Skip to main content

Three public university music professors from around the United States have been chosen as the winners of the Doc Severinsen International Composition Contest.

UT’s College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Music, and the┬áSouthern Chapter of┬áthe College Music Society sponsored the competition.

First-place winner Peter Lieuwen will receive $10,000 for his piece “Concerto Alfresco,” written for solo trumpet and symphony orchestra. Lieuwen is professor of music and composer in residence in the Department of Performance Studies at Texas A&M University.

Second-place winner Daniel McCarthy will receive $5,000 for “The Tao of Infinity,” scored for solo trumpet and symphony orchestra. McCarthy is professor and chair of the Composition and Theory Section at the University of Akron School of Music.

Third-place winner Eric Knechtges will receive $2,000 for “Up All Night,” composed for solo trumpet and wind ensemble. Knechtges is assistant professor and coordinator of Theory and Composition at Northern Kentucky University.


The competition is named after famous jazz trumpeter Doc Severinsen, the longtime band leader of The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and a Grammy Award winner. Severinsen chose the winning compositions.

Internationally renowned trumpeters Allen Vizzutti and Vince DiMartino served as second round judges.

Of Lieuwen, the winning composer, Severinsen said: “Congratulations on being extremely skilled at orchestration. I hope I get a chance to play it someday.”

He added that “The Tao of Infinity” was a very close second and “it had great melodies. I loved the material.”

Of “Up All Night,” he said, “Great concept and very nice scoring.”

Scott Dickinson, a graduate student at the University of Miami, received an honorable mention for “Apparatus.” The work was scored for solo trumpet and orchestra.


The three winning compositions will premiere at 8:00 p.m. on February 14, 2014, during a performance featuring internationally renowned trumpeters Allen Vizzutti, Vince DiMartino, and Gabriel DiMartino in Cox Auditorium of the Alumni Memorial Building on UT’s campus. The UT Symphony Orchestra and the UT Wind Ensemble will perform along with the guest soloists.

The concert will be held during the Joint Regional Conference of the College Music Society Southern and Mid-Atlantic Chapters, and the Association for Technology in Music Instruction.

The conference, scheduled February 13 through 15, 2014, at UT’s new Natalie L. Haslam Music Center, will include a keynote address by Severinsen and a luncheon. It also will feature a talk by Knoxville jazz great Donald Brown and a concert showcasing his works. The conference will include presentations by composers and scholars from around the nation.

For more information about the conference, visit the website.

To learn more about the UT School of Music, visit the website.


Lola Alapo (865-974-3993,