May 26, 2024
Stephen Rodriguez

Stephen Rodriguez has become a staple of the local guitar community and has excellent prospects for study in Europe, Latin America or Australia.  

Before coming to Stan State, Rodriguez dreamed about a music career. Then, when he was a freshman at Modesto Junior College, he met Stan State Associate Professor of Music David Chapman, who showed Rodriguez that hard-working individuals can turn their dreams into careers. 

As a student in the guitar studies program at Stan State, Rodriguez had the opportunity to meet and perform with some of the best guitar players in the world. Chapman’s program also directly led him to paid teaching and performance opportunities, ultimately validating his choice to become a Warrior. 

“Stan State is known for having one of the best music faculties in California,” he said. “The many scholarship opportunities for musicians and the affordability of tuition made it an easy choice.” 

Chapman said he sees a bright musical career in Rodriguez’s future. 

“I have known Mr. Rodriguez for about five years and can attest to his work ethic, kindness toward peers and desire for self-improvement,” he said. “Stephen will keep the Stan State bar high and continue to do great things.” 

After graduating, Rodriguez plans to continue his education abroad and study toward his master’s and doctorate so he can teach at the college level.  

“I will bring more music education to the Central Valley through music programs dedicated to guitar performance and pedagogy,” Rodriguez said, “I see myself achieving this, and when I doubt myself, I remember that persistence is key to being as successful as you can be.” 

#StanGrad File


Stephen Rodriguez 


Modesto, CA


Bachelor of Music in Music, Guitar Performance 

What memories stand out most from your time at Stanislaus State?

“The memories I am most fond of involve the many performance opportunities provided to music majors at Stanislaus State. I reflect on the long hours of rehearsal with my peers and the camaraderie that was fostered while working together to put on the best concert we could. The growth that takes place after every performance is invaluable as a musician, and I am forever grateful to Stan State for making that possible for music majors.” 

Which faculty or staff member had the greatest impact on you, and why?

“Dr. David Chapman, the Music Department chair and director of guitar studies, has been the single most important figure in my college career. I consider him to be a mentor in my life who has provided deep and meaningful insight into what it means to be a teacher and a performer.” 

What advice would you give to current and future students?

“Always remember that your time at Stan State is an investment in yourself. Love yourself and get educated! The college faculty and staff are there to support your needs, and they want you to be successful. Get educated on your rights as a student and utilize all the support you can get.” 

Note: This article is part of the StanGrad series highlighting Stanislaus State students who are part of the Class of 2024. Read more StanGrad profiles.