Texas Tech University

Strings Chair Finds Success With Cello Despite Visual Impairment

Allison Hirth & Jeff Ramazani

June 13, 2017


(VIDEO) Jeffrey Lastrapes started playing cello at 12-years-old and hasn't stopped since.

Piano was the first instrument Jeffrey Lastrapes learned to play. He switched to violin in fifth grade before finding his true calling as a musician.

"Cello is my instrument," said Lastrapes. "It's as if it's my voice and I'm lucky I found it."

Music was a natural fit for Lastrapes, who lives with a blinding birth defect that prevented him from playing contact sports.

"I've never known what regular vision looks like," he explained. "I don't drive (and) I use special glasses to see."
Today, Lastrapes is an associate professor of cello at Texas Tech. Despite his disability, he's traveled and performed all over the world and said he sees the impact music has on people's lives every day.

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