Matt LaRocca '02
Matthew LaRocca is a composer, guitarist and violist working at Holderness School in New Hampshire. Originally from the NJ, he attended Middlebury College where he focused on both chemistry and music, studying composition with Su Lian Tan. After graduating college, he moved to Bozeman, Montana and began teaching chemistry at Montana State University. After three years, Matt returned to school to pursue a masters degree in music composition, which he earned from Carnegie Mellon University in 2007, studying with Leonardo Balada and Nancy Galbraith. He then returned to Bozeman to work in the music department at Montana State, where he was Composer-in-Residence for the Montana State University Symphony from 2007-2009. Currently, he holds the position of Music Director at Holderness School. During the month of March, he will be a visiting Artist-in-Residence at Holderness, giving concerts and teaching composition/improvisation classes in an arts immersion program.
As a composer, Matt's works have been performed by the the Carnegie Mellon Philharmonic, the Great Falls Symphony and have also been heard on Good Morning America. He has won awards from the Hillcrest Wind Ensemble, the Great Falls Symphony, and Montana State University. In addition to composing, he is also an avid performer on both the guitar and viola, with projects ranging from avant-garde to traditional music. Current projects include a violin-tape work commissioned by Emma Hancock, assistant principal of the Seattle Symphony, that utilizes audio from the Living History Farm Museum in Nebraska which focuses on interviews about people's experiences during the Dust Bowl of the 1930's.