GDYO is a special place where young people come together to make great music at a high level only because they want to be there. You don’t get that many other places!
Nathan Little is a trumpet player hailing from the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. He holds his bachelor’s degree from Baylor University, his master’s degree from the University of North Texas, and his performer’s diploma from Southern Methodist University. Nathan currently performs as 2nd Trumpet of the Amarillo Symphony, and also regularly performs with the Dallas, Fort Worth, Plano, Irving, and Waco Symphony Orchestras, as well as the Dallas Winds. Nathan was also a winner of the 2021 Aspen Music Festival and School Concerto Competition, and has had multiple performances in Carnegie Hall as both a soloist and chamber musician.
WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE GDYO EXPERIENCE OR MEMORY?
I loved going on our summer tour to China in 2015. It was a wonderful selection of music and there are so many great memories I have both on and off the stage from that trip.
The GDYO had a huge impact on me. Going into it, I knew I wanted to do something with music in life. But by the end of the year, the orchestra cemented my dream to become a full-time performer. I was inspired to bring my best to rehearsals and concerts to match the spectacular playing and music-making going on around me.
TELL US WHAT YOU’VE BEEN UP TO SINCE GRADUATING FROM GDYO.
Since GDYO, I have gone on to earn my bachelor’s degree from Baylor University, my masters from the University of North Texas, and my performer’s diploma from Southern Methodist University. I’ve also spent my summers at places like the Aspen Music Festival, Brevard Music Center, and the Texas Music Festival.
WHAT LIFE ACHIEVEMENTS ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF SO FAR & WHY?
I played in a trumpet ensemble during my time at Baylor that took home First Prize at the National Trumpet Competition, and that same group went on to perform in Carnegie Hall later that year. I was also a concerto competition winner at the 2021 Aspen Music Festival and School. But all of these achievements are overshadowed by getting married to my amazing wife, Felicity. These performances and awards are great memories, but I will always cherish and grow from those who I care about.
TELL US ABOUT SOME OF YOUR PERSONAL AND/OR PROFESSIONAL GOALS FOR THE FUTURE.
Primarily, I hope to maintain an active performing career, and to build positive relationships with my fellow performers and audiences. I also want to teach at some level, so I can share the concepts and approaches that have been helpful for me, and to gain a better understanding of them myself. I also hope to impart some life skills to help students become better, more well-rounded people, regardless of how far they ultimately pursue music.
WHO OR WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
Wiff Rudd, my previous teacher at Baylor, has always been a huge inspiration for me. An incredible musician, an invested teacher, and an all-around good person who loves every bit of what he does. Ryan Anthony, a Dallas Symphony trumpet legend, has also been someone I looked up to. His ability, musicianship, and relentless drive when faced with his cancer diagnosis will always amaze me.
ANY HOBBIES, FUN FACTS, OR LIFE HIGHLIGHTS OUTSIDE YOUR CAREER YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE?
Besides trumpet, I really enjoy hiking and kayaking- especially in state and national parks!
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO CURRENT GDYO STUDENTS?
Treasure every moment with the GDYO! Many of the students will go on to play in fantastic collegiate and professional ensembles, but none of those groups will be quite like what you get to experience in the GDYO. You don’t get paid or receive a degree from being part of this program, it’s a special place where young people come together to make great music at a high level only because they want to be there. You don’t get that many other places!
THANK YOU NATHAN FOR STEPPING INTO GDYO’S ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT!
IF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW WOULD BE INTERESTED IN SHARING THE ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT OR WOULD LIKE MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE GDYO ALUMNI ASSOCIATION,
CONTACT CHARILYNE ROJAS AT CHARILYNE@GDYO.ORG.
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