May 01, 2023
Adrian Vega

Adrian Vega’s single mother encouraged him to work hard in school, and almost from the time he arrived at Stanislaus State from Modesto, he saw the rewards of that effort. 

His guitar skills took him overseas, he was a Rogers Scholar and won the Gilman Scholarship through the Study Abroad program. 

“Adrian is a unique student, who combines hard work and an inquisitive nature toward his self-improvement,” said his teacher and mentor, Professor David Chapman. “His remarkable achievements as a music major took him from a basic guitar class to representing Stan State in South Korea and Spain. He has also been twice the winner of the Guitarraganza Guitar Festival competition and has performed in master classes for some of the world’s most celebrated artists in the medium.” 

Continuing his growth as a musician is Vega’s goal. He dreams of attending graduate school, teaching master classes and college students and performing. 

“Teaching is a great avenue in music and allows for more connections to others,” Vega said. “I hope to play a part in the evolution of music education and include music from all walks of life and of my culture as well. There is a place for everyone in the University setting, and I see myself creating a space for more to enjoy and grow. 

“After college, I will be creating a personal business that involves my performing for weddings, private venues, restaurants, personal contracts and many other occasions. As a musician, you never have just one job but several. Being a teacher, recording artist and local performer are a few I intend on pursuing.” 

Vega’s passion is music, but he made strong connections and has great feelings for other students, many, like him, are first-generation students who chose to attend the affordable University near their homes. 

“The most powerful thing I have learned at Stan State is the potential I and others have to create, research, speak and perform,” Vega said. “Networking goes hand in hand with this. Together we elevate each other, and our product is learning. I hope to see many of my peers in and out of my major in our endeavors of life. I know we will do great things for our community and the world around us.”

#StanGrad File


Adrian Vega


Modesto, CA


Bachelor of Music in Music with an emphasis in guitar performance

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

“My fondest memories have to be those of opportunities and experiences offered to those that go to Stan State including the chance to study abroad or attend campus events and join clubs. There has always been something for everyone and as my time at Stan State comes to an end, I see even more opportunities available for future students.”

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

“There are so many instructors, faculty members and colleagues that have impacted my life. Some to mention are Dr. Kavasch of the Music Department, Dr. Sarah Chan of the Music Department, Dr. Aaron Lanser of the English Department and Brittany Fentress of the Study Abroad program. Dr. David Chapman has had the biggest impact on me here at Stan State not only as an instructor but also as a mentor. I met Dr. Chapman on my first day of college in my first class, as well as his first day teaching here as a part-time faculty member. I was a liberal studies major upon entering the University, however after my sophomore year, I decided to switch to guitar performance. Dr. Chapman has guided me for several years here at the University and I can say we have both grown at Stan State. He is now the chair of the Music Department and continues teaching in our studio. I had the opportunity to play a concert alongside him and my now fiancé in Korea when we studied abroad. He has continued to give me advice and encouragement in my studies and career.” 

What advice would you give to current and future students?

“Know you are capable. Know you can do it. Create a growth mindset and believe in yourself. The capacity you have and every person that you meet is so great. Remember to work hard and rest; balance is very important. For first-generation students that go at this alone like I did, never feel like you don’t deserve all these great opportunities, because you earned it. This is the time for everyone to work toward creating the person they want to be. Good luck and enjoy your time at Stanislaus State!”

Note: This article is part of the StanGrad series highlighting Stanislaus State students who are part of the Class of 2023. Read more StanGrad profiles.