Trumpet professional to encourage students to follow their passions

Oct. 8, 2012

April Wefler
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If you’ve ever dreamed of a career you thought was impossible, you’re not alone.

Musician Manny Laureano achieved his ultimate dream as principal trumpet in one of the few elite major symphony orchestras and will be part of this year’s guest lecture and Q-and-A event With a Little Bit of Luck, a collaboration between the UCCS Music Program and the Chamber Orchestra of the Springs.

“I believe freshmen will walk away from this discussion with a new understanding of the profound connection between the conviction to follow your passions and dreams and achieving success,” Glen Whitehead, associate professor and director of the UCCS Music Program, said.

Whitehead said that Laureano asked if the university could create a forum in which Laureano could talk with students face-to-face about success and making it in the world. “These daunting words are everywhere for college students, as if it is that easy,” Whitehead explained.

He said that Laureano’s life experience is not very different from that of many UCCS students. “Growing up in an immigrant family from Puerto Rico in the 1950s, he found his true passion – to become a professional classical trumpet player – as impossible a dream as it gets,” he added.

According to the Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra website, Laureano was born and raised in East Harlem. He learned the trumpet at Wagner Junior High School, the only school in New York City that offered instrumental music as a main subject. He auditioned for and was accepted to the High School of Music and Art before he was later admitted to Juilliard.

Laureano also won the position of principal trumpet of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra 10 years after he started playing the instrument. In 1988, Laureano and his wife became music directors of the Minnesota Youth Symphonies.

“I think that Mr. Laureano sees in college students of all areas of pursuits the very same challenges and insecurities that he wrestled with,” Whitehead said.

He added that Laureano wants to connect with all types of students, but he is particularly engaged in connecting with the younger Latino generations that are coming of age.

“I felt this was a unique opportunity for UCCS students to get a glimpse of the larger world of human pursuits and unique career paths,” said Whitehead.

In addition to the lecture and Q-and-A, Laureano is also giving a clinic on trumpet playing on Oct. 12 at 4 p.m. in Centennial Hall. Tickets are free for students.

There are additional performances Oct. 13 at 7 p.m. and Oct. 14 at 2:30 p.m. at the Cornerstone Arts Center at Colorado College. Tickets for UCCS students at those show times are $5.