Eganam Segbefia: The New Yorker’s Trumpeter
If you search for trumpeter Eganam Segbefia online you might be amazed by what you find. At the top of the search results is an article written by Barneys New York, a segment about Eganam on radio station WQXR, and a listing on IMDB as an On-Screen Musician in the film Enchanted. These search results do not come close to describing Eganam’s experiences or his passion for music, people, and life.
Eganam Segbefia, 27, is the fourth child of nine born to Moses and Dzineli Segbefia. He began playing the trumpet in the 5th grade, just 7 months after the Segbefia family migrated to New York City from Ghana. “At first I liked playing the trumpet because it was a way for me to hide my strong African English accent from my peers at the time,” recalls Eganam. “It then grew into an extension of me which I use to share my passion and life experiences.” This passion shines through all of his musical endeavors.
In the past he was a Mellophone player in The Cadets of New York City Drum Corps International Division Three Drum and Bugle Corps from 2002 to 2004 and participated with The Cadets Drum Corps International Division One corps in 2007. From 2004-2008 he was a member of the Brooklyn Steppers Marching Band. When we asked how he received the part in Enchanted he shared, “the [Brooklyn Steppers] marching band was contracted to a couple of scenes in the movie. Only a few members were needed for the scenes and I was one of the members selected to be a part of the movie.”
Eganam has gone on to earn a B.S. in Music Education from South Carolina State University and has set out to pursue his dreams. On September 27th, 2015 he performed at Carnegie Hall with the International Youth Philhamonic Orchestra. “That day, the first half of my dream of performing at Carnegie Hall came true. (The second half is to perform as a Soloist accompanied by a Major Orchestra.)”
Currently, he is a full-time Masters student in Brass Studies at Manhattan School of Music, a new member of the United Nations Orchestra, and freelances in his spare time.
For the Love of Music
“I love performing “It Is Well” and “Amazing Grace“ because these two songs have always helped me get through rough times. Whenever things aren’t going according to plan or when life presents me with a challenge, these two songs calm my spirit and help me retool myself to be able to rise and face the challenge head on. I love performing “Grand Russian Fantasia” and “Fantaisie Brilliante” because these virtuoso pieces help remind me how long I’ve come in learning and refining my skills as a trumpeter. It becomes fun to play through these passages.”
The humble trumpeter not only plays music to help himself, but he is also well-known for helping other New Yorkers during their busy commute. In fact, one of the first things Acceptd found out about Eganam was his involvement in playing for crowds around New York City. “I perform regularly from Monday to Fridays at Grand Central Shuttle from 6am to 9am.” During the summer months he can be found playing in Central Park. As Barneys New York said, “You only need to spend a few passing moments in his presence to take in his drive, energy, and talent—as exhibited by his smiling, speed-walking fans each and every morning.”
Manhattan School of Music
Eganam’s first priority is school. After performing at Grand Central, he goes to Manhattan School of Music (MSM) where he is a full-time student. MSM’s mission is to “prepare highly talented students for careers as accomplished and passionate performers and composers and as imaginative, effective leaders in the arts.”
“MSM is preparing me for my future by providing me with all the tools necessary to succeed not only as a musician, but also as a genuine human being. Through the classes in my curriculum and extra curricular activities, I am being educated by some of the best professionals in the world.” For someone who enjoys playing to people from all walks if life it comes as no surprise that Eganam enjoys the diversity at MSM. He shares that the school has “a very diverse student body with students coming from various ethnic backgrounds across six continents. This gives me a vital opportunity to meet, interact, learn, understand and build an appreciation for the many cultures of our world.”
At MSM, Eganam is pursuing a master’s degree in brass studies. “I chose MSM’s brass studies because of the prestige that comes with it. MSM provides a world-class education and opportunities to its students and I’ve always wanted to benefit from that.”
The programs of study for brass majors at MSM are designed to develop skilled performers who are familiar with the standard solo, ensemble, and orchestral literature for their instruments. Students achieve a high degree of professional competence and appropriate stylistic approaches to the literature of various historical periods. Some of the opportunities for Brass Studies majors includes:
- Brass Ensemble led by David Jolley
- Brass Lab, a multi-faceted course (under the stewardship of David Jolley, Brass Chair) featuring;
- Master Classes with Visiting Artists like Jamie Sommerville (Boston Symphony Orchestra), Fergus McWilliam (Berlin Philharmonic), James Miller (LA Philharmonic), Wolfgang Strasser (Vienna Philharmonic), as well as MSM faculty, such as Ethan Bensdorf, Tom Smith, and Vincent Penzarella (NY Philharmonic), Per Brevig and Stephen Norrell (Met Opera), and David Taylor, international Bass Trombone Soloist.
- Orchestral Readings
- Peer-Teaching: Solos, Etudes, and Excerpts
Eganam clearly has a dedication to his education, extracurriculars, and performances that you cannot simply find in a Google Search. The light that he shares with New Yorkers as they pass is just one of many experiences that has paid off with his advice for pursuing music as a profession, “Be genuine, be respectful, work hard, believe in yourself, be fearless, mind your own business and pray everyday.”
In order to be admitted to MSM, applicants must submit an online application and audition in-person for MSM faculty. Selected programs require prescreening materials before an invitation will be extended for an in-person audition. Applications for the 2017-2018 academic year are due December 1, 2016. Additional questions are available on the MSM website. If you would like to learn more, please contact the MSM Admissions Team by email at: email@example.com.
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