A! Magazine for the Arts

Alex Acosta

Alex Acosta

Alex Acosta is under the sway of the power of music

July 25, 2022

Alex Acosta started with the piano, but chose the clarinet “because it just had an awesome look to me,” he says.

“I’ve always loved music, even as a child. I decided to play the clarinet because of how interesting it looked. I thought many times about quitting freshman year, but when I heard my teacher Dr. Lisa Perry perform with a guest artist on Reed Day I thought to myself ‘I want to be just like that.’ I play bassoon and oboe as well. A dream of mine is to become a professional woodwind doubler for Broadway and play multiple woodwind instruments. Personally, music has helped give me a purpose. Music is always changing, and it is such a difficulty, and I love that no matter how long you’ve played it can still be hard,” he says.

His biggest influence is Perry for helping him, encouraging him and supporting him when he was down. “She has given me many opportunities, and I’ve taken every single one because you have to take every performing opportunity to improve even more. My second influence is Dr. Heather Killmeyer for helping me get started playing the double reeds. Dr. Killmeyer and I met freshman year, and she has always given me advice and gives me a fresh perspective and things many people would never think about. Dr. Perry and Dr. Killmeyer mean so much to me, and I would recommend them to any student looking for a teacher,” he says.

He’s earned many awards and highlights. He won first place Division 1 at the Bristol Music Club scholarship awards. He was accepted to 2021 Governor’s School for the Arts. He was the winner of the Symphony of the Mountains youth orchestra Concerto audition with the Stamitz Clarinet Concerto No. 3 Bb Major. He made the ETSBOA All-East band for three years in a rowand was invited to the first Side by Side Wind ensemble at Middle Tennessee State University. He was accepted into the ETSU honor band and got in the gold band.

Alex’s favorite type of music is Klezmer, aninstrumental musicaltradition of the Ashkenazi Jews of Central and Eastern Europe. The essential elements of the tradition include dance tunes, ritual melodies and virtuosic improvisations.

“I was first place winner of the Bristol Music Club and the piece I chose to perform was ‘Sholem-Alekhem, Rov Feidman.’ I chose this piece because I believe the genre isn’t shown nearly enough as it should be. Klezmer can be played many ways. When listening to the piece, I listened to many different recordings and not one was the same because Klezmer is a more of a play what you feel and want to express type of music. I want to inspire people to make them how I was as a little kid and be like ‘wow.’ When people hear my performances, I want them to be shocked by the power of music. I’ve always wanted to inspire people to live their lives with music because it’s such a beautiful thing,” he says.

Alex is 19 and is the son of Victoria Marshall. He’s originally from Houston, Texas, but lives in Elizabethton, Tennessee and is a senior at Elizabethton High. He plans to be a woodwind doubler for Broadway or a professor like his teachers. A woodwind doubler is a musician who can play two or more woodwind instruments and can play more than one instrument during a performance. He also loves making reeds for his instruments.