Langston Fitzgerald receives 2013 Kennedy Center-Sondheim Teacher Award

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Langston J. Fitzgerald III, professor of trumpet at Penn State, has been awarded the 2013 Kennedy Center/Stephen Sondheim Inspirational Teacher Award. These annual awards publicly recognize specific teachers by spotlighting their extraordinary impact on the lives of students. Nominated by students they once taught, these former students' stories exemplify the power one teacher has to inspire others and transform lives. Fitzgerald was nominated by Master Sgt. Andrew L. Wilson, solo cornet/trumpet, U.S. Air Force Band, Washington, D.C.

Wilson wrote, "Fitz, as Dr. Fitzgerald is better known, has an uncanny ability to help students attain focus, the key for achieving accuracy in the performing arts, and is what allows a performer to conquer all the technical challenges and accurately recreate the composer’s work. Fitz’s teaching allows a student to attain that key focus."

Fitzgerald has several former students who have won positions in major symphony orchestras including Tage Larsen, fourth trumpet, Chicago Symphony Orchestra; Billy Hunter, principal trumpet, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra in New York City; and Thomas Hooten, principal trumpet, Atlanta Symphony. In addition to preparing many of his students for performing careers, Fitzgerald has had numerous students pursue the degrees of master of music and doctor of musical arts in performance.

“I have been blessed with good, challenging teachers in my life,” Fitzgerald acknowledges. “From them, I draw inspiration to endlessly challenge my own students to be the best they can possibly be. I experience great gratification in teaching for the love of the trumpet, of music of the joy of teaching.”

To read more about Fitzgerald, click here.

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Last Updated January 09, 2015