For second generation band director and third generation teacher Carrie Anderson, music and education play important roles in her life.
“Music communicates to people – and through people – in a way that other forms of communication do not,” says the former AYWS clarinetist.
“It is transformative and fuel to the soul.”
As the director of bands at Marietta Sixth Grade Academy in Kennesaw, she harnesses the power of music to fuel the souls of dozens of eager pre-teens, teaching them notes and new instrument fingerings along the way.
Now a seasoned music educator, Carrie acknowledges that her time in the AYWS helped prepare her for this vocation. “The commitment and dedication that AYWS required was a perfect transition into both college and career,” she explains. “The expectations were high, which helped me prepare for professional expectations moving forward.”
Carrie believes these “beyond-the-band room” experiences are important for ALL students – not just those who aspire to a career in music education. “AYWS gives students an opportunity to perform at the highest level, which some students would not have otherwise,” she says.
When reflecting on her own AYWS days, Carrie identified meeting Dr. Stewart as one of her favorite memories. She had previously performed under the baton of Dr. John Lynch but was going to be led by a new maestro for her senior year of high school. “After meeting him, I was so excited to know that AYWS was in good hands and was going to continue to be an incredible experience for students,” she says.
A close second favorite memory would be the ensemble’s debut performance of Lynch’s “Diversions” in Glenn Memorial Church. “When Dr. Lynch cut us off and the sound reverberated through the church, it was as though time stood still,” she recalls. “With his hands up in the air, he mouthed the words ‘thank you’ and it was my most memorable concert ever.”
These magical moments are what make the AYWS such a unique experience – for Carrie and for so many other student musicians – and she sums it up perfectly: “AYWS provides opportunities for students who are at a high level of excellence to be around students who feel the same way about band as they do.”
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