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Student Spotlight: Matthew De La Torre

Disciplines (Past/Present): Saxophone, Flute, Piano, Cello, Trumpet, Keyboard

Matthew De La Torre, age 24, is a multi-instrumentalist that chooses to share his vast musical knowledge with younger generations and those of special needs. A seasoned student, Matthew started at LAMusArt in December of 2002, taking on any and all instruments he could get his hands on.

After 18 full years of being an LAMusArt student, Matthew has taken it upon himself to spread his newfound knowledge to his own audiences in East LA. With an aspired career in arts education, Matthew has had the opportunity to work one-on-one with students in LAMusArt’s Jazz Ensemble, conduct a crowd of instrumentalists at school, and still perform with Montebello’s very own Wiseguys Big Band Machine at venues as widely known as The Hollywood House of Blues and Disneyland’s The Royal Palace.

Matthew accredits his work at LAMusArt to translate into how he plays and how he teaches other musicians, “Isaac,” referring to LAMusArt teaching artist Dr. Isaac Lopez, “has helped me break down jazz standards, read chord changes, and be more fluent in soloing in nearly any song.”

The young musician takes note of how often he uses the knowledge he has gained from his teachers to help others learn as well, “I feel that I’ve gotten out of my comfort zone and the struggle I went through to become a better musician has helped me look at my students and have a better understanding of what I need to say in order to share what I know.” Matthew also touches on how the exposure to more students has helped him learn more as being surrounded by talented musicians tends to wear off on those that can hear them.

When we asked Matthew what his greatest accomplishment with LAMusArt has been, he told us, “Learning the music for Into the Woods was the hardest thing I had ever done. It was a sort of send-off to the teacher I was taking from at the time, so there was even more pressure. Being able to transcribe and arrange music from one instrument to another was challenging, but the fact that I was able to do it within a month was even more satisfying.”

In the near future, Matthew would like to become a High School band and jazz teacher, an aspiration he will chase with attending California State University–Long Beach. When he isn’t teaching, he would like to be able to do live sound and operate mixing boards for others’ musical performances. We are excited to see the impact Matthew will have on the arts community!


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