Skip to main content
Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

URI award-winning trumpet player to hold concert in April

Media Contact:

Nicholas Jemo: Music Man

KINGSTON, R.I. -- March 3, 2005 -- We should not think in terms of the trumpet player, but of the man who is playing the trumpet, according to the late Arnold Jacobs of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. At the University of Rhode Island, the man who plays the trumpet is music performance major Nicholas Jemo.

The North Scituate native began playing the instrument at 11 because he wanted to follow in the footsteps of his older brother Tom. His love of the trumpet led him to the University of Rhode Island on a full music scholarship. The junior has won a number of other awards and recognition.

He won the first $1,000 Kingston Chamber Music Festival Scholarship, awarded to an outstanding instrumental student entering the junior class and recognition at the first performance of the Kingston Chamber Music Festival.

Jemo was excited about the award, but even more excited to meet David Kim, the director of the festival who is also the concertmaster of the Philadelphia Orchestra, as well as Michael Sachs, the principal trumpet player of the Cleveland Orchestra.

On Saturday, April 9, Jemo will hold his junior performance recital at the Fine Arts Center Concert Hall. Although his final set is not yet determined, he will play music from the Modern and Romantic eras, with an opening number that includes a soprano and string quartet and an ending number that includes a septet.

The following week, on Saturday, April 16, he will be the concerto soloist in the URI Symphony Orchestra. He was given this distinction after winning a concerto competition in January.

Performing in front of audiences is nothing new to Jemo, who is a member of both the URI Symphony Orchestra and the wind ensemble. He played in the orchestra pit in URI’s theatre production of “Beauty and the Beast” last semester. He has played for other theatre companies, including Trinity Repertory Co. for a seven-week run of “West Side Story.”

In addition to performing in the U.S., he has also played to audiences abroad. In the summer of 2002, he toured the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland with the Greater Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Federico Cortese. “I got to play with musicians that are the best in New England,” said Jemo. “The experience was amazing. In Europe, classical music is a big form of entertainment.”

Jemo cites Phil Smith, Bud Herseth, and Wynton Marsalis as his musical inspirations. “Marsalis has won Grammy’s for both classical and jazz performance. He is one of the best musicians in the 20th century,” Jemo said.

While Marsalis is his inspiration, the URI student still prefers to play classical music. “There are too many pieces I love, I can’t narrow them down. But I can say that my favorite composers are Mahler, Strauss, Shostakovich, and Tchaikovsky,” says the accomplished musician.

Jemo’s plans for after graduation are not definite; however, he does want to attend graduate school in New York City and one day play in a professional orchestra. “For now though,” he said, “I just like to perform.”