Alumni Spotlight: Jarrett Koski ’12

September 10, 2015

What is your favorite memory from Lees-McRae College?
This is a very difficult question – I just can’t pick one. In my years at LMC, each moment really shaped the type of person I am today. I often look back and think – “Remember that time?”

  • Diving off a 10-foot platform as Bobby Strong in the musical Urinetown
  • Working on any project with Dr. Janet Speer (Doc) either on the stage or in the classroom
  • Exploring London with Danielle Curtis and Dr. Tessa Carr
  • Seeing New York City in an entirely new light with Dr. Mike Hannah and Doc
  • When Dr. Kacy Crabtree choreographed me in Risks of Heroes (written by Doc)
  • Being a part of Highlanders
  • Working with the LMC Players and touring our productions to various surrounding schools
  • Lessons with Mr. Paul Adamson
  • “Defying Gravity” in the genie to help get over my fear of heights! Thanks Danielle!
  • Learning everything technical with Danielle Curtis

But the memory that really sticks out the most occurred sophomore year when I played the role of Jesus in Godspell. On opening night, I remember being the most nervous I had ever been. The music for my first song Save the People began and the musical intro repeated for about ten times because for a brief moment, I froze. I looked to the cast on stage with me and they gave me a combined nod  – then I looked to Mr. Taylor, our music director and he waved at me. Then I looked out to the audience noticing Doc, who smiled, I took a breath and I began to sing. In that moment I felt the most comfortable I have ever been on stage. I felt so much love and so much support to play this role! I have to say it was a defining moment for me as a performer. I am so thankful for LMC to have given me this moment!

Can you attribute any of your current success to your time at Lees-McRae College?
YES! LMC really laid the groundwork for being who I am today. The connections I made in and out of the classroom really helped prepare me for what the future may of had in store and then some. While at LMC I had moments where I wasn’t so successful and I had to learn from those moments to determine how to do things differently for a better outcome.

What advice would you give to current LMC students?
There is not just one piece of advice I have for the current students of LMC – I have many thoughts for you: Seize the moment! Go to class! Listen to your professors! Listen to your peers! Listen to yourselves. Start to manage your stress, time and attitude now! Live in each moment and plan each new day. Don’t take one second for granted. Be brave. You are allowed to fail – it is what you learn from those failures that are important. You never will stop learning even after you graduate. Listen louder! Reach for the stars because you may bring back a few.

Why do you feel it is important to give back to LMC?
You never forget where you came from. LMC had a very big impact on my life and I will never forget the help everyone gave to help me grow as a teacher, performer and a person.

What are you currently doing? 
I am currently the Musical Theater Department Chair at the Marcia P. Hoffman School of the Arts at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater, Florida. I teach, choreograph and direct musical theater productions onsite at Ruth Eckerd Hall and offsite in several local schools in Pinellas County. In addition, I also am a professional performer. I am so blessed to have my dream jobs! 

Media Contact:

Nina Mastandrea  |  Content Manager
Tel: 828.898.8729  |  Email:
Jarrett Koski, Class of 2012
Jarrett playing Bert in Mary Poppins (August 2015)
Jarrett directing the Wizard of Oz (July 2015)