Forman Scholar Tommy Hunter Looks to Share Love of Music With Future Students
Many students are involved in their high schools’ music programs, but very few students make it to performing on a national stage even before they get to college. Forman Scholar Tommy Hunter finds himself as an exception. He lives his musical passion as a baritone singer and member of a nationally-award-winning barbershop quartet.
Dubbed The Quin-Tones, Tommy and three of his friends took home first prize at the inaugural Next Generation Junior Barbershop Quartet Contest in Nashville, Tennessee in January of 2019. The group beat out 15 other quartets, all comprised of singers aged 17 and under. These already impressive accomplishments have propelled Tommy into pursuing his future career.
“To compete against quartets from all over the country and come out on top was very exciting. It was certainly a highlight of my high school experience,” Tommy said. “If it wasn’t for the coronavirus pandemic, we would have flown out to Los Angeles this summer for a collegiate competition.”
Tommy intends on continuing his passion for the performing arts this fall at Towson University, where he will major in music education. He hopes to one day become a vocal music teacher, and even work one-on-one with students in private lessons.
While the prospect of learning every single classroom instrument seems daunting now, Tommy is excited about the possibility of sharing his love of music with the next generation of musicians. Whether the trumpet or the clarinet, Tommy’s passionate commitment to music will lead him.
“Without music, I don’t know what else I would be doing because I enjoy it so much,” Tommy said.
For Tommy, trading in the halls of Salem High School for the Towson quad is bittersweet as he reminisces about his four years as a Salem Ram. He remembers spirit weeks and pep rallies as electric experiences that allowed the entire school to come together as one community.
“These were moments when we were able to have a little more freedom and a little extra fun throughout the day,” Tommy said. “I enjoyed breaking up the monotony of the school day to spend more time with my friends.”
Tommy eagerly anticipates the next chapter of his life, as he looks forward to meeting new people and embarking upon new adventures in college. He appreciates the Forman S. Acton Educational Foundation for assisting him in his journey to achieve his goals and receive ongoing support to helpful resources beyond financial help.
“Today the college experience has many financial obstacles associated with it,” Tommy said. “I’m so grateful to the Foundation for allowing me to breathe a sigh of relief knowing now that the financial burden is significantly decreased and I can focus on what’s most important to me while knowing the staff is there to support me.”
Tommy says he would not have received (or even been aware of) the scholarship from the Foundation had he not applied for an Acorn Fund savings account as well as other scholarship opportunities. He leaves this important advice to high school sophomores and juniors contemplating their plans and applying for support programs.
“Students should not simply apply to college and stop there. They should take advantage of all the support around them as well as apply to every scholarship and award they can,” Tommy said. “It may seem tedious to fill out so many applications and write so many essays but it will all pay off in the end.”