Native Austinite Billy Hunter has spent the past 16 years as principal trumpet player with the Metropolitan Opera.


He now returns to his hometown in triumph.


And does so to teach at the University of Texas’ Butler School of Music and, one hopes, to fill some guest shots with local musical ensembles.


Hunter earned his bachelor’s degree at UT.


"I’m thrilled to return to Austin as a Butler school of Music faculty member," said Hunter. "The education I got from my teacher and the music school faculty as a student was life-changing. I am anxious to share my knowledge of music with the students at UT, as well as present new ideas for diversity and inclusion in the music school and the university."


After graduating with a master’s degree from the top-tier Juilliard School, Hunter auditioned 32 times before winning his first job with the New World Symphony in Miami.


He rose to the role of the Met’s principal trumpet player in 2004. He doubled that position off-season as assistant principal trumpet with the Grant Park Symphony Orchestra in Chicago.


Hunter has appeared with a dozen different groups and has given master classes and recitals at another dozen conservatories and universities. In 2010, UT honored Hunter with an Outstanding Young Texas Exes award.


While at the University of Texas, Hunter won the UT Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition, the Eastern Music Festival Concerto Competition in North Carolina and the Kingsville International Solo Competition, Brass Division.