Daniel McCarthy Louden,19-year-old son of Jeff and Laura Louden of Delaplane, will head to the University of South Carolina School of Music next year, courtesy of a scholarship worth $94,000. The trumpet player will be following in the footsteps of his parents and maternal grandmother, who also attended UofSC.
While a student at Fauquier High School, Louden participated for three years in the UofSC School of Music Honor Band program, facilitated by FHS Music Director Andrew Paul. Louden became fully smitten with all things UofSC and came home with a mission to attend the School of Music.
Louden is finishing up his freshman year at the James Madison University School of Music after a long school career of academic and musical excellence.
During Louden’s senior year at FHS, he earned two prestigious awards. The Louis Armstrong Award is the top senior jazz award, the highest-level interscholastic award given to students at U.S. high schools. It is given in recognition of "outstanding musical achievement and an incredible dedication to the program."
The Sousa Award is the pinnacle of achievement in a high school band. Introduced in 1955 to honor the top student in the high school band, the John Philip Sousa Band Award® recognizes superior musicianship and outstanding dedication.
In spring 2020, Louden also earned the Virginia Piedmont RMD Community Music Scholarship, worth $12,000.
Louden first picked up his trumpet in sixth grade under the instruction of Paul Hicks, music director of Marshall Middle School. Hicks introduced him to the Fauquier Community Band, where he gained additional music experience outside of the classroom.
Leading up to middle school, Louden and his sister, Olivia had the opportunity to learn with local artistic directors Betsy Porter and John Krumich of The American Children of S.C.O.R.E., whose mission is “to give highly motivated children ages 8 to 11 an opportunity to experience the rigors and joys of ensemble music.” A weekly session at Highland School, the program taught voice, recorder, bells and xylophone, brought in guest performers and gave recital opportunities twice a season.
Looking back, Laura Louden said that her son’s first toy was a one-man-music band with five sounds. His favorite toys were those that made music. Influencers include his father, who played cornet in high school and during his years in the U.S. Navy. In fact, Louden has taught himself the Carolina Band marching songs, with his father chiming in on that old cornet. (That cornet was also played by two generations before him.)
Louden’s maternal grandmother shares her love of chorus and piano, and a great-great Uncle Al played stand-up bass professionally for four decades for New York City audiences.
Immediately following his high school graduation ceremony, Louden and his trumpet buddy Jason Smith played improvisational jazz and classical tunes on the county courthouse steps in Old Town Warrenton. The red gowns and caps and bellowing horns got them known around town as the “busking graduates” as they continued to play throughout the summer.
Louden has always said he wanted to teach, continuing the tradition of his own teachers. He has tutored neighbors’ children and friends and currently is giving lessons to local students.
On March 20, the University of South Carolina awarded Louden a $5,000 Music Departmental Scholarship for trumpet education. In addition, he was awarded out-of-state university tuition reduction of $15,048 per year, valued at $60,000 over four years. The Carolina Marching Band annual stipend of $500 also is included.
The funds will allow him to follow his dream, wearing the black and garnet as a UofSC gamecock.