Carter County Times
The Carter County All-County Band took place at East Carter High School Gym last week under the direction of Matt Wooten. The event combined both East & West Carter bands together for rehearsal during the morning and afternoon with a public performance at 3p.m. This event is part of Music in Our Schools Month, an annual celebration of music education in schools by the National Association of Music Education.
Guest Conductor Wooten serves as Director of the School of the Arts and Director of Bands at Christian Academy of Louisville. Wooten has served at Director of Bands for 20 years, and as Director of the School of Arts for 13 years.
He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Western Kentucky University, as well as a Masters in Music Education from Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. Under his direction, the band program at Christian Academy has grown from 50 students in 2003 to currently over 225 students in grades 5-12 grade.
Wooten helped found the academy’s Wind Ensemble program in 2008. They’ve performed at the Grade VI level and has received a Distinguished or Superior rating each year at both the District and the National level. In 2016 this ensemble earned the Bronze Award for Concert Bands at the Festival Disney competition in Orlando, Florida, and in 2018 won the Golden Mickey at the same competition.
In 2013 the Marching Centurions were named a KMEA State Finalist and in 2017 were named a Midwest Championship finalist in Class AA. In 2022 they finished 2nd at the Bands of America Obetz regional in class A.
In 2009 Wooten developed, and continues to direct, the Christian Academy School of the Arts, with the help of an incredible staff. The CAL School of the Arts program currently serves over 150 students in both visual and performing arts. Alumni have gone on to receive degrees from several state universities as well as the Peabody Institute, North Texas University, Belmont University, and Samford University.
Wooten is a member of Phi Mu Alpha Fraternity and the Phi Beta Mu International Bandmaster’s Fraternity. He has been married to his wife Leslie for 25 years. Together they have two children, Sammy, a bassoonist currently attending Western Kentucky University as a Music Education major, and Hannah, who plays the trumpet in Christian Academy Honors Wind Ensemble, Marching Centurions, Honors Jazz Band and Symphonic Orchestra.
Despite a career crowned by such achievements, Wooten remains humble and considers the work he’s done with other schools, like the Carter County programs, as an important part of that career.
“One of the highest honors of my 20-year career thus far was spending the day with the Carter County All-County Band,” Wooten said. “The work that Mr. Skidmore and Mr. Arthur are doing is second to none and the future is bright for both programs! It was my honor to conduct such marvelous students of both East and West Carter High School.”