Jordan’s Collegiate Success Achieved Through RCPD Scholarship

October 2nd, 2015

Caitlin Van Ermen

As a Spartan and a musician, Jordan both bleeds green and has a knack for all things music. This student attends musical classes and his homework consists of hours of rehearsal. Michigan State University offers limitless possibilities, so students like Jordan can combine passion and talent to achieve a major in music performance as well as a minor in jazz studies. The Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities is one tool available to students to turn their talents into real-world opportunities.

As a first grader, Jordan began learning all the keys on the piano. By third grade, Jordan channeled his thirst for music to the keys of a saxophone.

Jordan exemplifies a true Spartan spotting opportunity and taking action to achieve it. Part of Jordan’s MSU experience have entailed trips to Washington D.C. and Europe. His trip to Europe for the World Saxophone Congress was a special opportunity made possible by private gifts toward the Michael J. Hudson Emerging Opportunities EndowmentJordan reached for the advice of a specialist and the Resource Center to talk about his career advancement opportunities. Shortly after, the RCPD identified Jordan as an exemplary student for this scholarship.

Jordan was one of 300 applicants from around the world selected to play at the World Saxophone Congress in Europe.

Jordan said with gratitude, “The RCPD was very helpful to me with funding in order to make that trip financially possible, because it is expensive to get to Europe.”

Even though he was thousands of miles away, this Spartan performed a piece by Charles Ruggiero, one of the composition faculty here at MSU.


As a contestant for the VSA International Young Soloist competition, hosted by the International Council of Arts and Disabilities, Jordan was one of the grand prize winners. Out of a pool of 85 applicants, Jordan traveled to the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.. Not only did he perform a recital, Jordan joined the professional development seminars where he networked with leaders in the VSA organization and the head of public relations for the Kennedy Center.

Check out Jordan’s musical talents at the VSA International Young Soloist competition. His performance starts 12 minutes and 10 seconds into the video.

Jordan also joined the MSU Wind Symphony at Carnegie Hall and remarks, “every musician looks forward to playing at Carnegie Hall sometime in their career”.

Jordan remarked, “Both my parents play Saxophone, my dad is the Saxophone professor here at MSU, and my mom teaches privately in the area …. so I started playing earlier than most people.”

While Jordan identified favorite artists from various genres, his father ranked number one. He added that he always admired growing up listening to his dad play. A highlight of his college career occurred when he joined a saxophone quartet with his dad. The quartet also consisted of his godfather who is the saxophone professor at Central Michigan University, and his godfather’s son who is the saxophone professor at the University of Oklahoma and also his former high school teacher.

An RCPD specialist and a mentor to Jordan, Darryl Steele, proudly states, “ Academically and as a saxophonist, Jordan demonstrates what it means to be a Spartan.  It has been a pleasure to watch his progress and I look forward to his upcoming accomplishments as a MSU alumnus.”


From elementary school to now a 5th year college student, Jordan’s passion for the saxophone has remained a vital part of his life. Jordan is diversifying his musical talents and learning the flute and clarinet to expand his knowledge of woodwind instruments.

Jordan remarks that his MSU education has been instrumental in accomplishing his ten year goal, “I would like to find a teaching job at a university that still allows me to be an active performer in my community and throughout the country.”

The RCPD is eager to see what stages Jordan performs on.