Featured Students

CHFA Featured Student: Max Crofton

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Name: Max Crofton

  • Year: Junior
  • Major: Music Education
  • Hometown: Murray, KY
  • Favorite place to eat on campus: “Chicken World” at the T-Room
  • What you like to do off campus: I love driving down to the lake and walking on some of the trails and taking a trip to the River Front in Paducah.
  • What you like to do on campus: “Bench” when it’s warm out. Walk around Fine Arts and listen to music.
  • Favorite movie: The Interview
  • Favorite music: I will listen to anything from Pearl Jam to Haydn, just not country.
  • What you listening to right now: Coldplay’s new album
  • Quirky Fact: I hate Taco Bell. Taco John’s is so much better.

Q & A

Tell us about yourself:

I play a few different instruments: my main one is the tuba, but I can also play the euphonium, piano, and also the bass guitar. I’m a Music Education major, specifically instrumental. I’m currently in practicum so, counting this semester, I’ve only got three semesters left and I plan to graduate next spring. I’m involved in a lot of ensembles on campus and was involved in Racer Band for two years (freshman and sophomore year). I’m in Wind Ensemble, which is the highest ensemble at Murray State and play the tuba as first chair. I also play in chamber ensembles.

I am an active member of the men’s music fraternity on campus (Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia). I teach band/music at two local schools in town. I enjoy sharing music with others.

When did you start playing the tuba?

I started playing the trombone in sixth grade but switched to tuba as a sophomore in high school and ended up loving it and even making a career out of it.

What have you been up to lately?

I participated in a competition on February 21st for the Paducah Symphony Concerto Competition which I actually won, out of the original 16 that were chosen to compete based on a submitted recording.  I was asked by the director of the Paducah Symphony to perform my winning solo with the PSO next year as a soloist which is truly an honor.

I’ll be in another competition this June in Knoxville at the International Tuba Euphonium Conference performing various military band excerpts. I also play in the MSU tuba/euphonium ensemble, and we just played a conference two weeks ago in Louisville.

Click here to hear Max playing.

What made you come to Murray State?

The faculty, definitely. I study with Ray Conklin privately on tuba but also John Fannin who does Racer Band and Dennis Johnson who does the wind ensemble. I believe Murray State has one of the best undergraduate music programs in the country.

Dennis Johnson directs the Wind Ensemble in 2010.

Do you plan to continue on to the graduate level of music education?

Yes I do, I plan to attend graduate school in the fall of 2017, though I’m not sure exactly where I want to go at this point.

Who inspires you either in life of in music?

Tuba-related: Ray Conklin, Harvey Philips, and a graduate from Murray named Matt Hightower inspire me to be a better tuba player. Some pop artists: especially Chris Martin of Cold Play, because he inspires me to be a better musician. My parents, for pushing me and supporting me through everything. I find passion in all of the music I listen to and that really inspires me.

About Max, Professor Ray Conklin writes, “Max is doing really well in the studio. He performed the Bruce Broughton Concerto for Tuba, written in 1945, which has come to be a major composition performed by professional tuba players that he’s doing as an undergraduate which is great. This piece is usually performed for masters’ recitals, doctoral recitals and even faculty recitals. Turns out it was the right piece seeing as he won the competition.”



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