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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Beating the Heat in August - 08/13/13

16 straight days of triple digit heat has given us all a small taste of the summer of 2011, when 100 degree temps were the norm, and we tallied up a whopping 90 days total ... the most of all-time.  It was fitting that The Chronicles August Hot Sauce Festival was held on the hottest day  .. tying the all-time record of 112.   It was that summer I discovered some of my favorite places to escape the heat, and since then I have always appreciated when I find a place that doubles as an escape from the August heat.  Here are some of my favorites depending on the task of the day:


Family Fun outdoors-

Barton Springs:  The obvious choice here, but its the one place where you can always guarantee a cool 68 degrees year-round. if you're brave enough to test the waters.   It feels cold in the summer,  and warm in the winter when you take the plunge on New Years day.  But it is also a place to experience something uniquely Austin.  The ideal place to swim some laps, snorkel with the fish and turtles, or just people watch.

http://austintexas.gov/department/barton-springs-pool


Entertaining the kids-

Austin Children's Museum:  If you've been tasked with watching the kids, and want to ensure they're plenty worn out without running them around in the sun, turn them loose in the Austin Children's Museum.  There are tons of activities to  entertain everyone, plus August 2013 is the last month they will be open at the 2nd Street location downtown.  Their larger location dubbed the "Thinkery" will open in the Mueller area in December.

http://www.austinkids.org/


Grocery Shopping-

Beer Alley at the Downtown Whole Foods:  What better way to beat the heat than by surrounding yourself with countless options of old world ales and new world lagers?  Its like a virtual trip round the world.  Plus, when family or friends finally drag you out of there, whatever you've decided to take with you, will help keep you cool in that hot afternoon sun.

http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/lamar


The Ultimate Cool Spot-

CryoStudio of Austin:  One of the first places in the United States to offer cryotherapy, the folks at CryoStudio will chill you down to a brisk -220 degrees Fahrenheit for a couple of minutes.  Now just before you freak out and say you don't want to be preserved for the future, its doesn't actually feel that cold, and there are health benefits, since it engages your body's natural healing mechanisms.  Its like an ice bath without the pain!  Its literally a very cool experience!

http://www.austincryo.com/


South Congress:

While not the coldest of places to hang out in the summer,there are always plenty of cool options. You can hang on the patio at Docs or grab your Iced Turbo or Brazilian Bomber at Jo's.  Grab a scoop for the kids at Amy's Ice Cream or head to Hopdoddy for one of their awesome milkshakes.(I highly recommend the Tres Leches (when they have it) or the Caramel and Sea Salt).

We are now almost halfway through August ... fall and football are right around the corner ... so enjoy these last days of Summer!  Stay cool!


 
 
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