Scholarship Received: 2008
High School: The Woodlands High School – May 2008
University: University of Oklahoma – Undergrad, May 2012 // Grad, May 2015
Why fine arts are important: “They provide an outlet for students to express themselves in a safe environment through their own instrument or voice or painting.”
Brian Teed, 25, is a young alumnus of the University of Oklahoma, and a life-long resident of Texas. The Woodlands, home to both The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion and Brian’s family, offered Brian plenty of opportunities to expand his passion for and education of fine arts as he grew up. By the end of his high school graduation, Brian had found himself on The Pavilion’s outdoor stage twice: once to accept his high school diploma alongside hundreds of his classmates, and once more in a solo audition for a scholarship from The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion Partners Fine Arts Scholarship Program.
Brian’s parents each discovered a passion for music indendently—his mother teaches private clarinet lessons and his father played the saxophone all through his school years. Strongly influenced by his parents’ musical backgrounds, Brian began studying instrumental music at Kindermusik when he was two years old, and piano when he was four. Eager to expand his musical knowledge, Brian started playing percussion in fifth grade at Mitchell Intermediate School. It was then that he discovered his niche within instrumental music: percussion.
Just four years later, while travelling to Indianapolis with The Woodlands High School Marching Band, Brian decided upon his future career. “I decided I wanted to be a music educator,” he said, “and help other people feel the pride that I had felt while performing.” On the path to accomplishing this goal, Brian actively searched for opportunities that would allow him to further his education after high school. While in the process of applying for several other opportunities offered by the community, Brian heard about The Pavilion Partners’ scholarships from school peers who were also contemplating their applications. After a successful audition, it was now possible for Brian to pursue his dream at the university of his choice.
Brian’s decision to attend the University of Oklahoma was greatly influenced by his intent for a future in fine arts. “I felt it would provide the best musical experience while I studied to become a better educator,” Brian explained. “And I’d still have a beautiful campus.” Additionally, he was able to follow in his mother’s footsteps by obtaining a music education degree from the same university. Upon undergraduate graduation in 2012, Brian was preparing to extend his time at OU into a Master’s program in music education. Since graduating in May of 2015, Brian has secured his dream job as the Director of Percussion at Rockwall-Heath High School in Rockwall, TX.
Even after completing his formal education, Brian admits he is still learning. “There has not yet been a day that I have gone without learning something new about my instruments,” he said. “So many people are constantly inventing new instruments, creating new sounds, and experimenting with new ways to teach complex concepts and rhythms that if I did not continue to learn every day, I would very soon be obsolete.” He impresses this concept upon his current students as well, making sure they understand the importance of challenging themselves to improve. “Working with roughly fifty percussion students in grades 6-12 every day allows me to teach beginners,” he said, “while helping advanced students that may be going to college for music to achieve their dreams.”
“I cannot imagine what life would be like without instrumental music,” said Brian. Because of the great importance he places on the value of fine arts, Brian encourages future graduates to apply and audition for this scholarship and as many other musical opportunities as possible. “Never limit yourself or doubt your ability,” he said firmly. “If you don’t strive to achieve your dream, how will you know what you are capable of?”