I talked with some of Austin's teachers, so you could get a little more background on this extraordinary young man:
Don Krause: Don is our favorite horn teacher in the area. Not sure how we got lucky enough to have him teaching our students, but we are certainly glad we can count him as a friend. We currently have six horns in the Youth Orchestra, and Don is coaching all of them!
"Of all the students I ever had, Austin had the most focus and drive of any. A lot of students practice, but they either don't have focus or don't have the drive. Austin was always trying to improve his performances, even in his lesson assignments. He managed to memorize every solo that he played for solo ensemble year after year. Practice makes perfect was his constant motto! I have had him work with a lot of my students as he has become more successful and is always willing to take the time to help young students improve."
Bruce Atwell: Bruce is our Principal Horn for the Fox Valley Symphony and also teaches at the University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh. He works with our board, staff and youth orchestra students to help make improvements across the board.
"When Don first referred Austin to me as a freshman in high school, my first impression was that he was going to become a once in a generation horn player. His sense of musicianship was already well developed from years of playing the violin and his horn technique was solid and seemed effortless. This raw talent combined with an amazing work ethic pointed to a long and successful career as a musician. His attitude still amazes me. He is still so humble and grateful for all of the success he has achieved. He still calls or texts his former teachers to let us know how he is doing. I can't wait to see where he ends up."
Lynn Lichte: Lynn was our program director for Youth Orchestra while Austin was a student. She was an amazing asset to the symphony and our Youth and Education program. She has since retired, but we miss her every day!