Professor's Band Earns Grammy Nomination

Professor’s Band Wins Grammy

Professor's Band Earns Grammy Nomination

Professor Lington wrote half of the arrangements on the record and played sax on all the tracks (Chad Ziemendorf photo).

A Spartan has won a Grammy! Baritone saxophonist, composer and Professor Aaron Lington is a member of the Pacific Mambo Orchestra, a 19-piece Big Band whose debut release was nominated for Best Tropical Latin Album.

That placed PMO alongside the likes of Marc Anthony, who was nominated for a Grammy in the same category.

Professor Lington beat out a number of very famous artists and his band’s album was the only independent entry in this category,” said Chair of the Department of Music and Dance Joseph Frank. “This is a real victory for our own phenomenal artist.”

Lington was proud just to be nominated.

“I am so unbelievably excited and proud of PMO for beating the odds and making it into the running with some of the best in the biz,” Lington said on his website. “I am very personally proud of the album as having been one of its primary composers. I wrote half of the compositions or arrangements on the record, as well as having played baritone sax on all the tracks.”

SJSU offers a bachelor’s in jazz studies, providing students with the opportunity to learn from top educators and performers.

The Power of Gratitude: Saved by the Music

Music major and Spartan, Jessica Nuygen

Photo: Thomas Sanders, ’15 MFA Photography

Jessica Nguyen, ’15 Music Education

Music saved my life. I could finally be myself with music; I could make my own path. It’s a special thing and I want to share it with others. I can’t be selfish and keep that gift to myself.”

Discipline, teamwork, fine motor skills, expression, a way to connect cross-culturally and without language—these are just some of the reasons why Jessica Nguyen, ’15 Music Education, believes her field is important. A recipient of this year’s Alumni Association Dean’s Scholarship in the College of Humanities and the Arts, Nguyen plans to pursue a career teaching band, choir and orchestra to elementary and middle school students. “I connect with the younger kids—plus I’m taller than them,” jokes the diminutive musician, singer and conductor.

Nguyen is a member of the Concert Choir, Marching Band, Symphonic Band, Jazz Band and the Choraliers, with whom she’s traveling to Europe in a few months for a concert tour—a dream come true. “Winning this scholarship made Europe possible,” she says with a wistful smile. “I’ll get to sing in the cathedrals where my favorite music was born! I’m so thankful.”

View The Power of Gratitude series.

Major Decisions: Music

Daniel Matthews shares how his passion for music has grown as he works towards his major in music with an emphasis in jazz studies. The music program at SJSU brings people together from all over the world. SJSU’s prime location gives music majors many opportunities to find gigs throughout the Bay Area, including venues in SF and Santa Cruz.