Faculty, Feature Story

November 25, 2017

Ohio Wesleyan music professor Larry Griffin (left) was invited to play trumpet this month when legendary soul singer Aretha Franklin performed in New York City. (Photo courtesy of Larry Griffin)

Respectable Talents

Ohio Wesleyan Professor Larry Griffin Performs with the Queen of Soul

By Cole Hatcher

In the music world, Ohio Wesleyan University professor and trumpeter Larry Griffin has earned the R-E-S-P-E-C-T of his peers.

So when musicians were needed to accompany Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin when she performed this month at the Elton John AIDS Foundation’s annual New York Fall Gala, Griffin got a very welcomed telephone call.

“My bags were packed as soon as I heard the name Aretha Franklin,” said Griffin, a member of the OWU faculty since 1986. “The event was spectacular.”

Ohio Wesleyan University professor and trumpeter Larry Griffin.

The gala, held at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City, raised more than $4.4 million to support HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, supporting services, and advocacy programs across the United States, the Americas, and the Caribbean.

Griffin says he has been fortunate to perform with “other notables” during his career, but he performing with Franklin was especially memorable as the concert may be the Grammy winner’s last. (Franklin previously announced plans to retire this year.)

At Ohio Wesleyan, Griffin, D.M.A., teaches courses in applied brass and conducting. He also conducts OWU students performing as part of the University’s Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Brass Choir, Trumpet Ensemble, Pep Band, and Jazz combos.

In addition, Griffin supports talented high school musicians throughout the Midwest with his work on each year’s Ohio Wesleyan President’s High School Band Festival, now in its 54th year.

Learn more about Griffin, Ohio Wesleyan’s Department of Music, and upcoming on-campus concerts and recitals at owu.edu/music.