My introduction to guitar was in the after-school Guitar Club in 5th grade at Matoaka Elementary School. When that was over I began private lessons with local guitar instructor Ron Fetner. He introduced me to the blues by recommending I attend a new blues camp run by Chicago bluesman and music educator Fernando Jones and local frontwoman Jackie Scott. There, I developed valuable performance skills and gained the confidence to perform in front of an audience. I performed solo and with my bands at the Williamsburg Farmers Market, Second Sunday Arts Festival, and numerous other gigs. My band, which performed blues, jazz, pop, rock and classic standards recorded an album in Charlottesville and held two fundraiser performances at the Williamsburg Library Theatre, raising over $2000 for the Armed Forces Arts Partnership.
I was exposed to jazz at summer camps at Florida State and the Eastman School of Music. During my junior year, I began weekly guitar lessons through Skype with an Eastman professor. My playing skills progressed and I gained more confidence. I began to see myself having a career as a professional musician. I continued to perform locally and was asked to become the guitarist for the Williamsburg Classical Swing Orchestra.
I am now majoring in Jazz Performance at the New England Conservatory of Music. Here, I am with some of the best young musicians in the world, learning from some of the best music educators in the world. This is a wonderful way for me to be able to study music and prepare for a career in it.
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