After graduating high school, Matthews was homeless. His parents were out of the picture.

Luckily the piano studio at Florida Southern College in Lakeland was open 24 hours. That's how his teacher learned of his situation and stepped in to help. "He found me sleeping in his studio and pretty much got me out of that situation, found me a different school to go to where I had a dorm and a roof over my head," said Matthews.

Matthews continued perfecting his craft at UWF. Eventually he decided to take his talents to the big stage, Carnegie Hall in New York City.

He entered the American Protg International piano & strings competition and Matthews was selected as an Honorable Mention winner.

"It's a dream come true," he said. "I never would have thought in a million years I see myself going on that stage and it just means the world to me."

Musicians from all over the world will study his every note, chord and key stroke. A solid performance could springboard his music career to the next level.

James has overcome challenges before and Carnegie Hall will be no different. "I really don't know what's going to happen with it," he said. "But I'm just going to go and try my best and stay focused."

Matthews will perform Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 11:30 am in the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

-----

Follow us on Twitter @Local12 and LIKE us on Facebook for more updates." />
After graduating high school, Matthews was homeless. His parents were out of the picture.

Luckily the piano studio at Florida Southern College in Lakeland was open 24 hours. That's how his teacher learned of his situation and stepped in to help. "He found me sleeping in his studio and pretty much got me out of that situation, found me a different school to go to where I had a dorm and a roof over my head," said Matthews.

Matthews continued perfecting his craft at UWF. Eventually he decided to take his talents to the big stage, Carnegie Hall in New York City.

He entered the American Protg International piano & strings competition and Matthews was selected as an Honorable Mention winner.

"It's a dream come true," he said. "I never would have thought in a million years I see myself going on that stage and it just means the world to me."

Musicians from all over the world will study his every note, chord and key stroke. A solid performance could springboard his music career to the next level.

James has overcome challenges before and Carnegie Hall will be no different. "I really don't know what's going to happen with it," he said. "But I'm just going to go and try my best and stay focused."

Matthews will perform Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 11:30 am in the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

-----

Follow us on Twitter @Local12 and LIKE us on Facebook for more updates."/>
After graduating high school, Matthews was homeless. His parents were out of the picture.

Luckily the piano studio at Florida Southern College in Lakeland was open 24 hours. That's how his teacher learned of his situation and stepped in to help. "He found me sleeping in his studio and pretty much got me out of that situation, found me a different school to go to where I had a dorm and a roof over my head," said Matthews.

Matthews continued perfecting his craft at UWF. Eventually he decided to take his talents to the big stage, Carnegie Hall in New York City.

He entered the American Protg International piano & strings competition and Matthews was selected as an Honorable Mention winner.

"It's a dream come true," he said. "I never would have thought in a million years I see myself going on that stage and it just means the world to me."

Musicians from all over the world will study his every note, chord and key stroke. A solid performance could springboard his music career to the next level.

James has overcome challenges before and Carnegie Hall will be no different. "I really don't know what's going to happen with it," he said. "But I'm just going to go and try my best and stay focused."

Matthews will perform Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 11:30 am in the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

-----

Follow us on Twitter @Local12 and LIKE us on Facebook for more updates." />
 

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The countdown is on... - 08/02/13

Hope you've enjoyed the lull of summer traffic. You've got about three weeks of it left.

There are two times that Austin traffic becomes totally nuts. I know you think it's always nuts, but trust me, there are peak times. One of those is back to school.

Most kids in the Austin area go back to school on August 26th, UT goes back to school August 28th. That's the week Austin traffic will also go back to being completely miserable.

The other time it becomes nuts is when the time changes. For some reason people forget how to drive in the dark. It's suddenly dark on their drive home, and it becomes a real problem.

We're also currently in the lull of summer events. That all changes at the end of the month with the first UT football game, before we know it the city will be overrun by ACL Festival hipsters... this year for two weekends!

At least we live in a fun, vibrant, thriving city. Hope you find a way to enjoy it. If not, there are several other cities in Texas that I'm sure would love to have you.

Follow me on Twitter @ericaharpold
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