Jacob Litwiller '11

Music education majormus success stories
Class of 2011
Hopedale, Ill.

 Along with works by Vicktor Ewald and J.S. Bach, the Bluffton University Brass Society often performed a piece by the little-known composer Jacob Litwiller in concerts. The difference was, that Jacob Litwiller would be introduced to the audience, as he also played trumpet.

A music education graduate from Hopedale, Ill., Jacob has been writing music since high school when he first composed a smaller piece for a trumpet trio, which the Brass Society also occasionally plays.

Composed in spring 2009, Jacob shared "Quintet for Brass" with Jeff Boehm, professor of music and director of the Brass Society. "My first thought was 'Wow, you wrote that?' It's an exciting piece that is very well written," said Boehm. 

A copyright was purchased for the "Quintet for Brass" and Jacob sent the score to a few organizations to see if they would like to buy. Samples have been sent to Cleveland Brass Quintet, Sunday Traffic Brass Quintet (Tennessee), San Francisco Brass Company and River Falls Brass Quintet (Wisconsin.)

"Even if I don't make any money, it's a great experience to look at something that I came up with," Jacob said, while fingering a bound copy of his work.

"Quintet for Brass" received its European debut when the Brass Society traveled to England and Wales in May 2010 through the Bluffton University cross-cultural experience.

Jacob says his dream job would be teaching high school music. He explained, "[Students] make some of the most important decisions of their lives in high school." As a high school student himself, Jacob learned about Bluffton through his church. Bluffton is the only Mennonite church-affiliated school accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music. "That made the decision [where to go to college] easy."

As for now, he says, "I'm using what God gave me to make the most out of life." While his current schedule doesn't allow much time for composing, he laughs, "There is a lot of stuff in my head that I need to get out of there."