String Theory

Stott admits he prefers rehearsing to performing. “I enjoy the journey and the challenges when things are not going well and we are able to climb over barriers together.”

Matt Stott, Vero Beach High School orchestra director, knew he had a God-given gift to play the violin. He had been playing the instrument and practicing faithfully since age 6. But when he enrolled in the School of Music at Baylor University, he hadn’t figured out quite what to do with it.     

The Yorkville, Illinois, native, who excelled in athletics as well as the violin, was set to pursue a second major in business as a career option.

Then, during his freshman year, he got a job teaching violin at a Suzuki school in the college town of Waco, Texas. He realized the classroom — or rather a school rehearsal studio — was his comfort zone. That, combined with the gratification he found in coaching basketball and tennis during the summer, set the course for his future. By the time he graduated, his professor predicted that Stott would be one of the best music educators in the country. How right he was!

Less than a decade after Stott graduated, his alma mater bestowed upon him the Outstanding Music Educator Alumni Award. The Vero Beach High School Orchestra, under Stott’s direction since its inception in 2001, has been chalking up superior district and state ratings for years. In 2011, it took first place in the “full orchestra” category at the National Orchestra Festival in Kansas City, Missouri. The accolades and honors continue, for the orchestra program and for Stott personally.

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