Nationally recognized Yamaha trumpet artist and music educator Paul Shaghoian has died of a heart attack on April 16, 2004. He was 45.
Paul Alan Shaghoian was born to Rose and Aved Shaghoian on May 2, 1958, in Kingsburg, California. He graduated from Kingsburg High School in 1976 and continued his studies at California State University, Fresno. He spent several years at North Texas State, playing lead and jazz trumpet in the famed One O’Clock Lab Band. He returned to Fresno, completing his B.A. in Music Performance and Education and M.A. in Trumpet Performance and Conducting with Distinction.
Although Paul was a ferocious and polished trumpet player, capable of performing competently in many musical genres, perhaps his greatest accomplishment came through the lives of others. The irony of this is that Paul would be the last one to take credit for the success of his students. His incredible ability to encourage his students to take responsibility for the music was unparalleled. Not only did they come to rehearsals prepared, but they came hungry for the knowledge and passion for music he would impart to them in exchange for their dedication to their art. It was not about playing well for the leader. He taught many students over the years the value of being dedicated to music, to each other and to looking for a greater meaning in life through all of their experiences.
Paul received significant honors including 2003 California Music Educators Association Jazz Educator of the Year; Two Outstanding Service Awards from the International Association for Jazz Education; and DownBeat Magazine’s Achievement Award for Jazz Education in 1999. He served as Director of Jazz Studies for the Buchanan Educational Center in Clovis, Founder/Director of the San Joaquin Valley Jazz Festival, Co-Director of La Sierra Creative Arts Camp and Staff for the Idyllwild School of the Arts Summer Camp. Paul also served as trumpet professor at Fresno State University from 1998-2002 and directed the Fresno State Jazz Band “A” in 2002. He was intensely sought out and was extremely active as a clinician and adjudicator for jazz festivals and other music events. His students at both Buchanan High School and Alta Sierra Intermediate School were selected as Outstanding Big Bands by DownBeat Magazine several times from 1996-2003. The 2004 Reno Jazz Festival was a cherished moment for Paul’s family, students and friends as the Buchanan High School Jazz Ensemble “A” was chosen as the top high school band in their class, and one of Paul’s students, Scott Copeland, was recognized as the top high school trumpet player at the festival. In a most memorable performance at Reno, the band was prepared to direct themselves, courageously making incredible music and touching lives in doing so.
Paul is survived by his wife Laura; sons Gregory and Timothy; mother Rose; sisters Sharon, Susan Burley, and Vicki; and many other devoted and loving family. He leaves a legacy of hundreds of young musicians who were blessed by his devotion, knowledge, passion, energy and love for life. Those wishing to make a contribution to the Paul Shaghoian Memorial Funds should email Buchanan High School Director of Bands, Michael Hipp at MichaelHipp@clovisusd.k12.ca.us. One fund is for his family and the other is for a scholarship in Paul’s name.