Professor of Trumpet Chris Gekker has released his second solo CD, Clarion, on Albany Records. The 13-track disc features Gekker performing contemporary works written specifically for him by composers Eric Ewazen, Sydney Hodkinson, and James Wintle. Recorded at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, the project was made possible through a faculty Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA) award from the University of Maryland Graduate School.
One of the most sought-after trumpet teachers in the United States, Chris Gekker is an alumnus of the University of Maryland (MM '81), and a veteran of both the recording studio and the live stage. As a studio soloist, he can be heard on more than 20 recordings. Additionally, he appears on over 100 recordings of chamber groups, orchestras, and jazz ensembles. On the concert stage, Gekker has performed as a soloist at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and major venues throughout the United States, Asia, and Europe. He was a member of the famed American Brass Quintet for 18 years and he has also performed and recorded as principal trumpet for both the Orchestra of St. Luke's and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra.
Released in October 2007, Clarion was recorded at the Clarice Smith Center's Dekelboum Concert Hall in July and November of 2006, and April 2007. A companion to Gekker's debut solo CD Winter (2004, Albany Records), Clarion further demonstrates the vital relationship between Gekker and his composers. Not only do two of Eric Ewazen's compositions for Gekker appear on the disk, but Ewazen himself provides piano accompaniment on one of them. Also appearing on the CD are two of Gekker's colleagues from the UM School of Music, pianist Rita Sloan and violinist David Salness.
"Chris Gekker plays trumpet beautifully and puts a stamp of care, heart, and quality on everything he produces." American Record Guide, March 2008.