Hi! My name is James Hopson. I grew up in the Midwest, utterly surrounded by music for my entire childhood. I took up both the clarinet and flute almost with my first word. My mother was a cello player with the Kansas City Chamber Orchestra until she became pregnant with my sister, and then she stepped down to become our fulltime mom. She taught us both how to read music right along with our childhood fairy tales.
By the time I was accepted to Central Missouri State University, I had picked up guitar as a second instrument and my sister the piano. I entered college with a full ride scholarship and my music instructors made the most of it. By the time I had graduated with a Bachelor’s in Communications (Journalism), they had managed to teach me nearly every classical instrument of every time. I played tuba in the marching band, French horn in the symphony, snare in the drum core, piano for a few plays, and of course the clarinet just about everywhere.
If a student didn’t show for a concert, more often than not, they shoved their instrument into my hands, gave me the sheet music and gave me the trial-by-fire. It was the most gratifying experience of my life. Now, I work full-time as a writer, but I still play all types of music every chance I get. There is no more fulfilling experience, no more beautiful sound, that the bone-rattling thrill one experiences from second chair in the horn section of a symphony playing Gustav Mahler’s “Symphony No. 6 in A minor,” unless it’s playing funk with a 10-piece band, complete with horn section, for a festival.
I can’t imagine what life would be like without music. I think that perhaps the world might seem grey and dull. So, to me, passing on the joy of music to our children might be the highest calling we ever experience. If you have any questions contact me via this form.