Professor of Trumpet Michael Tunnell passed away on the morning of December 19 after a three year battle with cancer.
A graduate of the School of Music (MM, 1978), he became a member of the School of Music faculty in 1988 when appointed by Dean Jerry Ball to follow Mike’s own UofL teacher and mentor, Leon Rapier, as the principal trumpet teacher at the school. Dr. Tunnell quickly established his musical and pedagogical reputation as an inspirational colleague and leader among the music faculty and a remarkable performer in ensembles ranging from symphonic orchestras, historical period brass ensembles, brass bands, and other chamber ensembles including the UofL resident faculty ensemble, the Louisville Brass, and the Sonus Brass. As a solo trumpet and corno da caccia performer, Mike commissioned and recorded several discs that illustrated his versatility and mastery of the trumpet and its many variations. While music performance was a very important part of his professional life, Dr. Tunnell’s dedication was always most evident in his concern for his trumpet studio and all the students to whom he was devoted. Mike's students quickly became aware of his interest and commitment to their development as fine people and as wonderful musicians. His commitment to them while students, and later in their lives was always clear, as was their respect and admiration for him as a teacher and, later, as a friend and peer.
The School will host a memorial concert at the School of Music for Professor Michael Tunnell at 2 pm on the afternoon of Sunday, January 25. Additionally, a special trumpet scholarship fund has been established in the name of Dr. Tunnell.
In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy can be made to the University of Louisville School of Music, Michael Tunnell Trumpet Scholarship Fund. Please contact Lauren Zachry-Reynolds at 502-852-0516 for more information about how to give.