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Volume 24, Number 8 — August 2017

Arts for Youth Spotlight: Shelby Carrico

Shelby Carrico
Shelby Carrico

From Geese to Greece

By Leslie Grace / A! Magazine for the Arts | October 27, 2015

Shelby Carico has always been around music — her mother is an accomplished pianist and when she was 8 she started taking piano lessons. She began playing trumpet a year later.

She says she had mentioned wanting to play the trumpet, and one day her grandfather was out shopping and saw a trumpet; so he bought it for her.

"I had never touched a trumpet before, and I definitely didn't know how to play one. The first few days I had the trumpet, it sounded like geese were being murdered in my house. Luckily, my mother ran into the school band director, and he agreed to meet with me before school to teach me the basics. Every day before school, I trudged down the hall and had a short trumpet lesson with Mr. Stewart, and before long I was playing the same music that his second year band students were."

She's come a long way since then and is majoring in music education at Emory & Henry College and preparing to go to Greece.

"In January of 2016, I will be going to a trumpet conference in Greece that is hosted by Vince DiMartino. While in Greece, I will be taking part in master classes, having private lessons, playing in concerts, attending concerts and touring various sites. This conference is very important and special to me. Not only does it count as a study abroad course through Emory & Henry, but I also have the opportunity to study for a week with some fantastic teachers from around the U.S. In addition, I will be able to get some additional feedback on my audition repertoire before I begin taking auditions for graduate school."

Shelby chose music because it "is interesting to me, because no matter what skill level you are on, there is always another level that you can work towards. I am the type of person that loves to be challenged, and music provides a constant challenge for me. As for style, I have played in a variety of ensembles and bands. I have played in many jazz bands, concert bands, chamber ensembles and orchestras. When I first started playing, I loved playing jazz. However, as time has passed, my love for orchestral playing and chamber playing has surpassed my beginning love of jazz. My approach to playing the trumpet has remained the same, mostly. However, my technique has become stronger, and I am comfortable in playing many more styles now."

Her favorite type of music is classical, and she is particularly fond of Gustav Mahler. Her influences are primarily her teachers, Bud Stewart, Donnie Sorah and Matthew Frederick. "These teachers have inspired me, challenged me and given me opportunities that I never thought I would have. In addition, one of my biggest influences is Philip Smith, former principal trumpet of the New York Philharmonic."

In addition to being chosen for the conference in Greece, Shelby has performed with the Symphony of the Mountains, East Tennessee Regional Symphony and other orchestras and ensembles throughout Southwest Virginia and East Tennessee. She is a member of the Winds of the Mountain Empire and performed at the International Trumpet Guild Conference. She has received many accolades, including being chosen Virginia Band and Orchestra Director's Association all-state trumpet player and inaugural winner of the Joseph Flanary Soloist Award at the McChesney Band Competition.

She performs with the brass ensemble, trumpet ensemble, brass quintet, concert and marching bands at Emory & Henry.

Upon graduation, Shelby plans to go to graduate school; she hopes to work as an educational outreach coordinator for a symphony orchestra.

Shelby, 21, is the daughter of Robin Carico and is from Norton, Virginia.