Music

Video: Dress Rehearsal with the ACSO

dressrehearsal

I've always considered myself to be an amateur filmmaker. In my head. In my mind, I rewrite scenes from my favorite movies, I guess the next lines in all of my favorite tv shows. As a professional musician and teacher, I'm a huge proponent of do-it-yourself. If you have a song you want people to hear, put it out there yourself. So, if I have a movie in my head that I want people to see, I need to put it out there myself. 

I challenged myself to shoot and edit a short film using only my iPhone and iMovie. Below is the result.

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Quote: Frances Clark

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Music in Our Schools Month Profile: Jasmine Mitchell

The National Association for Music Education (NAfME) has designated March as Music in Our Schools Month. To celebrate, the jsquared music performance center will be sharing the stories of people who played instruments in grade school and the impact it made on their lives.

Today, we feature Jasmine Mitchell. Jasmine works in the health care field doing administrative work for an urgent care facility.

Jasmine Mitchell

What instrument do you play?

Trumpet/Flag

At what age did you begin to play your first instrument?

11

Why did you start playing?

I started playing because my older brother was in the band starting in middle school and he really enjoyed and I thought it was something I would definitely like to do. 

What was your experience with music during your elementary, middle and high school years?

Elementary school was very minimal. We played recorders and switched percussion type instruments each week. Middle school is where I actually learned to play the trumpet and was in concert band for one year. However, middle school only lasted two years because of a city switch over from junior high to middle school. Then when I got to high school I no longer played an instrument but became a flag girl and continued through college. 

Who was your favorite music teacher? What made them your favorite?

While I did not take band as a class in high school, Ronald Collins Sr. was one of the best teachers of music I know. I watched him with the students during band practice and he wasn't always the most patient but was definitely helpful and made sure you knew what you were doing. However it was Mr. Collins who saw the potential in me to be a section leader which earned me bandsmen of the year my senior year. 

What is your favorite band memory from grade school?

Well grade school was so long ago... however, my music teacher in grade school was the best. I only had him in the 6th grade. Mr Wolf was his name. He was a very free spirit and wanted to make sure that whatever instrument you had for the week it was the one you wanted and felt comfortable with. He was open to trading instruments so that all the children in the class were happy learning.

Did you play an instrument in college? Did music impact your college choice?

In college I took private lessons on the trumpet again, but, I never played outside of them. I was always interested in playing again but I never had the chance and being in color guard was so much more fun I didn't want to leave the section. 

I went to Norfolk State because I had to stay in the area to go to school. I honestly did not know anything about show style band as I went to a corp style high school. However, I knew I wanted to continue marching and was very pleased with the decision I made to join the Spartan Legion at NSU.

What is your current occupation?

I am currently working in the health care field doing administrative work for a local urgent care facility.

How has music helped you in your current occupation?

Music has always been a large part of life but being in the band is what really impacted me. I learned one of the greatest lessons that any adult can have which is time management. 

How has music played a part in your adult life?

I was the flag coordinator at Phoebus High School and the Assistant Band Director/Flag Coordinator at Surry Co. High School for one year each. Those experiences have been a great part of my life as an adult. While it was not my major in school, it was something that I still wanted to do. I was grateful for the opportunity to help out my friends and still be a part of marching band which is something I hold very dear to my heart. 

What advice do you have for young musicians?

Keep playing. Never ever stop playing. Master your craft. The love of music can take you so far and teach you so many different life skills, all of which you will need to make it in life. The art of music is so under appreciated and the talent of young musicians can bring back to life the art form that is being slowly diminished in our schools. So grab a friend and bring them into in the bond that is the love of music and go far together.

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Music in Our Schools Month Profile: Robert L. Edwards

The National Association for Music Education (NAfME) has designated March as Music in Our Schools Month. To celebrate, the jsquared music performance center will be sharing the stories of people who played instruments in grade school and the impact it made on their lives.

Today, we feature Robert L. Edwards. Robert is a Professor of Music and Director of Bands at Johnson C. Smith University and a business consultant. 

Robert L. Edwards

What instrument do you play?

Trumpet, Baritone

At what age did you begin to play your first instrument?

8

Why did you start playing?

My grandfather was a musician, so I decided to follow in his footsteps. 

What was your experience with music during your elementary, middle and high school years?

In elementary school, my cousins and I used to play a game called “parade” because we were fascinated with marching bands. We used trash can tops as cymbals and sticks for maces. Our imaginations were huge.

In middle school, I joined the band because I wanted to be able to march in the marching band when I joined high school. My first instrument was the horn. I switched to trumpet the next year. By 9th grade, I was actually able to join the marching band.

In high school, I played baritone. I made first chair district band that year and was able to audition for All State band. The next year, I played trumpet and made district band again. The following year, I made first chair district band and auditioned for All State on the trumpet. High school is also where I was first given the chance to arrange music for a band. 

Who was your favorite music teacher? What made them your favorite?

Mr. Kenneth Woodley. He motivated me and helped me to be the person that I am. It's because of him that I understand music the way I do now. He helped me to apply to college, also influencing my choice of school. Because he was a father figure to me, he went the extra mile to go as far as to assist me with filling out the college application and, to this day, I think he is the one that paid my senior dues that year, too. I had saved up all of my change. Went to my guidance counselor to pay my dues and she told me they were taken care of. I know they both looked out for me. 

What is your favorite band memory from grade school?

Everything. But, if I had to pick one, when I was in 11th grade one of the tuba players (our resident prankster) made a trombone player eat a chocolate covered cricket. She thought it was a regular piece of candy. When she found out that it was a cricket, she froze. Then she started rocking back and forth. After a few seconds of rocking, she got up, picked up a stand and hit him  upside the head with it. I will never forget that. 

Did you play an instrument in college? Did music impact your college choice?

Yes, I played the trumpet at Norfolk State University. As I said earlier, my high school band director influenced my college choice. 

What is your current occupation?

Professor of Music and Director of Bands at Johnson C. Smith University and business consultant. 

How has music helped you in your current occupation?

Music is my current occupation. It was in college that my band director, Dr. Sanford, told me that I was a jack of all trades and master of none. I was trying to do everything freshman year. I was a part of every organization on campus. His words helped me to focus myself. Because of my newfound focus on music, I was given the opportunity to arrange for the marching band. My arrangements caught the attention of other college band directors and I was able to obtain my first college job as Music Instructor and Assistant Director of Bands at Shaw University at the age of 25 because of it. 

How has music played a part in your adult life?

I’ve had the chance to help others better themselves through music, whether it's in their current occupations or through the opportunity to go to college through scholarships. I also use music as a vehicle to guide students to develop their communication and soft skills that will assist them when they seek employment and other opportunities after graduation. 

What advice do you have for young musicians?

If you want to go into music as a profession, you have to make sure you stay on your craft. Find a way to make yourself stand out from the other musicians. The only way to do that is to be yourself. Be humble. Study to perfect your practice so that you know what you are doing.

 

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Music in Our Schools Month Profile: Akeem Harris

The National Association for Music Education (NAfME) has designated March as Music in Our Schools Month. To celebrate, the jsquared music performance center will be sharing the stories of people who played instruments in grade school and the impact it made on their lives.

Today, we feature Akeem Harris. Akeem is a Liability Determination Adjuster with Allstate.

Akeem Harris

What instrument do you play?

Saxophone, Violin, Viola, Oboe, Piano, Flute

At what age did you begin to play your first instrument?

5

Why did you start playing?

My parents introduced me into the world of music at a very young age, 5, with the violin and it just grew from there.

What was your experience with music during your elementary, middle and high school years?

During Elementary School, I was playing the violin and piano and taking lessons at Peabody Preparatory. Middle School was the same thing. In High School, I ended up picking up the oboe, playing in Woodlawn High School Jazz Band, Marching Band and Symphonic Band and also with the Greater Baltimore Youth Orchestra. I also had the opportunity to travel to the Ivory Coast in West Africa with the Woodlawn/Milford Mill Academy High School Jazz Bands.

Who was your favorite music teacher? What made them your favorite?

Ms. Stephanie K Sanders. She had awesome ways of motivating me and pushing me past my limits as a saxophone player. She cared about you as a person along with your musical abilities.

What is your favorite band memory from grade school?

My favorite memory from grade school was being able to get 5 notes out of my saxophone, lol.

Did you play an instrument in college? Did music impact your college choice?

I played, Saxophone, Violin, and Oboe at Hampton and Norfolk State University. It impacted both schools I attended. The late, great Barney E. Smart gave me a scholarship for the oboe at Hampton and I had exposure to Norfolk's music program and I saw good things there as well.

Akeem Pic.jpg

What is your current occupation?

Liability Determination Adjuster with Allstate.

How has music helped you in your current occupation?

It's a great conversation piece.

How has music played a part in your adult life?

In my adult life, it has been huge. It has allowed me to play with the UP Praise Team at Providence Baptist Church, various choirs at church, Baltimore's Marching Ravens, The Fort Washington Symphonic Winds, Hunt Valley Symphony Orchestra and other gigs. It keeps me grounded and focused and is a release from stress and tension. 

What advice do you have for young musicians?

Don't let anyone destroy your dreams or put you in a musical box. I had teachers and others say, "You play too many instruments" or, "You can't be in all these different ensembles". As long as you have drive and dedication you can achieve it all. 

Akeem is also a member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia (Pi Beta) Hampton U and
Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity INC (DZ) ( Nu Sigma Sigma). 

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Music in Our Schools Profile: Stephanie K. Sanders

The National Association for Music Education (NAfME) has designated March as Music in Our Schools Month. To celebrate, the jsquared music performance center will be sharing the stories of people who played instruments in grade school and the impact it made on their lives.

Today, we feature Stephanie K. Sanders. Stephanie is an Assistant Professor of Music, Associate Director of Bands, and Jazz Ensembles Director at Norfolk State University (VA).

Stephanie K. Sanders

What instrument do you play?

Flute, Clarinet, Oboe, Saxophone, Bassoon and Piano

At what age did you begin to play your first instrument?

12

Why did you start playing?

I had a great band teacher that pushed me to take a music entrance test and made sure I wanted to play whatever my heart desired!

What was your experience with music during your elementary, middle and high school years?

I participated in band in the 5th grade, played in the Symphonic band in junior high and then played in Jazz Ensemble, Wind Ensemble, Orchestra and Choir in high school.

Who was your favorite music teacher? What made them your favorite?

Laura Hunter was my favorite teacher for introducing me to the world of classical saxophone and I also had never seen a woman play as great as she did. My other great mentor was Conrad Johnson who introduced me to the world of jazz in all its forms!

What is your favorite band memory from grade school?

My favorite memory in band during junior high school was going to the state contest in the 6th grade! I made a Superior rating and I was overjoyed!

Did you play an instrument in college? Did music impact your college choice?

I played bassoon in wind ensemble, orchestra and woodwind ensemble and played saxophone in jazz ensemble while attending Jackson State University. Music and the HBCU experience were my impacts for my college choice... And a full scholarship too!

What is your current occupation?

Assistant Professor of Music/Associate Director of Bands/Jazz Ensembles Director at Norfolk State University (VA).

How has music helped you in your current occupation?

I live and breathe music everyday and I also love my profession which makes it a pleasure to come to work everyday and impact students' lives.

How has music played a part in your adult life?

I perform with the symphony as Principal Bassoonist as well as play in a Jazz/RnB Band.

What advice do you have for young musicians?

Practice, have a passion to succeed and want to know as much about music as if your life depended on it. It is a struggle at times, but perseverance pays off in the end!

Facebook: Stephanie K. Sanders (The Musician)

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Music in Our Schools Month Profile: Karen Waddell

The National Association for Music Education (NAfME) has designated March as Music in Our Schools Month. To celebrate, the jsquared music performance center will be sharing the stories of people who played instruments in grade school and the impact it made on their lives.

Today, we feature Karen Waddell. Karen is the Director of Bands and Elementary Music Teacher at the Academy for Discovery at Lakewood in Norfolk, VA. 

Karen Waddell

What instrument do you play?

Flute, Bassoon, and Bari Sax

At what age did you begin to play your first instrument?

7

Why did you start playing?

My mom was a band director, and I was always begging to play some of the instruments she had around the house. An older gentleman at my church heard me asking one Sunday, and gave me a flute that his daughter played when she was little. I spent three years playing flute before switching to the bassoon. In high school, my marching band needed a baritone saxophone player, so I stepped up to fill the void. 

What was your experience with music during your elementary, middle and high school years?

When I received my flute at 7, I began to learn to play my flute by ear. I picked up my flute and learned "Angels We Have Heard on High" within a few days. When my mom heard me play along with the recording, she started to give me my first lessons. My first band classes began in fourth grade, when I switched to bassoon. I studied bassoon all the way through middle school before switching to bari sax for marching band my freshman year in high school. I played bassoon through high school for concert season, and played bari sax for marching and eventually jazz band. Along with band, I participated in the Madrigal choir and sang in church. 

Who was your favorite music teacher? What made them your favorite?

I loved having my mother as my music teacher, and I learned so much from her. However, we didn't always get along, and I had problems separating the teacher from my mom, so she would normally find different teachers for me. During my first three years of college, John Windings was my teacher for everything music related. As the head of the music department at Shawnee Community College, John taught all of the band, chorus, private lesson, music history, and music theory classes. As much as I learned musically from him, I also learned life skills and lessons from him. John was a notoriously tough teacher, but tough only when you needed him to be. John refused to take anything less than your best, and pushed you to find the best musician and person you could be.He always finds the humor in everything, and kept spirits high. I try to be that person for my students. A motivator, a friend, and someone's favorite teacher. 

What is your favorite band memory from grade school?

Band not only gives a musical stress relief, but also comical relief many times as well. My teacher, Mrs. Ozier, stopped us one day in fourth grade rehearsal to correct some of our mistakes. While she was talking, she noticed a fly land on the top of her coffee cup. She told us that the best way to kill a fly was to clap above the fly, but the trick was to not knock the fly into the coffee. We literally stopped and watched her kill the fly and successfully keep it from falling into her coffee! Still to this day, I remember that every time I see a fly somewhere I don't want it to be!

Did you play an instrument in college? Did music impact your college choice?

During college, I played flute for my first two years of marching band, along with bassoon in concert band. After moving to Norfolk with my husband when he was first stationed at Naval Station Norfolk, I knew I had to find a school with a quality music program that would take me to my end goal of my music education degree. I auditioned at Norfolk State University with Ms. Stephanie Sanders, and I immediately felt at home. When the offer came through of a full scholarship, I knew it was meant to be! I not only earned my Bachelor's of Music Education through Norfolk State, but returned a year after graduation to begin my Master's in Music Education as well. 

What is your current occupation?

I am the Director of Bands and Elementary Music Teacher at the Academy for Discovery at Lakewood. ADL is the new Project Based Learning 3rd through 8th grade school in Norfolk. We are a International Baccalaureate Candidate school, and look forward to seeing what the school will succeed in the future due to the large administrative support of the music program!

How has music played a part in your adult life?

Music is my life! Being able to share my love of music with my students makes my job not feel like work at all! I wake up every day looking forward to seeing my students and sharing something new about music with them every day. I love the fact that I have the opportunity to teach elementary music along with middle school band. I truly get to see the cycle of musicianship continue through middle school, and I love seeing the light bulb moments with my students of all ages. 

How has music helped you in your current occupation?

Music truly is my life. Music is not only what I do, but it is what makes me happy. Through my singing and ability to play instruments, I find my sense of peace. I express my joy, sorrow, anger, and worries through my music. I also use my music to praise God for all the gifts He has given me. Music has given me my career. Music has taught me the self discipline, balance, scheduling, and professionalism that has landed me jobs and a spot in a competitive doctoral program. Finally, in the last three years, I have been able to share music with my daughter, and help her explore herself through music. 

What advice do you have for young musicians?

My favorite advice to give my students is to remember that music is unlike anything you will ever do in your life. Music is something that will teach you so many lessons, build you up, tear you down, and make you work harder than you have ever imagined. You will chase perfection, and sometimes will doubt what you are doing. However, music will reward you in ways that you will never imagine if you see it through. Stick through the hard times and you will see the rewards!


 

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Music in Our Schools Month Profile: DeShawn Mays

The National Association for Music Education (NAfME) has designated March as Music in Our Schools Month. To celebrate, the jsquared music performance center will be highlighting people who played instruments in grade school and the impact it made on their lives.

Today, we feature DeShawn Mays. DeShawn is a retail sales associate and technician for Batteries Plus Bulbs. He is also a full time musician at Second Calvary Baptist Church. 

What instrument do you play?

Trumpet and Bass Guitar

At what age did you begin to play your first instrument?

11

Why did you start playing?

Honestly, I joined the elementary band just to get out of class, lol! In 6th grade, I was very bored and just wanted to find an escape, so band was it. I took advantage of that moment and 13 years later, I'm still taking advantage of it.

What was your experience with music during your elementary, middle and high school years?

Elementary school, I really didn't have much experience with music. I started in late April, so, I really did not have much time with music. It was in middle school when things really started for me. I joined the high school marching band and struggled for almost an entire year trying to keep up with the others. I was determined to do so,  though. By the time I reached high school, I was playing with no problems and even started challenging the older trumpet players just to make myself better and to show that I was serious about playing.

Who was your favorite music teacher? What made them your favorite?

My favorite music teacher is most definitely Ms. Sanders from Norfolk State University. She doesn't know it but she encouraged me so much to be better than I was the previous day. Ms. Sanders gave me my start on bass guitar a year ago and since then I have been performing so much more. She is most definitely my favorite music teacher because she cared so much about me even when I wanted to give up on myself.

What is your favorite band memory from grade school?

My favorite memory from grade school has to be the night I played my first double G. We were at a basketball game against our rival high school and both bands were going at it in the stands. We played " And Then What" and I hit this G and it was so clean and loud. It rang across the entire gym. The next day, I had a lot of my friends from the rival band texting me about it.

Did you play an instrument in college? Did music impact your college choice?

Music really did impact my choice of colleges that I wanted to attend. I am a student at Norfolk State University and it was their music department that made me want to go there. Since starting my journey at NSU, I have played trumpet in the trumpet ensemble, jazz ensemble, wind ensemble, and the gospel choir. I've played bass in the jazz ensemble and a few times for the Performance workshop class. 

What is your current occupation?

My current occupation is retail sales associate and technician for Batteries Plus Bulbs. With that position, I run sales on  the floor as well as work on all Apple product repairs. Also, I am a full time musician at Second Calvary Baptist Church. 

How has music helped you in your current occupation?

With working in retail, your day can be very stressful. You meet a lot of people and not all of them are nice. Music has helped me stay sane. I listen to music everyday and I make sure to listen to music when i get frustrated.

How has music played a part in your adult life?

Being an adult means that I have a lot of bills to pay, lol. I work two full time jobs and still perform on a regular basis just to make sure that all of my bills are kept up. With growing in age comes responsibility and music has been a big help with teaching me responsibility.

What advice do you have for young musicians?

For every young musician reading this....NEVER give up on yourself. You never know who is looking up to you. Even when you feel alone just remember that music will always be there. Believe in yourself and stay humble. Humility will take you far in life.

Instagram: chad_buhtz831
email: dmmays831@gmail.com
Band email: JaDeRay2016@gmail.com

If you are ever looking for a band to perform at a function do not feel hesitant to contact me.
Currently working on a website. 

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Music in Our Schools Month Profile: DeAndrea Norris

The National Association for Music Education (NAfME) has designated March as Music in Our Schools Month. To celebrate, the jsquared music performance center will be highlighting people who played instruments in grade school and the impact it made on their lives.

Today, we feature DeAndrea Norris. DeeDee is an Entrepreneur and an IT Relationship Manager for Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. 

DeAndrea Norris

What instrument do you play?

Clarinet


At what age did you begin to play your first instrument?

10


Why did you start playing?

In Elementary School, the music teachers were introducing kids to different instruments. I asked my parents if I could join the band and they said, "Sure!" At the recommendation of my Elementary School Band Director, I started playing the clarinet.


What was your experience with music during your elementary, middle and high school years?

I had the BEST music experience during Elementary, Junior High and High School! It was work, but it was FUN! The Band Directors really took pride in not only teaching us how to play our instruments technically, but how to listen and play with our hearts as an ensemble. They taught us to be the best all the time - on stage, on the marching field, in our other classes - ALL THE TIME. They taught us to be on time - translation...5 minutes early. They encouraged friendly competition with others in band, both in our own school and in other local, regional and state schools. They taught us confidence and to have a winner's mentality.  


Who was your favorite music teacher? What made them your favorite?

Oh gosh - I really would rather not single anyone out, as I was so incredibly fortunate to have the best music teachers! 

Mr. Pease, my Junior High Band Director, really did lay the foundation though - don't be late, be proud to be a part of the band, speak positively, have each others back no matter what, lift each other up instead of tear each other down, know your part musically and don't be the weakest link, etc. 

Mr. Sharps was my High School teacher and he and Mr. Pease were good friends. Mr. Sharps would often come to my Junior High School to see what was going on with the band, so he knew what to expect when we moved up to High School. I felt like the Band Directors were always thinking about us...always a step ahead of the game to make sure we all maximized our potential.

Mr. Asercion (Rest In Peace) was my private clarinet teacher. He was a world-renowned clarinet soloist, with several music accolades. We practiced the basics at every lesson for the first 10 minutes or so and then transitioned to very challenging pieces for the last 30 minutes - he stretched me all the time to be better. 

Each of the men above were such great role models for us to follow. Not only were they great leaders, but they are/were also great musicians. Instead of just telling students how something should be played, they would often demonstrate on their own instruments... leading by example! 


What is your favorite band memory from grade school?

One of my (many) favorite band memories was traveling to Orlando, FL for a band competition and playing the clarinet solo in a piece called "Morning, Noon and Night in Vienna" by Alfred Reed...IN FRONT OF ALFRED REED HIMSELF. He was a judge (no pressure, right??). It was definitely a once in a lifetime type of experience and I received the Best Soloist award. 


Did you play an instrument in college? Did music impact your college choice?

I continued playing the clarinet throughout college at James Madison University, where I got Bachelors Degrees in Music Industry and Computer Information Systems. Music definitely influenced my college choice - James Madison University has a phenomenal marching band and music program. 


What is your current occupation?

I am currently an Entrepreneur and an IT Relationship Manager for Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. 


How has music helped you in your current occupation?

I believe music has definitely helped me in my career. In addition to playing clarinet, I was a Section Leader and a Drum Major in Junior High and High School, which gave me the opportunity to step up as leader. The trust, discipline and commitment learned and needed in these roles have definitely applied throughout my business and career to date. 


How has music played a part in your adult life?

Although I don't play the clarinet anymore, the knowledge and skills I learned in band will always apply to my adult life. I really hope my daughter will someday want to play an instrument, when she gets older!


What advice do you have for young musicians?

Keep playing... even when you get older, keep playing! Find a community band... play in church... form your own band... just keep playing!  

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Music in Our Schools Month Profile: Hepston Henry

The National Association for Music Education (NAfME) has designated March as Music in Our Schools Month. To celebrate, the jsquared music performance center will be highlighting people who played instruments in grade school and the impact it made on their lives.

Today, we feature Hepston Henry. Hepston is an arranger for the Sound Machine Marching Band at North Carolina Central University, a financial advisor, and also has a music production company, Frat MuziKK Group, LLC.

What instrument do you play?

Alto/tenor saxophone, piano and drums.

At what age did you begin to play your first instrument?

10

Why did you start playing?

My grandfather, Ira A. Samuel, was one of the most well-known musicians in the Virgin Islands. He played with several groups and was also in the movie Captain Ron. I wanted to be like him so I got into music. He gave me a King Super 20 for my 15th birthday and it helped shape my love for music.

What was your experience with music during your elementary, middle and high school years?

I spent 7 years in Germany because my dad was stationed there in the Army. In middle school I played the alto saxophone. I wanted to play drums, but my parents insisted I play something "I can take home and practice."  When we moved back to the United States (Virginia), I was in 7th grade. Our concert band won several competitions and festivals. In high school, I began marching band. I never knew how people could march and play at the same time until I did it. The very first drill I ever marched was "The Impression That I Get" by The Mighty Mighty Bosstones. I'll never forget that because it was definitely a hard adjustment. I never knew 2 years later I would become drum major and help completely change the style of Heritage High School's marching band.

Who was your favorite music teacher? What made them your favorite?

My favorite music teacher had to be my high school band director, Mr. Braxton. I had only had 2 Black male teachers my entire life up to that point, and he was one of them. He would stay after school with me a couple days a week for private lessons since he was also a saxophonist. He began a music technology program, which got me interested. I used to skip part of my History class and go to the band room to learn more about music production and engineering.

What is your favorite band memory from grade school?

My favorite band memory is when our high school band went to Toronto on tour along with the choir. Mr. Braxton gave us a lot of freedom, as he wanted us to behave as mature adults and be cognizant of our actions that could lead us in either direction, good or bad. Before we got off the bus he said, "....now if you see me....don't talk to me. I will walk away like I don't know you." We thought he was joking until he actually did it. We all laughed about it when we got back on the bus.

Did you play an instrument in college? Did music impact your college choice?

I played tenor saxophone in the Spartan "Legion" Marching Band at Norfolk State University, as well as in the NSU symphonic wind ensemble. I knew NSU had one of the best music programs with a group of some of the best instructors. It was a no-brainer.

What is your current occupation?

I am currently an arranger for the Sound Machine Marching Band at North Carolina Central University, a financial advisor, and I also have a music production company, Frat MuziKK Group, LLC.

How has music helped you in your current occupation?

Music IS my current occupation. I play music all day at my desk to get through the day. If a hear a song on the radio with a nice format (chords, melody, counter-melody, etc), I think of how I could write it for band. I get inspired by random sounds and think of how I could turn it into a song. Every day of my life, I work on music in some form or fashion.

How has music played a part in your adult life?

Music helps keep me focused. Playing music softly in the background while working keeps me in a more productive zone.

What advice do you have for young musicians?

Young musicians must never quit. Music has been scientifically proven to mold smarter kids. It is constantly being pushed out of the education system, but it IS the education system. Every core subject can be taught through music.

www.FratMuziKK.com - currently working on "Abstract Art" album. It is a collection of all of the arts, artists, forms, eras, styles, and genres.


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