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Enfinger aces scholarship to Interlochen fine arts

MADISON – Matthew Enfinger has received a full scholarship to Interlochen Center for the Arts, a prestigious summer camp in Interlochen, Mich.

A junior at Bob Jones High School, Enfinger participates in Wind Ensemble, Indoor Drumline and Marching Band. Currently, he serves as Principal Percussionist of Huntsville Youth Symphony.

Enfinger learned about Interlochen from his private instructor, Deborah Loach, percussion instructor at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. He also attended Interlochen in 2017. For his audition, he had to record himself playing marimba, snare drum and timpani solos, demonstrating proper technique and musicianship.

Attending Interlochen will enhance Enfinger’s playing skills. He’ll learn from some of the world’s best instructors. “I also will get to know other percussionists who share the same drive and passion as I do,” he said.

Enfinger is studying the entire suite of percussion instruments. He is expected to play the most common percussion instruments (snare drum, timpani and marimba) but also various other instruments (tambourine, triangle, bass drum and cymbals).

At Interlochen, a typical day starts at 6:30 a.m. with a trumpet playing “Reveille.” Rehearsals vary for each camper, depending on ensembles that instructors have assigned.

Last summer, Enfinger’ daily rehearsals included percussion ensemble for two hours and Wind Symphony three hours. Between rehearsals, he practiced individually. On Thursdays, Enfinger met an instructor for an hour-long private lesson.

“We had free time, but the majority of campers practiced until we had to be back at our cabins at 9:30 p.m. ‘Lights out’ was at 10:30 p.m. Concerts were performed every Saturday, and auditions were held every two weeks,” he said. “Once you earned your spot, you still had to work hard to keep it.”

“I benefit greatly from attending a place as special as Interlochen. I gain insight and knowledge, not only about being a better percussionist but as a person and how to carry myself through a career in music,” Enfinger said. “I have grown as a person and have become more open and more independent.”

His parents are Kevin Enfinger, a Product Manager at ADS Environmental Services, and Shannon Enfinger, Property Manager for Real Property Management. Matthew’s sister Mariah attends Mississippi State University.

Matthew tutors band students at Discovery Middle School.

In college, he plans to major in music performance, focusing on percussion, music theory and music history. Enfinger is undecided about his college but will audition on several campuses.

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