Meet Tyler Mitchell: Concertmaster

By Julie Senger

Tyler Mitchell became interested in classical music after being enamored with John William’s “Star Wars.” He became interested in the violin after seeing an elementary school teacher play the electric violin. He says, “it looked cool!” Now, Tyler stands before his audience as a dedicated and curious musician.

Tyler says he chose to develop his craft at Kennesaw State because he liked the growth he observed in the program. Tyler particularly enjoys working with Michael Alexander, director of orchestras at KSU, because he is “very concerned with students’ growth and insists on academic and artistic excellence.”

He also studies with Helen Kim, assistant professor of violin, who is “very detail oriented, but keeps the big picture in mind, as well.” Kim says, “I always learn from my students and Tyler's sincere devotion to cultivating his skills as a violinist and musician are very inspiring to me and his peers.”

As concertmaster of the KSU Orchestra, Tyler practices about three hours a day. He says, “playing requires strength, stamina and flexibility. Many people are unaware that playing violin is so physically demanding.” All of his practicing has paid off: Tyler is the recepiient of the Sam Wilhoit Scholarship at KSU.

In the spring of 2008, Tyler plans to audition for the Brevard Music Festival in North Carolina, which is a six-week intensive study consisting of weekly concerts, three operas and daily chamber groups. In addition, he plans to audition for KSU’s Concerto Competition next year. Upon graduating from KSU, Tyler’s plans include graduate school, studying abroad in Germany or England, and becoming a professional violinist or conductor.

But for now, Tyler continues to strive to develop his own, unique sound during his solo segments. When people hear him play, he hopes that “they gain a new perspective on a piece they may be very familiar with. Or, if the music is new to them, I hope they develop a love or respect for classical music.”


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