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‘Real-world foundation’ leads Truesdale to succeed

Posted: June 3, 2014 4:55 p.m.
Updated: June 4, 2014 5:00 a.m.

Zackary Truesdale, the son of Kristina and Philippe Truesdale, was formerly a student of the Kershaw County School District. He recently graduated from the South Carolina Governor’s School for Arts and Humanities (GSAH) in Greenville. Truesdale began percussion lessons at the age of 16 with Nicholas Guiliano at the University of South Carolina School of Music.

He auditioned for and won a place in the South Carolina All State Band, a first for North Central High School (NCHS). After his first year of lessons, Truesdale won his first contest, the Margaret Beckley Upton Scholarship, a full tuition scholarship to attend the Brevard Music Center Summer Festival, worth over $5,000, followed by an acceptance to GSAH.

Upon acceptance to Brevard, Truesdale was awarded the title of Principal of Percussion. He has been accepted to The Boston University Tanglewood Institute for the 2014 summer season, but plans on attending the Interlochen Music Festival as the Emmerson Scholarship recipient for percussion, which is the highest honor given at the summer festival, and is worth over $8,000. Truesdale will also be attending the Boston Conservatory in the fall.

Truesdale explained that his experience at GSAH has been rather unique. "On a pure social aspect, GSAH is not that different from your average high school, as many parallels can be seen between the two, such as the various cliques that make up the social fabric of the GSAH community, to the underlying hierarchy of popularity that one may see at any other high school in the nation. What is unique (or was to me, anyway) was the classes that were offered and the way in which they were taught. We have a much longer school day than most high schools, as we take specialized courses in our art area in addition to our standard academic classes. It is these specialized courses and the enthusiasm that the faculty holds for these classes that creates such a unique experience that separates GSAH from many other schools," he said.

Truesdale attributes much of his success to the "real-world foundation" established at NCHS. He said, "There were several instances of frustration that I felt due to the lack of support I sometimes faced, as certain people felt like the arts were a waste of time, or that I simply wasn't good enough. This feeling often faced opposition, however from the number of supporters and friends that pushed me to do better. These two facilities of negativity and positivity are what created the equilibrium that I feel is essential to success. The negativity pushed me to prove myself to these people and show them that they are wrong, while the positive aspect helped give me faith in what I was doing and kept me motivated to do so. The negativity also was of service by instilling a sense of humbleness, and inhibiting any sort of ego that often thrives and grows in atmospheres that suffer from an overly positive output by one’s peers."

(Submitted by Zack and Phil Treusdale)

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