Student marches and plays the drums while other students play their instruments around him.

Angelo State’s dedicated music environment and faculty support hooked Coulter McWilliams from the start.

A music education major from Ozona, Coulter visited Angelo State often when he was in high school. He took percussion lessons from Dr. Trent Shuey, instructor and assistant director of bands, and attended drumline camp with Dr. Jonathan Alvis, associate professor and director of bands.

After getting a taste of the music department, he knew Angelo State was where he wanted to be.

“I already knew the professors I was going to be working with, and I loved it,” Coulter said. “I loved the atmosphere here.”

Student plays his instrument in class.

Those connections he made with the Ram Family early on have lasted to this day.

“Dr. Alvis and Dr. Shuey have given me the best life perspective,” Coulter said. “If you have anything going on personally, Dr. Alvis would help you no matter what. In the past two years of my life, he has been the biggest mentor.”

“Dr. Shuey pushes all of us so much,” he continued. “He motivates us every single day to get better and practice.”

Student plays on percussion instrument with band director in background.

When Coulter graduates in spring 2023, he wants to be an assistant band director or percussion instructor, with dreams of becoming a band director one day.

“In college, you are working so hard for your degree,” Coulter said. “The professors help you push for your degree, which is what you’re here for, but they also help you push past that. They are trying to get you through the door, that way when you’re out, you can already be in a comfortable situation.”

“I couldn’t be in a more comfortable environment anywhere else. Angelo State is a second home to me.”

A member of the Ram Band, Coulter lives and breathes music, so he makes it a point to stay heavily involved on campus.

“Music is everything to me,” he said. “I wouldn’t say I do as much as someone who is involved in everything on campus, but I try to put myself in everything the music program offers, and the Ram Band and Wind Ensemble are a very big part of fall.”

Student marches while playing his drums.

Coulter spends almost all of this time in the Carr Education-Fine Arts Building with his friends and fellow music majors, and there’s nowhere else he would rather be.

“It’s great coming to college, especially ASU, where you have a whole building dedicated to the fine arts,” he said. “You are around the same people who are striving for the same thing you are.”

“Everything you do is its own little environment here,” Coulter continued. “You’re grinding for your degree and music, and everyone else is doing the same thing.”

Student plays on percussion instrument.

The atmosphere within the music program and the relationships he made with the Ram Family are why Coulter chose Angelo State, and he’s never looked back.

“I couldn’t be in a more comfortable environment anywhere else,” Coulter said. “Angelo State is a second home to me.”

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