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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COTA is Calling! - 10/29/13

COTA is Calling!

 For those who live here in Central Texas and who have not yet had the chance to visit Circuit of the Americas, I highly recommend you put it on your to do list.  I spent some time at the track this past weekend for the US Vintage Car Racing National Championships.  The test days gave me the opportunity to explore the track when it is less crowded.  Two weeks ago, I also had the chance to take a couple of laps with the Bondurant School while they were in town visiting. Both experiences made me realize how lucky we are to have a world class track in our very own backyard.  Even if you are not a race fan, you will appreciate the action. The sights and sounds of cars speeding around the 3.4 mile track are nothing short of impressive.  The layout offers many different vantage points where you can admire the engineering feat that is now drawing drivers from all over the world. 

The best view by far though, is from the top of the tower ..affectionately called The Mullet.  From 25 stories high you can see every inch of the field and be entertained by every person who hesitates to step onto the glass floor at the very end.  (I admit, I might have flinched myself!).  Yes, it may cost $20 to go up even if you choose the steps but spend a half hour or more at the top and I guarantee you will say it's worth it!  And if, you are afraid of heights, its a great place to face your fear head on knowing that the 1 inch thick glass has supported everyone before you!

The second year of Formula 1 is just weeks away, and it's sure to be bigger and better than last year. But if you don't want to brave the crowds, and be part of the international audience, pick an event that is smaller in size and take a trip out to COTA.  The smaller events are less expensive to attend and many of them offer a great opportunity to take the kids.  That's what I enjoyed most about my last 2 trips to COTA.  The ability to walk around and explore without the crowds while cars still zipped past.  It made me think that there are many lucky young Austinites, who will be growing up by this track.  COTA is planting the seed in the heads of the next generation of great drivers.  Someday very soon, instead of drivers from Germany, Australia, Spain, or Mexico topping the Formula 1 leaderboard we could see the words ..  Austin, TX, USA . next to that top spot!   

COTA has me wondering, if I still have time to train!

 
 
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