Music shapes Carr’s past, present, and future

Kathy Dillon
WA's three drum majors, (left to right) Tyler Dillon, Iria Wang, and Brian Carr, pose for a photo during a marching band performance.

Chloe Morbelli, Arts and Entertainment Editor

One of WA’s most musically-oriented students, Brian Carr has carried his musical talent and passion with him for the majority of his 18 years. Introduced to music at a young age, Carr first learned to play guitar at the age of five and has pursued his passion for music throughout middle school and into high school. As a senior, he is now planning his future around music.

He was taught his first instrument, the guitar, by a music teacher, who still serves as one of his music inspirations today. For ten years, Carr was captivated by the guitar, and it led to him picking up other instruments, including the alto saxophone in middle school band. Despite his love for guitar, Carr chose the alto sax as his main instrument and plans to focus his music studies on this instrument in college

Looking at Carr’s class curriculum and school activities, it’s clear that music plays a key role in his daily schedule. Three of his courses are music oriented, including Symphonic Band, Honors Orchestra, and AP Music Theory. After school, Carr participates in different ensembles including Marching Band and Jazz Band. Across these classes and groups, Carr has had the opportunity to learn a number of new instruments, which come easy to him given his background and innate talent.

Through experience and adapting to situations, Carr has picked up the clarinet, baritone, and the role of drum major, where he conducts and helps the Marching Band throughout performances. These are in addition to the guitar and alto sax.

Carr describes WA Band to be a close knit group with a good atmosphere. He has formed many close friendships through the band, which extend in and outside school.

Outside of school, music is a part of Carr’s life, even when not physically holding an instrument. He enjoys music not only as the average person would, but he takes it to the critical level. Listening with a critical ear is a quality that has been ingrained in him, as with most good musicians.

“Once you start listening to music critically, you develop a critical ear and it’s hard to find music that I really like and can’t just sit down and listen to it without trying to understand everything that’s going on… if I’m listening to music in my car, I don’t want that to be wasted,” Carr said.

Many different people and groups serve as Carr’s musical inspirations. He looks up to artists who work to push the art form forward with new ideas.

“There’s so many people, doing so many interesting things, and also just having the right ideas about how to do those things. I don’t think enough people go out of the way to find people like that,” Carr stated.

As mentioned earlier, Carr’s first guitar teacher sparked his passion. His knowledge of guitar, leading to other instruments, can be attributed to the music teacher that first taught him at the age of five. WA Band teacher, George Arsenault, has also helped make him the musician he is today.

Carr described, “As a person, [my guitar teacher] was a really good educator and knew how to get the best out of me, and that’s where I want to be in education. I see people like him or Mr. Arsenault, they know how to get things from students and motivate them.”

Inspired by his teachers, Carr wants to go into music education and do band directing in college. One of his top choices is UMass Amherst, where he is drawn to the size of the school and programs it offers. He feels that a large school is best for undergraduates, where he can meet many different people with various musical tastes.

For Carr, the future is unknown, but it is certain that music will be a part of his life. It has always been something he has been passionate about, and he plans to further nurture it into college and beyond.

“I’m still trying to figure it out… I’m ravenous with my musical appetite,” Carr remarked.