Jayson McAree

Contributing Writer


Some people venture off to college to major in business, economics, maybe even geography, but one student found out his skill that led him to a totally different type of major.

Jordan Chase, a student here at Keene State College, majors in classical guitar which he said is the major of only 15 other students.

A 20-year-old, born in Oklahoma, Chase said he moved to Pennsylvania when he was just three, and than again to New Jersey where he grew up at the age of five.

He said he began playing guitar at the age of 14.

“My aunt played guitar and she started teaching my sister, I started playing guitar because it was coming to me easily, and I was better than my friend and my sister after like a year so I pursued it.,” Chase said.

Choosing to pursue it and majoring in it are two different stories though.

When asked when he knew he could actually go somewhere with his talent, he replied, “My senior year in high school I think, I took music theory and began reading music but my mom was actually the one whom insisted I go for guitar because I didn’t know what I wanted to do.”

The only guitar major offered here in Keene State College’s music program is classical according to Dr. Jose Lezcano, who is Chase’s guitar instructor and a two-time Grammy-nominated guitarist and composer.

He stated, “In terms of applied music you can study classical guitar, we don’t offer jazz or rock n’ roll, that being said students can play jazz guitar in the jazz ensemble.,” Lezcano.”

He continued to say that the students can use the skills learned in the classical style and adapt them to other styles of guitar.

Chase’s sister, Tasha Chase, said that since he came to the college he has played in the guitar orchestra at KSC, and at Festival 21 of the Boston Guitar Society last year.

She stated, “I’ve had a chance to see him play a bunch of times obviously, but the music he is playing now is much more unique and challenging.”

While Chase said he admires guitarists like Rafael Aguirre, he also stated he highly admires the work of his instructor, Jose Lezcano.

“The orchestra went to Boston last year and at night we saw someone named Rafael Aguirre and he was insane, but I also like Jose because I see him so much, and he teaches me so much so I want to play like him.”

Lezcano didn’t hesitate to give his own praise when asked about Chase’s progress, he noted, “I think he’s made very good progress, he’s playing pieces that are not just at his level, but maybe a year ahead of other students in his age group.”

When it comes down to it, Jordan said he puts a tremendous amount of time into practicing and trying to learn new pieces of music, but he does make time for other interests besides guitar, he stated, “If I wasn’t involved in guitar so seriously I would probably be doing something in sports, it’s definitely my second favorite thing after guitar.”

Chase’s life right now isn’t so easy he said with all the work required to stay ahead, but he has his eyes on the future to keep him calm, he added, “I’d like to be a studio music engineer I think, also performing too as I get older.”

It’s safe to say Jordan Chase’s approach to college is far from classical.


Jayson McAree can be contacted at


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