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AU News

Famous jazz trumpeter Arturo Sandoval stressed determination at master class

April 1, 2015

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The South Carolina School of the Arts welcomed the world-famous jazz trumpeter Arturo Sandoval on campus March 20 for a master class and seminar. 

Sandoval grew up in poverty in Cuba and defected to the United States in 1990, an experience he shared about during his time on AU’s campus. He left school in the fifth grade, and worked from age 10 to help support his family. He was introduced to the trumpet through the local marching band in his village. 

“Music saved my life—literally,” he said. 

Sandoval has since earned a reputation as a master of the jazz trumpet and flugelhorn, as well as a respected classical artist, pianist and composer. He has received 10 Grammy Awards, six Billboard Awards, and an Emmy Award. He is also the 2013 recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom and continues to perform regularly with leading symphony orchestras from around the world.

Sandoval’s life experiences inspired the key message of the master class, which was one of determination, discipline and commitment. He stressed the importance of practice, learning and maintaining a hunger for information. 

“Don’t diminish the importance of any learning process,” Sandoval said.

When asked at what age he realized he was special, Sandoval said that when you start to believe that, you stop striving to improve. He still works hard to prepare for every performance, and he keeps looking for opportunities to learn and improve. 

One AU student who left inspired by Sandoval was Robert Krause, a junior majoring in music education. He said that he was most influenced by Sandoval’s story of determination to achieve success in light of his humble roots. 

Krause said he could relate Sandoval’s experience to his own. 

“I came from a high school without a great music program; I was thrown on the trumpet and had to learn. AU’s music program has helped me a lot; I can tell a big difference now compared to freshman year,” he said.

Jeff Purtle, Adjunct Trumpet Instructor at the South Carolina School of the Arts, said Sandoval’s presence on AU’s campus is indicative of the types of experiences the school creates for its students.

“Arturo is one of the biggest names in the trumpet and music world. He is from a unique and inspiring background as a proud American that had to leave his home of Cuba. He has achieved what he has accomplished by conscientious hard work,” Purtle said.

“In recent years, Anderson University has been able to bring artists like Arturo to expose students and the community to some of the best in their fields.” 


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