John Kenneth C. Gorder (Kenken), is a highly versatile trumpeter whose expertise have allowed for opportunities to perform in a multitude of ensemble settings including sinfonietta, brass quintet, brass trio, orchestra, wind ensembles, mixed chamber ensembles, and jazz bands. He is the former trumpeter for the University of Iowa’s Center for New Music Ensemble (CNM) under the direction of Dr. David Gompper. With the CNM, he has performed and premiered works by Richard Causton, Dmitri Papageorgiou, and David Gompper. His most notable performance with the CNM was performing the American premiere of György Kurtág’s 14 Fragmente aus Rückblick Altes und Neues für vier Spieler Hommage à Stockhausen, which is a shortened version (20-minutes) of the composer’s 70-minute long and incomplete work, Rückblick. Following that piece, he performed with the CNM and guest pianist, Conor Hanick, György Ligeti’s Piano Concerto.
Recently, he participated as a performing fellow at the 2017 Bang on a Can Summer Festival at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA). During the three-week festival, he performed alongside members of the Bang on a Can All-Stars playing an all Louis Andriessen recital with the most notable piece being Worker’s Union. Additionally, he premiered works by Liza Sobel, Connor D’Netto, Valentin Jost, and Daniel Brottman. At the conclusion of the festival, he performed in a 7-hour long “marathon” concert featuring the music of many composers including Louis Andriessen, Julia Wolfe, David Lang, Michael Gordon, Judd Greenstein, Mary Jane Leach, Lois Vierk, and Vanessa Lann, to name a few.
Gorder has also commissioned and premiered works by composers Jacob Pallo, Andrew Koss, and Tyler Katz in 2014, 2016, and 2017; two works were for trumpet ensemble and one work was written for solo trumpet and electronics. In addition to performing new music, he also performed with the Altoona Symphony Orchestra, Muscatine Symphony Orchestra, the HoodleBug Brass Quintet, and the Iowa Brass Quintet. John Kenneth was a semi-finalist in the 2012, 2017, and 2018 National Trumpet Competition, and a performer at the 2017 and 2018 International Trumpet Guild Conferences. He also served as an ensemble coach at the Interlochen Center for the Arts. Students of his have performed on studio recitals and earned seats in district and region bands.
John Kenneth Gorder earned his Master’s degree in Trumpet Performance studying under the tutelage of Dr. Amy Schendel at the University of Iowa (UI). Prior to his time at UI, he earned a bachelors of science degree in music education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP). Previous trumpet teachers include Dr. Kevin Eisensmith, Ken Brader, and Kyle Fleming. Mr. Gorder is currently based in Austin, Texas with his lovely rescue dog named Kelby.