Trumpet professor earns Lifetime Achievement award

College of Liberal Arts music professor, Larry Engstrom, was recently awarded by the local entertainment community for a lifetime of achievement

Music professor Larry Engstrom (right) stands with wife Kris Engstrom (left) at the Forté Awards Show. Photo by Nick McCabe.

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11/17/2017 | By: Lisa McDonald |

The College of Liberal Arts is proud to announce trumpet professor Larry Engstrom, D.M.A. was recently awarded the Forté Lifetime Achievement Award. The Forté Awards is in its second year and recognizes local artists in music, theatre, dance and comedy by hosting an awards show and gala that benefits local charities. This year's awards show was held November 2 at the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno, Nev. and had a Grammy's vibe to the evening's entertainment. Engstrom's years of service to the college, the music community and the profession are sure reasons why he was chosen as this year's lifetime achievement winner.

Engstrom believes his experience as a performer, an educator and an administrator is what helped contribute to this award. "It is always nice to be honored and recognized," Engstrom said.

Engstrom currently teaches a jazz survey course, serves as the student advisor for music minors and B.A. music majors and chairs the School of the Arts University Arts Building committee. Some of his most recent administrative accolades include serving as the chair of the music department, director of the School of the Arts, interim dean of the College of Liberal Arts and director of the Reno Jazz Festival, as well as serving on the board of the Reno Philharmonic.

As if his résumé isn't eye-catching enough, what may be even more impressive is where and with whom Engstrom has performed over the years. He's played trumpet professionally since he was 18 and played in entertainment venues all over the country with notable celebrities. Engstrom played lead trumpet at Sammy's Showroom at Harrah's beginning in 1988 until the late '90s, as well as at other large casinos around the Reno-Lake Tahoe area, with swanky performers including Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles, Johnny Mathis, Suzanne Somers, the Temptations and many more.

Listening to his touring list, one would think Engstrom had time for nothing else. He has played in New York, Chicago, Toronto and Atlanta, just to name a few. He has performed with the Great Basin Brass Quintet, the Reno Jazz Quintet (which he founded) and still made time to create and grow the University's jazz degree program, serve as a festival adjudicator and even receive his Doctor of Musical Arts degree somewhere in between.

There's no doubt: Engstrom is quite accomplished, and his Forté Lifetime Achievement Award doesn't nearly do his illustrious career justice. The College is proud of his service and dedication to making the music department great, and his commitment to the profession is unmatched. Congratulations to Larry on this achievement!

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