Student of Distinction: Jeffrey LaRose

Jeffrey LaRose

Graduate, M.A. in Trumpet Performance

In 2011, Jeffrey “Jeff” LaRose graduated from Fresno State with a B.A. in Music Education. Since then, he has been teaching at Glacier Middle School and has served as the Band, Percussion and Orchestra Director; Indoor Percussion Director; Jazz Director and Choir Director. Now ten years later, he is poised to receive a Masters of Art in Trumpet Performance.

“I dove into teaching. It became one of the most gratifying things in my life. Music became an avenue to give my students a sense of value, purpose, and community,” LaRose said. “Some students even began to believe the hope that I saw for their futures. I had no idea how far-reaching that would go.”

He caught a glimpse of his influence as a teacher at his first Wind Orchestra rehearsal back at Fresno State, where he saw many of his former students in the ensemble. While he had initially continued his education to become a better trumpeter, he began to rethink his experience.

“While becoming a better musician is important to me, I am most excited about pursuing what the master’s program revealed to me about teaching,” LaRose said. “I aim to… inspire my students to achieve their impossible, and embrace the opportunities to mentor new teachers who are beginning their journey.”

His program at Glacier Point Middle School has won top honors in competitions around the region, including winning the grand sweepstakes in the “Music in the Parks” festival in the Bay Area.

Still, his instructors tout his trumpeting skills. Associate Professor of Music Steve McKeithen says, “Jeff plays with a beautiful tone, technical facility, and his phrasing is masterful.”

Professor of Music Dr. Gary P. Gilroy agreed, saying, “[T]hrough blind auditions, Jeff LaRose has been named the top player every time he has auditioned during his graduate program. It is very

impressive that he manages to accomplish this even while maintaining his role as husband, daddy and Director of Bands at Glacier Point Middle School, a full-time job!”

LaRose is currently the first trumpet in the Sequoia Symphony Orchestra. He has also played with the Wind Symphony of Clovis and the Central Valley Winds community ensembles.

During his time as a graduate student, LaRose has completed three research projects. He plans to continue his research into the kinesiology of trumpet playing.

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The College of Arts and Humanities Students of Distinction represents the best of their department and will be honored at the Arts in Motion event at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 10 – the culminating event of the Arts in Motion Showcase week. From these students, one undergraduate and one graduate Dean’s Medalist will be selected. The Dean’s Medalists are then eligible to receive the President’s Medal, the university’s highest student honor.

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The College of Arts and Humanities provides a diverse student population with the communication skills, humanistic values and cultural awareness that form the foundation of scholarship. The college offers intellectual and artistic programs that engage students and faculty and the community in collaboration, dialog and discovery. These programs help preserve, illuminate and nourish the arts and humanities for the campus and for the wider community.

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