Josh Laughner is pursuing a double major in composition and chemistry, and will graduate in May 2013. From Wadsworth, Ohio, he is a trumpet student of Langston Fitzgerald. Josh has been named as one of the winners of the Symphonic Wind Ensemble’s 2013 Concerto Competition.
A member of the Schreyer Honors College, Josh has been an active student in both the School of Music and the Department of Chemistry. As a musician, he has been an important member of the composition studio, where he is a student of Paul Barsom, and he has participated in numerous ensembles as a trumpet player. While maintaining this involvement as a musician, he also tutored students in chemistry for three years. He is the recipient of the College of Arts and Architecture’s 2012 Golumbic Scholarship Award, the Chemistry Department’s Teas Scholarship, and he was awarded a 3M Summer Research Fellowship in the summer of 2012.
Josh will perform Concerto in A-flat Major for Trumpet by Alexander Arutunian with the Symphonic Wind Ensemble at its April 25 performance in Eisenhower Auditorium. He writes, “I'm so excited to play the Arutunian with the Wind Ensemble because I've always loved how the solo and ensemble parts interact - there's one measure where the solo trumpet and first horn move together in parallel thirds that just emerges from the texture beautifully. I hope the rest of the group enjoys playing this too. Having spent the last five years of my life at Penn State, I'm sad to leave, but I can't think of a better memory to take with me than performing the Arutunian with such a great group of musicians.”
After graduation, Josh plans to pursue a Ph.D. in chemistry, but he is grateful for the faculty mentorship he received in the School of Music. He thanks Dr. Fitzgerald “for taking me into his studio and helping me grow so much as a player in the last five years, and Dr. Barsom for giving me freedom to explore my compositional voice. He has always managed to push me to develop in my own way, without copying his style, and I am starting to appreciate how difficult a task that is.”