Ada — The music department at East Central University recently announced Krayton King as the winner of the third annual ECU Concerto Competition, which was held on March 10. King, a native of Grove and a student of Eric Hall, is currently in his freshman year at ECU and at age 17, he is the youngest winner in the competition’s history.
The competition prize is a $500 scholarship provided by the Masonic Endowment for Cultural Enrichment, administered by the ECU Foundation, and a solo performance with the ECU Wind Ensemble on its spring concert, which will be held in the Ataloa Theatre of the Hallie Brown Ford Fine Arts Center at 7:30 p.m., Thursday. King will perform Ferdinand David’s Concertino for Trombone.
“It has been so encouraging to see how this competition has evolved over the past three years from just an idea to an established tradition,” said Concerto Competition coordinator Juliana Overmier, who teaches flute and conducts the University Flute Ensemble. “Thanks to the combined efforts of ECU music administration and faculty, we now have a venue to single out and reward our finest student musicians with this unique and valuable performing experience. I want especially to acknowledge ECU Foundation Director Phyllis Danley for all the work she did to establish funding for the addition of the $500 scholarship through the Masonic Endowment for Cultural Enrichment. This scholarship will certainly have a positive impact, both to honor the winners and to motivate future applicants.”
King is the youngest of seven children raised in Grove. With the encouragement of their parents, all seven participated in their public school music programs. In order to emulate an older brother, Krayton first picked up the trombone in fifth grade and began private lessons with Grove High School band director Joseph Wilhelm II. His playing ability earned him a spot in All-District Honor Band for six straight years, as well as two years in Oklahoma Allstate Band and Orchestra. During his high school career, he was also the winner of his band’s Director’s Award, the John Philip Sousa Award and the Woody Herman Jazz Award.
"Krayton’s outstanding musical accomplishments as well as his academic standing as an honor roll student earned him acceptance to ECU in the fall of 2013," Overmier said. "In the short time he has been at the university, he has won first chair in the Wind Ensemble, and he has received the Outstanding Musician award, as well as the Bron Warren Centennial Scholarship Award."
Krayton acknowledges his ECU instructor Eric Hall as his mentor and says of him, “He just pushes me to do my best…and sometimes better than that.”
After he graduates from ECU, Krayton hopes to be an instructor of either a middle school or high school band and to perform in an orchestra. Of the Concerto Competition, he said, “I’m very blessed to have had this opportunity and to have won.”