Growing up, I wanted to be the best I could be at whatever I did. What I loved most in junior high and high school was playing music with my fellow bandmates. I didn't have access to private music lessons that would have helped me channel that love (and discipline) into even more joy playing music.
In college, what I loved most was playing music with my fellow bandmates (some of the same ones that were in high school, now older!). I finally had access to private instructors in Don Kramer and Jim Buckner. Through the practice techniques that were taught and that I developed while preparing for my senior music recital (November 15, 1993), I wrote "How to Make First Chair" to help musicians of all ages turn their work ethic into improved auditions and performances.
LONG after college, I was fortunate to continue my musical journey with Clint "Pops" McLaughlin (@trumpetcollege). Playing lessons I learned from Pops allowed me to advance my playing and my joy playing even more, performing as a featured soloist with the @CarrolltonWindSymphony in 2010-2011.
The First Chair Scholarship was awarded in May of 2011 to Mitchell Wright from Malvern, Arkansas. That first gift of music provided immeasurable satisfaction, and The Gift of Music Foundation was founded to provide that same type of gift to as many students as possible.
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