Erika Izaguirre stumbled upon the trumpet by chance.
She was born and raised in Austin, Texas. She had two older sisters that were both in choir, but she chose to play in the band.
Professor Izaguirre’s trumpet career started before sixth grade band. She missed the initial testing of instruments for the sixth grade band. So, when she finally got the chance, there were only four instrument options left: flute, clarinet, trumpet and trombone
She looked at the instruments and weighed her options. The flute? Too small. The clarinet? Too squeaky. The trombone? Too big. The trumpet? Just right.
This choice sparked an ever-present passion for playing the trumpet leading to three degrees and a lifelong career. In seventh grade, she was in the middle school jazz band. Izaguirre went to a professional concert in Austin.
“I was sitting in the fifth row. The entire trumpet section started walking around the auditorium, which wasn’t much larger than Memorial Auditorium here. They were playing very loudly, very highly. One of them ended up right behind me,” said Izaguirre. “I went home. Ears were still ringing and I went up to my parents and said, ‘I am going to be a trumpet player.’”
Izaguirre completed her undergraduate degree in music at the University of Texas at Austin. After graduating, she went for her master’s at Baylor University. Then, she attended Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY for her Ph.D.
Before coming to Concordia this past fall semester, Izaguirre lived in Boston, Massachusetts. She was teaching for the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and they have a program called the Intensive Community Program. This program services underrepresented communities within the classical music world.
When asked her favorite part about working for the Boston Symphony Orchestra, she said, “As someone who comes from a community that is underrepresented in classical music or just in music in general, it was nice just to be their role model and their mentor — just being there for them so they can see that anything is possible.”
“She’s a master at creating community and she intends to work towards a better future. Not to mention how that is also creating a great experience for the students in those schools,” said senior trumpet student Devin Dircks. “She’s everything I could have asked for in a studio teacher, and more.”
It is hard to find the right job and make the right choice, but not for Izaguirre. Izzaguirre said, “As a musician, you go where the music takes you—whether it’s traveling, whether it’s on tour or whether it’s the right job that opens up.”
Izaguirre is someone who knows what she wants and she is also willing to see how her happiness plays out. “I think that this is a really great fit for me. I really enjoy working with my students, I really enjoy working with my colleagues here. I have been here for two months and I feel that professionally and personally I have already had more growth than I thought I would have initially.”
Peter Haberman, director of the bands, said, “Dr. Izaguirre is a versatile player on the trumpet — classical playing, jazz playing and solo repertoire. She is also a wonderful teacher who not only teaches the trumpet well, but also builds community and support in her teaching style.’
Next semester she will be teaching Music 101. She said everyone is welcome to join, and she wants students to experience new music genres to explore.