Meet the 2011 Scholarship Recipients: Gregory LaRosa

The next talented student in our blog series on our 2011 Anthony Quinn Foundation Scholarship Recipients is Gregory LaRosa, a percussionist from Dowingtown, PA who is currently in the 11th grade at Dowingtown West High School. He will be using his scholarship to attend the Boston University Tanglewood Institute: Young Artists Orchestra and Percussion Workshop this summer. Please join us in congratulating Gregory and wishing him the best this summer and in the future as he builds his musical career.

Gregory LaRosa

Gregory LaRosa

Gregory LaRosa

What are your aspirations in your art form and/or career aspirations?

In addition to continuing my performing career as a versatile percussionist, I plan on devoting my life to one major goal: increasing the education of the fine arts, particularly to underprivileged children by means of hands on learning.

Throughout my entire life, I have been extremely fortunate to have received a tremendous education in the arts by inspiring, world-class professionals. The unfortunate truth is that I am one of very few who can say this. The reality is that the fine arts are exceedingly expensive, and unfortunately and increasingly not seen as a worthy investment. The arts lift one’s mind, body, and soul. They bring joy, inspire hope and represent a perfect antidote for a society too often plagued by drugs, violence, and crime.

I am inspired by the El Sistema system of Venezuela, which creates a sanctuary of security, happiness, and entertainment that allows every under-privileged child to not only learn about the wonders of music, but also discover life-long healthy morals. It is my dream to create an El Sistema system that includes opportunities in all art forms, such as writing, painting, sculpting, acting, film, photography, dance and music. The school will have an overarching goal: to introduce, nurture, and develop an appreciation for the fine arts.

What do you do for fun? Do you have any interesting or unusual hobbies?

I enjoy traveling the globe learning about different cultures. Through my travels I have discovered unique music and art and learned that art is truly a universal language.

What is something unique about you that you would like people to know?

Because of my love for teaching and my mature personality, my friends have given me the nickname "Professor."

Click here to see Gregory perform a 4-mallet marimba piece composed by Keiko Abe, entitled "Michi." According to Gregory, "translated from Japanese, 'Michi' means 'enlightened journey.' Through a variety of tempi and intense dynamic contrasts, listeners experience distinct segments of this journey towards enlightenment."

Make sure to visit Gregory's YouTube channel to see more of his performances.