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Trumpet student Jennifer Rector plays from the heart

“The challenge is to find your own voice, and I’m still searching for it,” says music major Jennifer Rector. Photo: Tim Ryan

“Picture yourself succeeding,” encouraged Jennifer Rector’s mom before childhood soccer tournaments, high school band performances and auditions. Those words clearly reverberated this spring as Rector took the stage for her junior trumpet recital at the Lamont School of Music. And they continue to propel her to excellence in every undertaking.

Rector’s talent for trumpet has not gone unnoticed.

“She’s quite unusual. She’s so young, yet so focused and disciplined,” says Professor Joe Docksey, director of the Lamont School of Music. “She’s a jazz major but crosses over to classical with the same musical maturity.”

After performing Enesco’s classical piece “Legende,” Rector picks up her B-flat trumpet and pours her soul into “Pure Imagination” by Newley and Bricusse. In that brief moment between instruments, she effortlessly glides from classical concentration to interpretive jazz. Crossing musical genres just seems natural. “Music is music,” Rector says. “The challenge is to find your own voice, and I’m still searching for it.”

When she was 7 years old, Rector’s grandfather, a trumpet player himself, introduced her to the horn. His basement studio became their stage for duets. From her hometown in Albuquerque, N.M., Rector traveled to Denver to audition for a coveted spot in the Lamont School of Music. “I wanted to study under Professor Al Hood,” she says. “He taught me to play from the heart.”

A self-proclaimed over-achiever, Rector cloisters herself in a small practice room on the fifth floor of Lamont three hours a day to perfect her craft. Combining her passion for performing and her zest for learning, Rector envisions playing in an orchestra and becoming a university professor.

“School gives you the tools for creativity, but you have to become such yourself,” she says.


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