Texas Tech University

Dr. Stetson’s Debut Album Release Receives Critical Acclaim!

TTU School of Music

September 10, 2020

Rise Above Album cover

A collaborative effort through and through, Dr. Stetson’s debut album features nearly one hundred Texas Tech students along with Dr. Eric Allen and the TTU Symphonic Band, Dr. Philip Mann and the University Symphony Orchestra, and Becca Zeisler.

A collaborative effort through and through, Dr. Stetson's (Associate Professor of Trumpet and Associate Director for Undergraduate Studies) debut album features nearly one hundred Texas Tech students along with Dr. Eric Allen (Associate Professor and Associate Director of Bands) and the TTU Symphonic Band, Dr. Philip Mann (Professor of Practice and Director of Orchestral Studies) and the University Symphony Orchestra, and Becca Zeisler (Senior Staff Accompanist.) The project was funded in part by the Talkington College of Visual and Performing Arts and the Texas Tech Office of Research & Innovation.  

  • "Andrew Stetson [is heard] in a terrific program of four recently composed works... [Stephenson's Concerto for Hope] nicely balances virtuosity and lyricism, heroism and introspection, despair and optimism. Texas Tech's student orchestra gives it a terrific reading... [Hagerty's None of the Above  is a] fascinating work... Pianist Becca Zeisler plays beautifully.... [Mikulka's Concerto] has an epic quality... is witty and buoyant. Fine work by the Texas Tech Symphonic Band. Andrew Stetson is a fine trumpet player with all the skills needed for these excellent works."  
    Kilpatrick, American Record Guide [July/August 2020]  
  • “The Texas Tech ensembles and pianist Becca Zeisler play at an impressive level of professionalism, and the two conductors, Philip Mann and Eric Allen, have the skill to extract impeccable stylishness from the student orchestra and band. With so much to offer, this release has much broader appeal beyond trumpet fanciers. There's joy in Stetson's music-making, and it is captivating to hear his technical command and artistry.“   
    Huntley Dent, Fanfare Magazine [July 2020]  
  • "The main interest here is likely to be hearing Andrew Stetson's skilled performance in this world première recording [of Concerto for Hope by James Stephenson], along with his handling of three other world premières. Both the Moderato first movement and the Adagio second are meditative, with the second movement's extended solo-trumpet focus inviting expressively elegant playing... Mikulka shows considerable skill in writing both for the solo instrument and for the ensemble... this work, along with Stephenson's concerto, will be especially attractive for audiences interested not only in fine playing but also in well-wrought contemporary trumpet music."  
    Mark J. Estren, InfoDad [May 2020]