Cal Poly Pomona senior Kevin Truong, who will graduate with a Bachelor of Music in performance, has recently been admitted to the USC Thornton School of Music on scholarship to pursue a Master of Music in bass trombone performance. Kevin is one of the first of six students expected to graduate with a Bachelor of Music from the Department of Music since the degree was first offered in fall 2018.
Navigating college life is hard work on its own and trying to graduate during a pandemic hasn’t been easy. Remaining optimistic and on-task has been one of the biggest struggles Truong has had to deal with.
“As a student, I understand that the virtual learning system is not ideal for many and I am one of those people,” he said. “I continue to think that an education is still an education whether or not it is in an ideal setting, and my continuous pursuit of knowledge helps guide me towards that; my passion and love for music has been the driving force behind that.”
As a member of the CPP Wind Ensemble for six years Truong demonstrated his commitment to his studies, hard work, and passion. His advisor and director of the ensemble, Professor Rickey Badua, remarked at his distinct focus on his musical studies.
“Kevin often stopped by my office to say hello and catch up, and through those visits we shared plans for graduate studies and summer trombone festivals,” Badua said. “He followed through everything he set out with clear goals, hard work and passion. I am confident he will do amazing things ahead of him at the University of Southern California and beyond. We are extremely proud of him!”
Following the advice of his mentors and adjunct professors, Lori Stuntz, Mike Zonshine, and John Van Houten, Kevin strives to be the best trombone player he can be, but also the best musician he can be.
“I am thankful for the incredible faculty that have helped me along the way, but I want to also use this opportunity to bring to the spotlight what often times can be the unsung heroes…the adjunct studio instructors,” Truong said. “I owe many thanks and credit much of the musician and person I am today to these wonderful people.”
Stuntz, director of the CPP Brass Ensemble, is very proud of his accomplishments.
“Kevin is so successful because he practices a lot every day,” she said. “It’s the day in and out that has made him the trombonist he is today.”
According to Zonshine, “Kevin possesses a ‘can do’ spirit and is always positive. His devotion to his craft is very special and he is constantly inquisitive; asking questions or even asking faculty and students to listen to him so that he can receive feedback.”
Looking back at his time spent at Cal Poly Pomona, Truong said, “What I’ll remember most about the music program are the close friends and faculty that I have encountered throughout the years. The memories made from ensemble tours, performances, and simply ones from everyday encounters with friends are ones that I will never forget.”
Once he completes the graduate program at USC, Truong would like to pursue his doctorate in musical arts.
“Five years from now, I hope to be making a living playing and teaching music, sharing my passion for music with others, and find opportunities to give back to the community that has given me every opportunity to become a better musician and person,” he said.