An Eastman School of Music student is being recognized. Austin Keck is one of just 11 musicians selected nationwide for a major award.

He’s the winner of a prestigious competition and the highlight of this week’s Extraordinary People report. Keck explains, “I play percussion which kind of encompasses a lot of things. There (are) different instruments so mallet instruments like marimba and then drums.”

Music is his passion! Austin Keck has been performing since he was in sixth grade. Now, he’ll have the opportunity to showcase his talent in front of thousands of people. It’s all thanks to winning the 2019 Yamaha Young Performing Artist Competition.

Keck says, “They select one individual for each instrument and I was selected for percussion.”

Keck beat out hundreds of applicants from across the nation for an all-expense-paid trip to Indianapolis during the “Music For All Summer Symposium.”

He’ll play in a joint concert with other winners and have the chance to shine on stage alone. He says, “I’ll be playing like a solo piece, everybody plays a solo piece. I’ll also be playing a combined piece with our guest artist whos traveling there for the convention and I’ll also get private instruction.”

Others who have received this honor in the past are now living their dream as performers and educators.

“I think eventually I want to teach… I don’t know exactly what my career looks like but I’m just excited to kind of start it and I’m glad I’m getting an early start on that through unique opportunities like this,” says Keck.

Keck has already performed in national and international competitions. He came to the Eastman School of Music from Texas. He will fly out to Indianapolis in June.