When we first met Matthew Muckey, back in 2002, he was a dedicated 18-year-old trumpet player who dreamed of one day becoming a professional musician. He played Arban's Carnival of Venice, and wowed the audience with his virtuosity.
A mere four years after his From the Top appearance, we heard the exciting news that Matthew - at the age of 21 and just about to graduate from Northwestern University - had been hired as the Associate Principal Trumpet of the New York Philharmonic. Matthew returned to the From the Top stage four years into his career to discuss life in one of the world's most prestigious orchestras.
Matthew has had the opportunity to work with incredible musicians, to travel the world and play in amazing halls, but his career has demanded a tremendous amount of hard work and dedication. "Some people have the misconception that once you get the job you can just coast, but it takes a lot of work to keep up your skills to the level people expect," says Matthew. "I have to set goals for myself."
Matthew sits next to New York Philharmonic principal trumpet player Philip Smith, someone he grew up idolizing. "I listened to all of his recordings and thought he had such a glorious sound," says Matthew. "I never would have dreamed I'd be sitting in the same section as him! We do four to five concerts a week, and he always has to be ready to nail something, and he does it effortlessly."
Eight years after Matthew played Carnival of Venice on From the Top, he is living his dream, and sometimes it all still feels a little surreal. "Often I'll be playing a concert, and during a rest I'll close my eyes, and when I open them it hits me," he says. "This is the New York Philharmonic! This is what I've always wanted. This is a dream come true."