On Tuesday, February 3, Greenville, Foxcroft, and Dexter High Schools will host three national award-winning musical artists for their presentation of "Down The Road: A Discussion of Music as a Profession." Two of the three artists hail from the State of Maine. The presentation is geared to instill awareness of music industry career opportunities, the many avenues available to pursue them, and to provide "real world" advice on how to succeed in a music profession.
Maine native, multi-instrumentalist, and singer/songwriter Scotty Huff, a graduate of Stearns High School in Millinocket and the University of Southern Maine, says, "There are many wonderful performance based programs visiting our schools. However, it's rare to find a "nuts and bolts" program like ours that gives students a practical look at the music world and provides them skills beyond their individual musical proficiency." Scotty has toured and performed with many artists including The Mavericks, Natalie Cole, Manhattan Transfer, and currently with Capital recording artist Keith Urban. His recording credits include Keith Urban, The Mavericks, and K.T. Oslin. Scotty is a songwriter and has recently released his debut solo album, "Assorted".
Robert Reynolds, a founding member of The Mavericks, offers, "It's important for students to hear an orchestra, a jazz choir, or experience an opera; and it is equally important for them to know the hundreds of other opportunities in our industry as well as the knowledge and confidence to pursue careers in these areas. We also consider musical career possibilities in conjunction with non-musical careers." The Mavericks have released seven albums, selling over 4 million copies worldwide. They have received numerous awards from the Country Music Association (CMA), the Academy of Country Music (ACM), and a Grammy in 1996. The Mavericks appear regularly on such shows as "Late Night with David Letterman" and "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno." Robert and Scotty have formed a company that produces scores for children's animated short films.
Also from Maine, Joe Smyth graduated from Westbrook High School, Berklee College of Music, and the University of Miami. For the past 22 years, he has been a founding and continuing member of the group Sawyer Brown, recording 20 albums with total sales in excess of 6 million copies. The group has receivied many CMA, ACM, and Country Music Television Awards and has been nominated for both Grammy and American Music Awards. Concerning the presentation Smyth says, "The students will have the opportunity to learn from professionals who are "out there" doing it. We believe this type of mentoring is a key means of launching successful careers in music. It has been through this type of guidance, coupled with formal musical education and life experience, that has formed the foundation upon which our own musical careers have been built. We want to pass on what we've learned to students throughout the State of Maine."
The three's mission statement offers, "The importance of personal interaction with music professionals cannot be overstated. Our Grammy Award, Country Music Association Award, and Carnegie Award winning backgrounds encompass a wide variety of musical genres, including pop, rock, folk, rhythm and blues, jazz, Dixieland, big band, country, classical, avant-garde, and Latin music. We have worked extensively in the areas of recording, live performance, international touring, songwriting, film scoring, radio and television production, music education, artist development, management, and concert production. With our ongoing love of music, education, and the belief that we should in turn "give back" what we have been given, we are firmly committed to sharing our many destinations and the many roads we have taken with your students."
Huff, Reynolds, and Smyth are spending two weeks in Maine, traveling the state to present "Down The Road" to almost two dozen high schools and colleges. The tour is partially underwritten by American Music of Falmouth, the Starbird Music Mall of Portland, and Promark Drumsticks and Fender Guitars. For more information, please call 615-497-1470, or visit www.scottyhuff.com.