SUU to Everywhere

Jesse VanDenKooy

Jesse VanDenKooy | SUU to Apple


A desire to stay close to home and a love for Southern Utah University led Jesse VanDenKooy to begin his degree in music education in Cedar City, Utah. At the time he had no idea that the university would play an essential role in the discovery of who he is as a person and professional.

“I have always said that I would not give up my time at SUU for the world,” said Jesse. “It was really my transitional period into becoming an adult. I was learning how to balance a job, schoolwork, rehearsals, side projects, social life and relationships.”

Jesse credits professors of music Dr. Lawrence Johnson and Dr. Keith Bradshaw with playing integral roles in his development as a composer. Dr. Bradshaw even took the time to study composition with him on the side in addition to his private studies with Dr. Johnson. These critical mentoring relationships helped guide him to eventually attend CalArts to obtain a master of fine arts degree.

Jesse is now a Creative Pro at Apple specializing in music. His job entails facilitating classes and studio hours and providing technical support for employees and customers at Apple.

“It’s my job to have a knowledge of our products, but also of the music industry at large,” Jesse said. "My role involves engaging the community and empowering people to unlock their passions through technology.”

In addition to his responsibilities at Apple, Jesse continues to teach musical theory, produce events, musically direct theater performances, and pursue his passion for writing. Jesse credits his ability to teach to his time at SUU.

Learn more about the Music Education Program.