WT Band Alumni Spotlight: Celeste Walker Shearer


Celeste Walker Shearer

What years were you in the WT Band? When did you graduate?

80-82 Unfortunately, I didn't graduate from WTSU, but I had the best two years of college there. (And seven years of band camp prior to that!)

What was your degree in?

Music Education

Where are you living now and what are you doing?

I live in Las Cruces, NM. I just retired from teaching middle school band for 32 years and I continue to play French horn. I have recorded two albums, and enjoy freelancing in New Mexico, Texas, Arizona, and Colorado.

Tell us about your family.

I have been married to Jim Shearer for 30 years and we have had several animals in our home during most of those years. We have traveled extensively now that we no longer have "our kids."

What instrument did you play?

Horn and piano

What ensembles and student groups were you involved in while you were at WT?

I was in the marching band, Wind Ensemble, Orchestra, and Tau Beta Sigma

Tell us a favorite band memory that you have from your time at WT.

There are so many great memories! Perhaps the best one is the opportunity to perform at TMEA in San Antonio with Dr. Garner on the podium. Another great memory is of a band party that we (Molly Darden) and I had at our apartment. I actually remember that party and most of the people that were there. We just had a blast! I went to school with so many outstanding people and musicians.

Share with us what you miss most about your time at WT.

I was young, stupid, and fearless. I don't miss the stupid part. I miss making music with the outstanding members of the WTSU music department. I miss swimming in that huge pool every day, and I miss laughing with Molly, Steve, Bobby, Becky, Liz, Paul, Michelle...

Do you have a favorite memory or highlight that has happened for you since graduation?

I just bought a new horn three days ago. I have played my Conn 8D (the one my dad bought for me when I was 10) since 6th grade. I've had it worked on over the years and wouldn't ever part with it, but I am excited about my new horn, which is a Conn 28D! Looking forward to making music on it.

I also get to travel the world with my husband, both making music together and just enjoying life. Great memories forever!

What did you learn from your time at WT?

I learned that it takes a lot of work to stay focused and achieve your goals. I didn't do that very well at WT, but the lesson began there.

What are some of your favorite musical memories?

I was always proud to play a concert with the band and the orchestra. I enjoyed playing a sophomore recital with Mike Harcrow. I loved hearing my friend Molly play her violin. I enjoyed playing the grueling operas. I also enjoyed the Harrington String Quartet.

Why did you come to WT?

I attended my first band camp at WT right after finishing 6th grade, and never missed a summer. I even attended camp right after graduation from high school - so there just wasn't any other choice for me and I am forever grateful for the two years I spent at WT.

What was your favorite band trip and why did you like it so much?

I remember traveling to Ann Arbor, MI to perform. I didn't know what a big deal this was at the time (freshman year), but I remember our group being received with great fanfare.

Do you have any advice for current WT students?

I don't usually give advice because I spent so much time disregarding the great advice given me. But, I would hope that each student takes time each month to recognize where they are, what they are doing, and how grateful they should be for such a wonderful experience. If they aren't happy, find another path that will make you happy, but always be grateful!

What else would you like for us to know? (Career or family highlights, awesome memories, people who inspired you at WT etc.)

I just said goodbye to Mr. Ron Lemon who taught me horn lessons for two years while I was at WT. I would like to thank the faculty who "put up with me" during my short tenure. Especially Dr. Krause. I am also very thankful for getting to play with great musicians. Thank you Molly Darden, David Wimberly, Paul Hankins, Steve Richardson, Steve Sampsell, Helen Blackburn, Ken Van Winkle, Robert Clendening, Alice Loving, Lisa Stallings, and so many more!

Celeste 2

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