Feature Story, Faculty

World Music Man

February 7, 2017 – by Cole Hatcher

OWU music faculty Gulimina Mahamuti and Larry Griffin traveled to China in the fall, working with more than 200 students. Griffin also completed his second solo tour of China while there. (Photo courtesy of Larry Griffin)

Ohio Wesleyan Professor Larry Griffin Completes European, Chinese Concert Tours

2016 ended on a very high note for Ohio Wesleyan University’s Larry Griffin, chair of the Department of Music.

Griffin, D.M.A., celebrated his 30th year as a member of the OWU faculty in 2016, and he also completed his third solo tour of Europe and second tour of China.

Griffin says the travel was tiring at times but always exciting as he was able to meet music lovers, teach master classes, and perform on an international scale.

His European tour in May included performances in Switzerland, where he also collaborated with Brass Band Posaunenchor Wädenswil. He previously toured Europe in 2006 and 2010.

“I love performing soloed with Brass Bands,” proclaims Griffin, who played cornet and trumpet during his European concerts. “Who am I kidding, I love to perform!”

In September, Griffin traveled to China with Gulimina Mahamuti, an accomplished pianist and part-time OWU assistant professor of music. In addition to his solo concerts, Griffin and Mahamuti, D.M.A., collaborated to teach master classes and share the Ohio Wesleyan story with more than 200 Chinese students.

Griffin says he was honored to receive such a warm and enthusiastic reception, calling the experience “hair-raising and incredible.” He says he hopes to establish even stronger ties with the schools he and Mahamuti visited.

Mahamuti, a native of Karamay City in western China, is well-known in her homeland as the first Uyghur from China to earn a Doctor of Musical Arts in Piano Performance from the United States.

Griffin previously toured China in 1980. His teaching, performing, and in-demand conducting skills also take him to venues around the United States, Australia, and Canada, where he has worked with the International Music Camp in Manitoba since 1990.

Griffin also stays busy locally, where he has performed with the Central Ohio Symphony, Columbus Jazz Orchestra, Columbus Symphony Orchestra, Newark-Granville Symphony Orchestra, and ProMusica Chamber Orchestra of Columbus.

At Ohio Wesleyan, Griffin teaches courses in brass instrumental methods and conducting. He also conducts OWU students performing as part of the University’s Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Brass Choir, Trumpet Ensemble, Pep Band, and Park Avenue Jazz Ensemble.

In addition, he 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 53rd year.

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