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Jason Crafton

Jason Crafton, Faculty Chair and Associate Professor

Jason Crafton, Faculty Chair and Associate Professor
Jason Crafton, Faculty Chair and Associate Professor

School of Performing Arts
242-V Squires
Blacksburg, VA 24061

Jason Crafton is associate professor of trumpet and music faculty chair at Virginia Tech. He has performed as soloist and chamber musician in China, Greece, and across the United States. He is a member of the Charlottesville Opera Orchestra and has performed with the Dallas Opera, the Des Moines Metropolitan Opera, and the Dallas Wind Symphony. He can be heard on numerous recordings on the Mark and GIA labels, including over a dozen releases by the North Texas Wind Symphony and four volumes of Teaching Music Through Performance in Band. 

Crafton is a founding member of the electro acoustic chamber music group Fifth Bridge. Recent and future engagements include a collaboration with Henry Winter from the Harvard/Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and composer John Hollenbeck, as well as premieres of new works by David Sampson and Christopher Stark. Also, in demand as a teacher and pedagogue, Crafton has presented clinics at the International Trumpet Guild Convention, the University of Kentucky Summer Trumpet Institute, the Trumpet Festival of the Southeast, and at over a dozen major universities. Additionally, his writings on instrumental and brass pedagogy have been published in the Journal of the International Trumpet Guild, the Journal of the National Association of Collegiate Wind and Percussion Instructors, and Teaching Music Through Performance in Jazz. 

Crafton holds degrees from Drake University and the University of Northern Colorado, in addition to a doctorate from the University of North Texas. His teachers include Robert Murray, Keith Johnson, and Andrew Classen. He has undertaken additional study with Vincent DiMartino, James Thompson, Vincent Cichowicz, Adam Gordon, and John Holt. 

  • Trumpet
  • Research/Production: Jazz Ensembles
  • Teaching Areas: Trumpet, Jazz Studies
  • DMA, University of North Texas
  • MM, University of Northern Colorado
  • BM, Drake University
  • Pi Kappa Lambda, Phi Kappa Phi, and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia
  • International Trumpet Guild
  • Artist/Faculty at the National Trumpet Competition
  • Artist, Bach Trumpets
What do you most enjoy about your work?
I enjoy working with my students and colleagues to create meaningful and worthwhile performances and works of art. A group of diverse individuals coming together to create something of value, and the personal relationships that are formed in the process, is very satisfying to me personally and professionally.
What gives you the most satisfaction as a teacher?
I enjoy when students exceed their own expectations. Many people have preconceived notions of their capabilities, I enjoy being able to help a hard working young person realize that they are capable of more than they ever thought possible.
When do you first remember making the decision to go into the arts? What were the cicumstances?
I was convinced I wanted to follow in my father's footsteps and become an engineer, even though I'm not very good at math. My mother, who has a degree in studio art, recognized my lack of passion (and ability) for the subjects related to engineering and encouraged me to pursue a career in music. While many of my family and friends were concerned about my choice to pursue music, she was unwavering in her support. Her realization that my success in life would be predicated on my own hard work and not a specific field of study taught me a powerful lesson about life and the value of the arts. In retrospect my undergraduate degree in music set me up for possible careers in law, medicine, and business (in additional to music), and was one of the best choices of my life. Thanks Mom!
Name a play, film, or recording that has influenced you and that you would recommend to others. Share why you made this selection.
Miles Davis- "In a Silent Way"
Lee Morgan- "Sidewinder"
Duke Ellington- "The Complete Blanton-Webster Recordings"
Chicago Symphony Orchestra- "The Complete Mahler Symphonies"
Bob Dylan- "Freewheelin' Bob Dylan"