Removing barriers and opening doors
For Jaron Lehman ’19, a passion for music is his driving beat.
Jaron’s scholarships made attending UGA’s Hugh Hodgson School of Music possible.
He plays the French horn and the mellophone, or “marching French horn,” in the Redcoat Marching Band.
Jaron strives to become a music teacher to ignite his love for music in others.
He battled cancer his first year at UGA and found a crucial support system among his fellow Redcoats and classmates.
“My family and I were not able to afford college without the massive help that I’ve gotten through UGA.”
For Jaron Lehman ’19, a passion for music is his driving beat. His parents, both professional musicians, took him to concerts when he was just days old. Now, the Toccoa, Georgia, native is committed to igniting others’ love for music by becoming a music teacher.
Jaron’s scholarships made attending the University of Georgia’s Hugh Hodgson School of Music possible. He earned a Hodgson School of Music Scholarship after his impressive audition to join the school’s horn studio. These scholarships are funded by the collective generosity of annual donors to the Hodgson School of Music Enhancement Fund.
Jaron also received the Colonel Morgan Goodhart Scholarship along with the HOPE and Zell Miller scholarships. The late Colonel Goodhart (AB ’33, MA ’36) established an endowed scholarship in 1987 to assist students like Jaron who demonstrate financial need.
“[My scholarships] are the reason that I’m able to go to college. My family and I were not able to afford college without the massive help that I’ve gotten through UGA,” said Jaron. “[Donors] are doing more than helping a student get through college. They are investing in the future. That student is going to make an impact, and whether that impact is on one person or a nation of people, that’s a big impact.”
In addition to the French horn, Jaron plays the mellophone, or “marching French horn,” in the Redcoat Marching Band. He immediately fell in love with the Redcoats and made lifelong friends who offer emotional support when Jaron needs it most.
In 2016, Jaron was diagnosed with cancer. While undergoing multiple rounds of chemotherapy, words of encouragement from his fellow Redcoats, classmates, and professors helped Jaron stay positive. In late 2016, Jaron’s doctors pronounced him cancer-free. Now, he sees the silver lining in this difficult time, emphasizing that it made him grateful for the relationships he’s formed at UGA.
“My horn professor started a social media hashtag, #teamjaron, to give me some support. I loved that. Most memorable, though, is the collective of small things – getting messages from people that you don’t know that well, but you’ve talked to a couple of times, saying: ‘hey, I’m thinking of you.’ The most memorable part of UGA is all of these small things that come together to make it beautiful.”
With a clean bill of health, Jaron is seizing every opportunity that will help him become a music teacher. His scholarships allow him to focus on becoming a well-rounded musician with the leadership skills to inspire future performers. Jaron is a member of Phi Mu Alpha, the largest music fraternity in the country, and the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) Collegiate. UGA’s NafME chapter brings music teachers to campus to give music education majors a comprehensive understanding of their day-to-day jobs. Members also use their diverse talents to help each other learn secondary instruments and practice their band-directing skills.
Jaron’s infectious love for music drives all he does. Invigorated by his interactions with those at UGA who share his passion for music education, he’s well on his way to making a significant impact on future musicians.
“I want to teach music and be a musical guide for someone else,” said Jaron. “Listen to a symphony and you’ll go through a range of emotions that you couldn’t accurately put into words. Helping students discover that someday is going to be an incredibly special part of my job.”