Student of Distinction: Peyton Esraelian

Student of Distinction: Peyton Esraelian

Peyton Esraelian is the undergraduate student of distinction from the Department of Music with a B.A. in music education, instrumental emphasis. 

“Peyton Esraelian has proven her excellence in performing and academics. Her work outside of the collegiate setting is also commendable and speaks to her continued passion for teaching and inspiring the next generation of musicians,” said Dr. Emily Mason, Associate Professor, Department of Music. 

At Fresno State, Esraelian has performed with various ensembles and worked with numerous instructors at the state, national, and international levels. She has held the principal percussionist position with the Fresno State Symphony Orchestra since 2018. 

In 2019, she served as principal percussionist with the Fresno State Wind Orchestra and as student ensemble director for the Fresno State New Music Ensemble. As the student ensemble director, she curated a concert featuring four world premieres for the New Music Ensemble written by Fresno State graduate student composers.

“She is the most well-rounded and gifted student I’ve had in my 30-plus years heading the percussion program at Fresno State,” said Dr. Matthew H. Darling, Chair, Department of Music. “In my opinion, her potential for success in the music profession is vast and unlimited.” 

As an avid performer outside of Fresno State, Esraelian has performed professionally with the Fresno Philharmonic, Sequoia Symphony, Kings Symphony, Symphony Parnassus, and the Orpheus Chamber Ensemble. In 2018, she was a founding member of the professional chamber group Orphic Percussion. She was also invited to perform Emmanuel Sejourne’s Double Concerto for Marimba and Vibraphone at Carnegie Hall with the Fresno City College Band, but the performance was canceled due to the pandemic. 

“In addition to my passion for performing, teaching students in the Central Valley has been a highlight during my college experience,” says Esraelian. Since 2018, she has been the percussion director at University High School, a private percussion instructor, the percussion coach for the Youth Orchestras of Fresno, and a percussion manager for the Fresno-Madera Counties Music Educators Association.

Dr. Thomas Loewenheim says, “Peyton is one of the hardest working and most dedicated musicians I have encountered. She is one of the most dependable people I know and is always ready to assist in any way she can.”

“After graduating from Fresno State, my next course of action is to continue teaching and performing in the Fresno area while I work towards auditioning for a master’s program in percussion performance. The ultimate goal for my career is to earn a position with a full-time professional symphony orchestra while working with a wide variety of students,” said Esraelian in a statement. 

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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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