So Matthew, when was your first encounter with music?
Classical music has been a part of my life since I was a baby. My Mom kept a small clock radio in my room as a child and it would always be tuned to a local public radio station that played classical music. I would listen to it as I fell asleep at night and I am convinced that that nightly exposure had something to do with me being drawn to music.
Absolutely. When and how did you start playing your instrument?
I started playing the flute in 5th grade. I went to a night hosted by my music teacher where you could try out all the different instruments in band. I don’t remember it taking me very long to decide on the flute. My Mom asked me why I wanted to play that particular instrument and I told her I liked how it sounded…and that was that.
When did you decide to make music your career?
I was young. I think in either 7th or 8th grade my grandparents gave me a two-disc set called “The Very Best of James Galway.” I loved it. The first CD was all standard classical flute repertoire, but the second CD had arrangements of popular songs, including Disney tunes, and I just instantly fell in love. From that point on I knew I needed to make music my job when I grew up. Continuing to practice and perform throughout high school just solidified that feeling.
Now… Close your eyes. Tell us: what is your favorite memory of a performance?
Oh man, this is a difficult one. I do need to mention that, as a collective group of performances, the last two years with MWF have been some of the best performances I’ve had the chance to be a part of. Getting to perform such incredible music with such talented musicians and friends has been a dream come true. I really can’t wait to be back in Frederick this summer for more exciting performances!
Other than our yearly festivals, I would have to say performing Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite with the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra, WCU Wind Ensemble’s performance at the 2011 PMEA Conference, my solo performance with the WCU Orchestra, my second Master’s recital, subbing as Principal with the Bay Atlantic Symphony, and the 2015 and 2016 Spring concerts with the Liberty Wind Symphony.
Okay, yeah…that’s a lot. But they were all seriously memorable!
Love it … Finally, what do you like to do outside of music?
I love to travel, whether it is a big trip to some exciting place or just visiting my friends over the weekend. I’m almost always on the go and I love it. I’m making it a mission in my lifto all 50 states and every single National Park in this country. I enjoy reading and try to read at least a little something before bed each night. I also just recently became very serious about running. I am training for my first 5k in March and while I love it, my legs are constantly sore. So that’s fun!