Hunter Smith, 18, received a special gift for his 11th birthday.
“I always had a deep love for music. As a kid I would always be singing, dancing, and making noises constantly,” Smith said. “My parents were the ones who decided to get me a guitar, and I fell in love with the learning process and expressiveness of the instrument.”
Like many other young musicians, inspiration and confidence comes from parents but also from teachers who continue mentoring their students well into the performing career.
“I first began studying music in my middle school band class,” he said. “My teacher was Shanna Lank, and to this day she still helps guide me in my musical journey and continues to help provide me with amazing opportunities even though I’m no longer a student of hers.”
Smith said his favorite memory to date was his first paid gig, and he has a souvenir of that experience near him every day.
“I currently still have the check hanging next to my desk as a reminder of where I started and when I realized that playing music professionally would be an opportunity in life for me.”
Smith plans to stay active in music throughout his life and make that gifted guitar the key.
“My ambition with music is for it to always play a part in my life, no matter what my career or job ends up being. If you truly love doing something you will make it work, and I aspire to continue playing music for the rest of my life.”