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TUNING UP

August 28, 2017

By KEITH RYAN CARTWRIGHT
Rutherford County Schools

A silver trumpet sat in its case under a bed for well over 30 years at the Wilson’s rural farmhouse in Rutherford County.

Cameron, the youngest of three kids, was looking around his parent’s bedroom when he pulled the case out from under the bed, opened it, examined the trumpet and decided to ask his father, Ricky, about its history.

Ricky and his two brothers all sat first chair trumpet at Riverdale High School in the 1970s.

Ricky, who graduated with the Class of 1977, played with the Warriors band and later with the Band of Blue at Middle Tennessee State University.

This parents had bought the trumpet 44 years ago.

“My only regret is that (my father) didn’t get to see how valued and treasured of a gift that trumpet is,” said Ricky, whose son Cameron now plays that very same trumpet at Riverdale.

Cameron is currently a senior at the school.

He’s been playing the silver instrument for the past six years.

“It came naturally to me,” Cameron said of his musical abilities. “Whenever I was born (my dad) said that I had perfect lips.”

“The very first time I saw him lying there on his momma’s chest,” Ricky recalled, “I said, ‘My God, he’s got the most beautiful, perfect lips. He will be a fantastic trumpet player.”

The younger Wilson is said to be tremendously mature musically.

This past summer, Cameron was selected to play as part of an all-star high school band on the Tennessee Ambassadors of Music Summer Tour through Europe.

They performed in London, Paris and Venice, as well as cities in Switzerland, Austria and Germany.

Wilson was in Paris when he received an email informing him that he had been selected as a U.S. Army All-American band member.

The All-American band will perform in San Antonio, Texas, during halftime of the U.S. All-American Bowl Game. Wilson is among 100 band members selected following a national audition process.

“It’s a pretty selective process,” said Riverdale band director Mike Aymett, who nominated Wilson.

Aymett had originally received a letter in January from the National Association for Music Education soliciting nominations for rising seniors.

Wilson was then asked to submit an interview video along with a marching and playing video, which Aymett said were judged by music educators from across the country and the U.S. Army Field Band.

“I was in Europe living the dream,” said Wilson, when asked where he was when got the All-American news, “just seeing different cultures, and whenever I found out about this, it was a very nice surprise.”

“It was a pretty exciting moment for him,” Aymett added. “He’s probably one of the best student musicians we’ve had here.”

Aymett described Wilson as a model student.

A self-motivated learner, Wilson is that rare combination of natural talent and dedicated work ethic.

Six years ago, Wilson was quick to learn scales when he first pulled the instrument out from under the bed. He’s since developed a deep knowledge of music regarding the mechanics and science of music.

And, again, he’s a natural when it comes harmonics.

"He's very talented," Aymett said, "but it's what he does with the talent."

PHOTOS / PROVIDED