A! Magazine for the Arts

Jonathan Griffin

Jonathan Griffin

Arts for Youth Spotlight: Jonathan Griffin wants to share music through education

August 27, 2019

Jonathan Griffin, a senior at Emory & Henry College, aspires to one of the most noble professions – teaching.

“I started my musical journey on clarinet back in middle school band class. My curiosity and love for music grew while transitioning into high school when I was asked to join choir. After a few years of singing and eventually placing into All-State choir, I was hooked, and I knew exactly what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.

“My overall desire in life is to become a music educator to provide younger musicians with the love and passion of music that my teachers passed on to me,” he says.

He is a singer for the Emory & Henry Concert and Chamber choirs, the director and a singer of the Emory & Henry Grace Notes, an a capella ensemble, a member of the Emory & Henry Symphonic Wind and Marching bands, as well as a section leader for the State Street United Methodist Church choir and handbell choirs.

He was also an integral part of the formation of the Grace Notes.

“Towards the beginning of my second semester of being a student at Emory & Henry College, I had a dream of creating an a cappella group that could sing a cappella pop and chamber music. After about a year and a half, a few of my friends really helped drive that idea and thus Grace Notes was born. The group has gone through several changes and is still in development but is continuing to grow musically and publicly.

“When people think about live choral music, they tend to snarl and be uninterested. Many people are not interested in the traditional concert, but Grace Notes is trying to bring a different atmosphere to the campus. My goal is for those people to find an interest in the music they hear, be moved emotionally and want to hear more from us.

“Music is incredibly special to me because it not only allows me to express unexplainable feelings, but also allows musicians to share and create an art within the same moment. aEach moment of music is unique and cannot be replicated. Music is an extension of who we are, and music requires the performer to be vulnerable to transfer emotion to the audience. In short, music is the connection of humanity,” Jonathan says.

Jonathan prefers well-rounded choral music such as chamber, a cappella pop, and choral music with piano. He plays clarinet as well as flute, oboe and saxophone.

He is 21 and is the son of Josephine and Marty Griffin. He is a senior from Hillsville, Virginia.