At Acceptd, we revolve around our artists. Meet #IAmAcceptd ambassador, Marcus Shaw!
Acceptd: Tell us about you!
Marcus: My name is Marcus Shaw, and I am a French Horn player from the New York City area! I started playing horn in elementary school and was encouraged by my teachers to participate in local NYSSMA solo festivals. This, in turn, led to All-County Band and Orchestra performances, and eventually Area All-State Band and Orchestra at Purchase College. In high school, I qualified for All-State Band and Orchestra, and this past year, the NAFME All-Eastern Orchestra Ensemble. In addition to these honor ensembles, I was able to participate in a plethora of community ensembles, where I gained experience performing more demanding repertoire. This included regular performances with groups such as The Westchester Band, The St. Thomas Orchestra, Orchestra Amadeus, and the Lehman College Wind Ensemble. This past summer, I participated in the Boston Conservatory Brass Program, The Philadelphia International Music Festival, and went on tour with The Esker Festival Orchestra in Ireland. Also, over the past few years, I have grown a following on Instagram with my page, @marcus_fhorn. The page is devoted to exploring all facets of horn playing, practice, and performance, and allows me to connect with other musicians from all around the world, and explore their ideas and opinions about music!
Acceptd: What first got you interested in the arts?
Marcus: Both my parents are musicians, so as a child I was constantly surrounded by music and the arts. My father was a trumpet player, and growing up, it was somewhat expected that I would follow in his footsteps, however, once I saw the obscure shape, and heard the beautiful sound of the french horn, I knew that it was the instrument for me!
Acceptd: What inspires you? What gets you out of bed in the morning?
Marcus: Often, when I wake up, I almost instantly start singing the melody of one of my favorite pieces of music in my head! I’ve found that the only way to get the lick out is to take my horn out and play. Needless to say, this often leads to very early practice sessions. I also take a lot of inspiration from nature. I recently moved into a very wooded area, so I often wake to the music of the environment around me!
Acceptd: What does it mean to you to be accepted? Can you recall a time you recently felt this feeling?
Marcus: To me, being accepted means to have your art understood, and eventually embraced by your peers. I think that once this begins to happen, one will notice that they serve as a spark, illuminating creativity in others.
Acceptd: What do you plan to do either in the arts or with your artistic talents in the future?
Marcus: I love to perform, and definitely want to take advantage of more opportunities in the future! I have recently been taking many auditions for chamber music programs around New York City, and I plan on auditioning for several concerto competitions this year. This is an area of performance I haven't explored as thoroughly yet, and though ultimately I’m not sure where it will lead me, I feel I am being pulled in this direction.
Acceptd: What is one piece of advice you’d give aspiring creatives like yourself?
Marcus: Never give up. If you fully commit to a goal and let your passion fuel you, there will be nothing holding you back from achieving your dreams.
Acceptd: What is the definition of art to you?
Marcus: Art is a collection of images, words, sounds, and emotions that attempt to describe the complexities of being a human being. Art expresses beauty, questions why things are so, and challenges individuals to represent ideas in a universal language, that often can transcend cultural boundaries. It is simultaneously the most complex form of communication, while also being something that comes so naturally to humans. Art is spiritual food.
Are you an artist with a story to share? Become an Acceptd Ambassador today!
Acceptd is the world’s largest arts network, connecting organizations with top talent and providing artists tools to help them flourish. Acceptd boasts more than 600 partner organizations, universities, festivals and other arts groups as well as more than 450,000 artist user profiles. From performers at Sydney Opera House to the marching bands in Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Acceptd has had the privilege of working with premiere arts organizations around the globe to optimize their application process and connect with the right talent.