Luther College junior Michael Winkler was presented the 2018 Hemp Family Prize, at Luther's Homecoming concert, Sunday, Oct. 28. The Hemp Family Prize was one of four awards announced during the concert.
Winkler, son of Scott and Carrie Winkler of Sheboygan, Wisconsin, graduated from Sheboygan Falls High School in 2015. He is majoring in music and minoring in classical studies.
As a child, Winkler's parents encouraged him to begin piano lessons. From there, he went on to perform in public recitals. Along with piano, Winkler learned to play the trumpet and excelled quickly.
While studying under Arthur Kiehl, Winkler received many awards and was featured as a soloist with several bands and orchestras around Wisconsin. Over the summer of 2015, he toured as the lead trumpet with KIDS from Wisconsin, which was a three-month tour in which he performed in front of more than 100,000 people.
Winkler's more recent achievements include being a semifinalist at the National Trumpet Competition in 2018, ranking him in the top group of undergraduate soloists in the nation.
After completing his degree at Luther, Winkler hopes to attend graduate school to receive a master's degree in trumpet performance. This will allow him to continue to pursue his career as a professional trumpeter.
The Richard C. and Joann M. Hemp Family Prize for Orchestra Performance is given annually to a senior member of the Luther College Symphony Orchestra. The $6,000 scholarship is funded through an endowment established from Richard '64 and Joann (Harr) Hemp '65. Richard is a regent emeritus, former chair of the Luther Board of Regents and former Interim President of Luther College.
Selection of recipients is made through an audition process. The prize awards students of exceptional performance, talent, musicianship and leadership.
Luther is home to one of the largest collegiate music programs in the nation, with five choirs, three orchestras, three bands, two jazz bands and more than 800 student musicians. Luther students participate in large ensembles, faculty-coached chamber groups, private lessons and master classes. Nearly 275 music majors study music theory, ear training, history, education, composition, jazz, church music and performance.