Featured Students

Featured Student: Hunter Carter


  • Name: Hunter Carter
  • Year:  Senior
  • Major: Music Education
  • Hometown: Madisonville, KY
  • Quirky Fact: Some say that my “spirit animal” is a chipmunk.
  • Favorite thing to get (food/drink) on campus: Southwest salad from the T-Room
  • Best movie you’ve seen recently: Fantastic Beasts
  • Favorite movie: Matilda
  • What you like to do on campus: Hang out with my brothers in Phi Mu Alpha.


Q & A:

Tell us about yourself:

My name is Hunter Carter and I am a senior with a Music Education major. I play the trumpet which is my primary instrument and what I specifically study here at Murray State. Although, I have had to learn how to play most instruments for the sake of my major. I went to Madisonville North Hopkins High School which I graduated in 2013. I have performed in various ensembles at my time at Murray State University including the Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Jazz Orchestra, Trumpet Ensemble, and many more chamber ensembles. I am also heavily involved in the marching arts. I marched the Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps in 2014 and toured the country competing throughout that whole summer. Here at Murray State I have been the drum major in the Racer Band for three years although I am not participating now since it is my last year.

What made you come to Murray State?

During middle school, my band director there was named Alan Emerson. At our middle school they required teachers to have their college alma mater at their door which I assume was to promote the various colleges and places of higher education that are available. This particular teacher happened to attend Murray State and he’s also the one that really got me started in music and really sparked my passion for music. He really pushed me to continue doing music even in college. So, when it was time to decide on a college, I toured Murray State as well as Western Kentucky University. Those were the main two schools I was interested in. Everything clicked when I had my first lesson with Dr. Eric Swisher, which is currently my trumpet professor here at Murray State.  I knew that if I wanted to get to the point where I was satisfied with my playing that I could move on to go to graduate school for music performance, that this was the place I needed to be because Dr. Swisher could get me there. I knew that he would push me, I liked the way he taught, honestly, I like every aspect of his teaching as it fit me so well.

Who have you enjoyed working with?

Dr. Eric Swisher is probably the professor that I am closest with because I have private instruction with him once a week and have been doing so since I first got here. I study with him on trumpet and we have weekly assignments to fulfill. He also directs the trumpet ensemble that I have been involved with. We have competed in the national Trumpet Competition every year that I have been in college.

I have also enjoyed working with Dr. Bradley Almquist, who is the choral director here at Murray State. Just recently I had a class with him—his choral methods class—but he has really inspired me to become a better teacher and a better educator. He has given me so many ideas that I can use in the classroom whenever I become a teacher in the future. He really brings out the personality of the people in his classes. We all started off pretty timid but by the end of the semester we have all been micro teaching in front of the class and to just see how far we’ve all come from the beginning to the end. It’s truly amazing to see how far he has pushed us and it has truly inspired me to become a better teacher.

Who inspires you in life?

My family has really inspired me all my life. I am a first generation college student so it wasn’t really expected of me to go to college but it never was really a thought for me not to go. So even though they didn’t go to college, it was kind of assumed at an early age that I was going to go to college. So they inspire me because since they didn’t get these opportunities, it really pushes me to learn everything I can here and not take it for granted since a lot of people don’t have the chance to get a higher education.

What made you choose the major you did?

I remember in middle school when I started band, I just fell in love with it. It was so much fun, I enjoyed the practice and challenging myself from the very start. It was something that helped me to really enjoy school more than I ever had before. From sixth grade on, I can remember enjoying going to school because I could go to band and play and all the friendships that I made there. Music pretty much changed my life from then on and it became one of the biggest parts of my life so that when the time came to decide on a major, it really wasn’t something I even had to think about. I just knew that I had to do something with music. All I had to figure out was if I wanted to major in Music Education or major in Music Performance. I ended up choosing Music Education since I felt it was a really good foundation to start with. I might change it up when I go to graduate school and pursue a Master’s in Music Performance. That way I can still perform and have my education degree to teach music if I choose.

Work/projects related to your major?

I really love to teach music and I actually teach music right now. I work at Calloway County High School with their marching band as well as teaching at Murray Middle School where I teach private lessons to the trumpet students. So I know teaching is something I want to do for the rest of my life but I also might like to explore other things with music and trumpet.

The biggest project that I have had to do recently was during Spring 2016 where I completed a junior recital which isn’t actually a requirement for my major. But, I knew that it was a possibility that I would go to graduate school for trumpet performance so I wanted to have a recital before having to do my official senior recital which is a requirement. The recital went really well and I worked very hard to put it together and work on the literature I chose to perform for it.

Now, I am currently the Chairman for the 80th Annual Campus Lights. Which is a student led musical production used to raise money for music scholarships. I am also starting to look at some pieces of music to play for my senior recital for the Fall of 2017 which I am extremely excited about. I still have a lot of work ahead of me but I hope to create a diverse program that can be entertaining and engage the audience as well as having some works that challenge me as a musician and possibly even force me out of my comfort zone.

Future plans:

Right now, I’m still not 100% sure if I want to go directly to graduate school for a degree in music performance. But I know that whatever I decide, it’s going to be with music. I’m really passionate about teaching and I can see myself doing that. But I just can’t really decide right now. I know that in the near future I’ll either be teaching in the public schools, doing private lessons for trumpet students, or working on pursuing a masters degree in trumpet performance.


Hunter is a very talented musician and holds great promise as a music educator.  He brings a level of enthusiasm to the class and rehearsal room that will inspire young musicians.

-Brad Almquist (Music Professor)

Excellent!  A very worthy student! Hunter is a joy to teach. He is inquisitive, hard-working, and a fantastic musician. I count on his leadership to help maintain a supportive, yet demanding culture in the trumpet studio. I am very eager to see his career develop.  
-Eric Swisher (Music Professor)

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