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Celebrate, Then Get to Work

Advice from George Grove, College of Fine Arts Alumnus of the Year

Campus News  |  May 10, 2016  |  By UNLV News Center
George Grove

George Grove, College of Fine Arts Alumnus of the Year (R. Marsh Starks/UNLV Photo Services)

George Grove, ’01 Masters of Music, is a singer, guitarist, banjo player, and orchestral arranger for The Kingston Trio, a musical group that has performed at Carnegie Hall and traveled the globe. This year marks Grove’s 40th year with the trio.


The advice I’d give myself as a new graduate … Revel in the accomplishment, celebrate the moment, and then get to work!

Years ago, I created orchestral arrangements for my group, The Kingston Trio, so that we could perform pops concerts with symphony orchestras around the country. My undergraduate degree had given me a hammer, so I crafted some perfectly usable arrangements with it. After several years of using those scores, I realized that the hammer wasn’t enough.

Back to school I went to study with the jazz department in UNLV’s School of Music. Their knowledge, skill, and care gave me those additional tools I was looking for. I was proud to receive my master of music degree. However, the celebration lasted only until realization set in I had to do something with these new skills.

I threw the old orchestral scores in the wastebasket and wrote new ones, far more musically interesting than the old. Audiences love our pops concerts. But far more gratifying is the fact that the symphony librarians and even the viola players tell me how interesting these new arrangements are. Arriving at that special moment of graduation is worthy of celebration, but afterwards — get to work.

The Alumni Advice series is part of our special 2016 commencement week celebrations, which include the annual Alumni Association Awards Program May 12, and the spring graduation ceremonies on May 13 and 14. Join us in congratulating our newest alumni on social media with #UNLVGrad.