Chatfield Alumnus Comes Full Circle To Teach At Chatfield

Over the years, Chatfield has been fortunate to have our alumni involved in the college’s mission.  Some volunteer to help out at Chatfield events.  Some become tutors, and others become staff members.  Some, like Jamie Murrell, even end up teaching at Chatfield.

The 1996 graduate returned to Chatfield as a guitar instructor in 2014.  Jamie has been playing the guitar since 1979, when his neighbor taught him to play Beatles songs.  He took lessons in his hometown, Mt. Orab, before and during his years at Chatfield, where, he says, Sr. Cecilia Huber first suggested he consider teaching.

“I took music appreciation with Sr. Cecilia,” said Jamie.  “I wrote a 10-page essay on the history of the guitar for my final project, and she was impressed with my paper.  She said I would make a good teacher, and that I should consider it.”

He took a brief hiatus from Chatfield to attend Southern State on scholarship to play in their big band for a year, but then he came back to Chatfield to finish his degree.

After graduating from Chatfield, he continued to take lessons with Phil Willis and James Smith from UC’s College Conservatory of Music, as well as other local guitarists, while performing as a soloist and with other musicians.  He received a Specialist certificate in Advanced Guitar from the Berklee College of Music in Boston, and studied Jazz with a Guitar emphasis at Central State University, where he received a Bachelor’s in Music in 2015.

He also took Sr. Cecilia’s advice and began to teach. In addition to Chatfield, he has taught at several different places in Columbus, Cincinnati, and Dayton.

When he began teaching at Chatfield in 2014, he had just 4 students.  Today he has 24 students at both the St. Martin and Over-the-Rhine campuses.

“Teaching at Chatfield feels like I’ve come home,” said Jamie.  “It’s been really rewarding to see the guitar program grow and I love being able to bring my experience and be of service to my Alma Mater.”

“I feel personally connected to the students here because of my own experience as a student here,” he said.

Chatfield College President  John P. Tafaro says that the college is definitely enjoying the benefits of Jamie’s talents.  “Jamie’s efforts have yielded extraordinary results for Chatfield,” said Tafaro.  “He is a great teacher and his students show both impressive self-confidence and a love of learning.  Plus, we all get to see and share in his positive outcomes with many wonderful student concerts and displays of their talent and new musical accomplishments.”

Recently, Jamie has started Jam Sessions, every Thursday from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the St. Martin campus Gym and would like to invite any and all musicians of any type to participate.

“We’re just going to sit around and play music,” he said. “No pressure.  It will be a great time, and anyone at any level can participate.”


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