Seth Carter, a Paris native and 2018 North Lamar High School graduate, recently won a gold medal as an artist in the Leonard Falcone International Euphonium and Tuba Festival. The contest is one of the most prestigious tuba competitions worldwide. The competition was held virtually due to COVID-19 restrictions, and the results were announced Sunday.
“COVID definitely changed the experience but didn’t make it any less rewarding,” Carter said. “Normally, competitors would travel to Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Michigan to compete in the final two rounds but the pandemic made this impossible. I had to prepare recordings of myself playing the repertoire instead of playing live. Although this seems like it might be easier, every small aspect of the recording has to be almost perfect in order to advance to the next round. I spent about a week recording for two to three hours every day just to get recordings that I was happy with. In a way, this year of competition required a lot more focus and accuracy, which made it that much more rewarding when the results were announced.”
Previously, Carter won gold as an artist as a high school student. In the 30-year history of the competition, Carter is just one of a select few to accomplish this feat.
“Winning Gold in both the Tuba Student and Tuba Artist Division is an accomplishment I’ve had my eye on ever since winning in 2017,” Carter said. “I am the 10th person to win both divisions in the history of the Falcone competition. This year’s win was especially important to me because of how I won it. When preliminary results were announced in April I was placed as the second alternate, not even making the competition. However, due to unforeseen circumstances, a couple of competitors had to withdraw and I was able to compete. I worked hard to practice with the festival approaching and ended up submitting recordings that would advance me to finals and then first place. As one of two undergraduate students, I had to compete against six Doctoral level students and two Masters students.”
Carter served as a member of the Paris Municipal Band for several years and is a member of First United Methodist Church. Some of his goals and possible career options include becoming a tubist of the Professional Symphony Orchestra or Military Band, or to be the Professor of Tuba and Euphonium at a University. For the time being, Carter said he plans on continuing to go to school at the University of North Texas. Carter is aiming to earn both his Masters and Doctorate degrees from another university afterward.