Undergraduate music student goes above and beyond with fourth tuba recital

Third-year music performance student Ramon Garavito, Jr. goes far beyond expectations in preparation for his fourth undergraduate tuba recital. On Saturday, Oct. 29, Garavito will get the chance to wow audiences with his tuba playing once again.

Deanna Swoboda, an assistant professor in ASU’s School of Music and Garavito’s tuba teacher, said that all music students in the music school are required to put on recitals, however, Ramon Garavito, Jr. set himself apart from everyone else.

“(Recitals are) a requirement for the degree program, but in the case of Ramon, he has gone above and beyond the requirements of the program,” Swoboda said. “He performs one recital each semester, and the requirements are that students have to perform a junior recital and a senior recital.”

Garavito has a long history with music. He said he has been playing tuba since middle school.

“I’ve been playing the tuba since the seventh grade — about eight years or so,” Garavito said.

Although he plays the tuba now, it was not the first instrument he learned how to play. Garavito said he switched over to the tuba after attending a band festival in middle school.

“I actually started out on the flute,” he said. “I was playing at a festival with my middle school band. We had a clinician come up, and he was just giving us comments. He just randomly pointed at me and said ‘You should play the tuba.' My band director thought it was a good idea, and I was already in the process of switching instruments.”

Well versed in the world of music, the tuba and flute are not the only instruments Garavito knows how to play. He said he played trombone in middle and high school and for a band at ASU.

“I did play trombone throughout middle school — in the eighth grade — and I played it throughout high school,” he said. “I played it my freshman year of college here at ASU with the Jazz Repertory band.”

Garavito said he found his inspiration for pursuing music the moment he joined his school’s band.

“As soon as I joined band, I fell in love with just playing music,” Garavito said. “I really found a sense of fulfillment in taking the time to practice and learn how to do this new thing.”

Garavito said he has spent the last few years putting all of his effort into his music and these recitals, and all of his hard work has started to pay off. Through ASU’s School of Music, Garavito was given a stipend and opportunity for "Creative Placemaking Through Music Corps."

Not only is Garavito recognized for his music at ASU, but he’s also won several competitions outside of the school community. He won the 2014 student tuba division of the International Leonard Falcone Competition and third place in the Tucson Symphony concerto competition.

Eternity Stallings, a third-year music therapy student and close friend of Garavito, said his success is due to his determination.

“He’s really persistent,” Stallings said. “He practices so much, and he’s really dedicated to that. He works really hard and he’s really passionate about specifically performing.”

Ramon Garavito’s undergraduate recital will be on Saturday Oct. 29 at 2:30 p.m. in the fifth-floor recital hall at the Tempe Campus. To find out more information and to support a fellow Sun Devil, visit the School of Music’s events page.

Correction: A previous version of the article misstated the number of recitals Garavito has performed. It has since been updated to reflect the correct number. 


Reach the reporter at kzgaskin@asu.edu or follow @kiya_gaskin on Twitter.

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