UCF’s Trumpet Ensemble sounded a new note at the Schagerl International Brass Festival in Melk, Austria—five songs worth of new notes, to be exact. On June 2, the ensemble performed five songs inside Stift Melk, a 1,000-year-old abbey.

All of the pieces were written specifically for the ensemble to perform at this event. Four of the pieces were written by UCF faculty, grad students and alumni.

“We are performing with the greatest brass soloists, ensembles and teachers that Europe has to offer,” says John Almeida, the ensemble’s director, “and we are featured guests, here—just like they are.” And UCF’s is the only American ensemble performing at the festival.

The ensemble played so well, they received four curtain calls and a 10-minute applause, as well as recognition from European musicians. The ensemble is to be included on the DVD for the festival.

They also were asked to perform two special acts—one is to play trumpet fanfares on the new Bastion of Stift Melk, the other is to join a large brass ensemble to play the Grand Finale concert on June 4.

The ensemble will end their trip by travelling to Mozart’s birthplace of Salzburg for a special trumpet masterclass at the Mozart Conservatory.

“This trip is a life-changing experience for our students. I am so proud of them and all of the hard work and many hours of practice they put into this project,” Almeida said.