By Nancy Whitney
A musical opportunity of a lifetime happened for Carter Walsh recently as he visited Japan as the U.S. representative in the Hiroshima Junior Marimba Festival held April 19.
The festival was organized by marimba artist Keiko Abe who reached out to her former student, Dr. Brian Zator, in search for an up and coming talent to recruit for the event.
Carter, a freshman at Texas A&M-Commerce and a member of the Percussion Studio, was picked by Zator.
“Dr. Zator chose him from the freshmen class last June; before he even arrived as a student on campus,” Carter’s mother, Elana Walsh, said. “He had to be under the age of 19 on the date of the event and had to have previously won an award/competition.”
Carter said this was by-far his largest musical accomplishment to date.
His first two days in Japan encompassed musical rehearsals where the group went though ensemble pieces and solo material that the two foreign representatives, the second from Austria, were playing.
Sunday evening was the actual performance, and Monday, Carter toured the island of Miyajima.
“We were able to be there with Keiko Abe and were given some very exclusive opportunities as tourists,” Carter said. “My evenings were spent with the Onishi family, who was my host family during my time in Hiroshima. It was very interesting to see how other countries live.”
Carter began playing piano in the 4th grade and very quickly fell in love with music.
“To this day, I still give all credit of my musical career to my 4th grade piano teacher, Ms. Fiona
Garwood,” Carter said.
He is a 2014 Wylie High School graduate and a four-year member of That Wylie Band. During his high school career the band earned the State Marching finalists of 2013 as well as the Percussive Arts Society International Ensemble Competition winners of 2012.
“From a parent’s perspective, the fine arts department in our district is absolutely amazing,” Elana said. “The things he learned from 6th-12th grade in percussion are priceless. He is now with students from many different backgrounds and sees the excellence of the band programs here in WISD.”
Carter made the college dean’s list last semester at and made the top band and ensembles both semesters of freshman year. He also teaches at Rockwall High School for their drumline audition camp.