Name: Ted Tinker
Hometown: Eastover, NC
School: University of North Carolina Pembroke
Year joined Carolina Crown: 2013
How did you start in music and marching?
I began playing tuba in eighth grade after playing trumpet and euphonium for two years prior. I went to Mac Williams Middle School located in Fayetteville, NC. I was taught by Mrs. Felicia MacNaught, and I was taught by Mr. Michael Williams at Cape Fear High School. When I first started playing music, I wasn't very good at trumpet. Mrs. MacNaught had me switch from trumpet to concert euphonium, and I was instantly a better player due to my lips being too big to play on a small trumpet mouthpiece. I switched to tuba in the eighth grade and instantly had success as I made the North Carolina All-State band as the sixth chair tuba. As I reached high school, my love for the tuba and performing in ensembles grew as I was taught and tutored by Mr. Mark Mabe, assistant band director at Mac Williams Middle School.
Describe the first time you saw a drum corps
I was first introduced to drum corps in 2007, when my marching instructor, Chris Turner, told us to watch the 2007 Drum Corps International World Championships on ESPN2. I watched several groups throughout the night, including Carolina Crown and many other well known World Class drum corps. The first time I saw a drum corps live was in 2011, when I went to Nightbeat. I watched Carolina Crown rehearse before the show, and I got to see the Blue Stars, before the show was rained out that evening.
Why did you decide to come to Carolina Crown?
Carolina Crown has always been my favorite drum corps to watch from when I was in high school and up to now. Carolina Crown was one of the only groups that gave off a different vibe, and a different performance edge that always grabbed my attention. From the monstrous hornline, to the fiercest color guard, Carolina Crown was the organization that I always wanted to be a part of. When I got contracted in December of 2012 for the 2013 season of Carolina Crown, it was a surreal dream that came true. Carolina Crown has always been my musical motivation to improve my individual playing, as well as my music education, so that I could be the best music educator for my current and future music students. The experience I went through to try out for Carolina Crown, and afterwards being in Carolina Crown, is why I am the musician I am today.
What are you doing today?
Today, I am a senior Music Education major at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. I study with Dr. Joanna Hersey, former principal tubist of the United States Coast Guard Band. I am currently the Visual Caption Head at Gray's Creek High School, located in Hope Mills, North Carolina. I am an active member of the Eta Beta Chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity of America, Inc., and I serve as the Chapter's Warden.
How has being a part of Crown helped prepare you for the future?
The biggest thing I learned from my instructors at Carolina Crown is to never accept mediocrity. A person should never settle for the basics, but a person should strive to go to the highest level of ability possible. Crown also taught me to never give up, even though the odds are against you. If the world wants to see you fall, then you have to prove the world wrong by becoming the best person, performer, and teacher you can be. With all of the information that Carolina Crown has provided and instilled in me, I will strive to carry on their teachings and to advance the lives of young musicians by providing them with the tools to be successful in not only music, but in life.