For Tommy Carpenter ‘09, the road to the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra began in middle school when he opted to play the cello in the School’s required fifth grade string program.
“I think it is one hundred percent the right thing to have that requirement,” he said recently. “Music education is vitally important, especially now. It helps so many other facets of School life. For example, mathematics. There is a lot of math that has to do with rhythm and intonation. A lot of people just listen to the music and say ‘that sounds nice’ and while it does sound nice, there is a format or blueprint to a piece of music that uses an extreme complex of chord structures, musical form, and musical style. Also, cognitively, music fires on the same cylinders as learning a language because that is what music is - a language.”
After his required year in the Fifth Grade Orchestra, Carpenter went on to study with Debbie Lyle through his time at the School, as well as with other musical mentors. He also looked for opportunities to hone his skills through exposure at School events and traditions.