Music heals the soul. No one knows this better than PCHAS Foster Care Case Management client Devin Strayhorn.
The Nixa, Missouri high-school senior has played the tuba since the sixth grade and has used music to cope with difficulties he has faced as a young person in foster care. Now, Devin’s love and mastery of music has delivered him to every musician’s dream stage: Carnegie Hall.
Devin had the opportunity to play at Carnegie Hall in New York City during the 2018 High School Honors Performance Series this February. He was one of 700 talented students chosen from 18,000 total applicants for the program from around the world.
It hasn’t been an easy road for Devin. His junior year, he and his brothers were placed in foster care. PCHAS foster care case managers worked with Devin to create the most appropriate plan for a permanent home and provided him with the love and support he needed to make it through those most difficult times. Devin lives with his aunt and uncle, and his brothers are safe in other caring foster homes. While it’s been a tough few years, Devin has been able to turn to what has become more than a hobby – music. He enjoys playing so much, in fact, that he has decided to be a music educator and help others experience the joy of making music both alone and in a band as an instrumental family of players.
After graduation, Devin plans to dual major in music education and tuba performance, get his master’s degree in music education and, finally, earn a doctorate in performance. He was recently awarded a $25,000 scholarship from the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, which recognizes outstanding students who have faced and overcome great obstacles to pursue their dreams through higher education. While playing at Carnegie Hall might be the end-goal for most musicians, it’s just the beginning for Devin.
Read more about Devin’s story.