to expose our students and community to the very best in the industry. Allen’s visit was shared with Whitefish High School and included a two-day residency at both Stillwater and Whitefish. During this time, Allen visited each band class at Stillwater and was able to both play and inspire all of our band classes. He taught roughly 60 area trumpet players in a master class held at Stillwater and did a concert with the SCS Wind Ensemble and Jazz Ensemble for the entire school that Wednesday. He then spent the second day in Whitefish with their programs and culminated the trip with an evening concert before a SOLD OUT audience in the Whitefish Performing Arts Center, playing alongside the Stillwater and Whitefish bands. The event was funded by the Stillwater Evening of the Arts music budget as well as some very generous community partners: Alpine Apothecary, Flathead Woodwind and Brass, Snappy’s, Stoner Creek Cabins and Clark Nissian.
What was obvious during his time with us was his pure joy for performing music. Our students were able to have some very meaningful conversations with Allen about pursuing dreams, working hard and music as a life-long endeavor. Allen is world renown for his amazing jazz and classical playing as well as his superior showmanship in concert. He was gracious with his time and took a genuine interest in every student he spoke with. The event blessed our music program with incredible musical memories and also benefited each school over $1000 in ticket revenue. Thank you to all who helped bring this together and we look forward to making this an annual event here in the Flathead Valley!