Grant Manhart, the faculty member who leads the Dominant 7, told Dorer the students were from Northern State University in Aberdeen, just five hours west of the Twin Cities.
It's obvious to me you get a much higher caliber of student than I do, said Dorer, who also plays trumpet in the Minnesota Orchestra.
Manhart told Dorer that he doubted that was true. But Manhart did admit that his students work hard.
The NSU group was one of about 10 college trumpet ensembles that performed prelude concerts at the International Trumpet Guild Conference, held at the Minneapolis Hilton. The prelude shows took place before lectures and performances by noted jazz performers.
Other schools represented included Ohio State University and Grand Valley State of Michigan.
For Northern's students, the conference afforded the opportunity to get near the greatest trumpeters, literally, in the world, said Manhart, an associate professor of high brass at Northern.
The Dominant 7's 20-minute, two-song set on May 27 came just before an appearance by jazz performer Marcus Printup. The Northern students all got their photos taken with former Tonight Show bandleader Doc Severinsen. Roshawn Ross of the Dave Matthews Band was a big hit with our guys, Manhart said.
Among the other trumpet virtuosos on hand were David Hickman of Arizona State University and Alan Vizzutti. The Northern students got insights into the business side of music from the agent for New York trumpeter Joey Pero.
It was the third time that the Dominant 7 performed at the International Trumpet Guild Conference. The previous appearances were in 2006 in Glassboro, N.J., and Harrisburg, Pa., in 2008. At this year's event, Manhart was chairman of the jazz improvisation competition.
Performing in the Dominant 7 this time, in addition to Manhart, were Callie Marlette of Gettysburg, Craig Kollasch of Spirit Lake, Iowa, James Reed of Spearfish, Bryce Job of Aberdeen, Ben Chambers of Sioux Falls, Sonja Kaiser of Hoven, Tyler Schwan of Minot, N.D., and Alex and Chris Massa of Rapid City.
Schwan plays trombone, Job drums and Reed provides bass and vocals. The rest play trumpet.
The Northern group was joined at the conference by Dominant 7 alumni Danielle Cirelli and Brian Harding, who are now graduate students at Morehead State University in Morehead, Ky. Harding performed with the group.
Another visitor was Northern graduate Brian Hanegan.
At the Dakota Jazz Club in Minneapolis, Alex Massa shared the stage with a bunch of really seasoned professionals, and did great, Manhart said.
The Dominant 7 is different from most college trumpet ensembles, Manhart said. Most other units are studio ensembles that play academic literature, have a conductor and are dressed formally. The Dominant 7 plays more popular tunes, which Manhart arranges, and has a rhythm section.
In addition, the leader is a member of the group, rather than out front. Dominant 7 members memorize all their music and dress in more colorful clothing. We play more like a jazz performance group, Manhart said.
The Dominant 7 plays aggressively, with a brilliant rich sound, which is not typical of university trumpet ensembles, he said.
The conference was a positive experience for the Northern musicians, Manhart said. I'm proud of them all.