Member Spotlight

The musicians in our orchestra do more than make beautiful music! Check out some of the many ways that our members share their other talents:


We discovered that percussionist Pat Luna is an expert at fencing! So we asked him to tell us a little bit about his history with this unusual sport:

“I started fencing in 1974 at San Jose State University under Olympic coach Michael D’Asaro. I joined the varsity team the following semester. Under D’Asaro I qualified for the United States Fencing Association nationals three times. 

Under D’Asaro, I went from a 2.0 grade point average to a 3.8 average – all while training twenty hours a week and working, plus carrying a full class schedule. Fencing taught me discipline, how to focus, prepare and handle adversity. It was a life changing experience. D’Asaro shaped how I coach. I learned what to teach, but will never do what he did. 

I left fencing until the early 2000s when my son started fencing with the Maryville Fencing Club, a Home School group. I took over the club in 2012 when I retired from teaching. 

The club attracts all ages from 8 to… well, my age! Some of my fencers have medaled at the AAU Junior Olympics. One former fencer used fencing to help him get into West Point. Most do it because they love it.”

I seems to us there are a lot of parallels with music in this amazing story. Thank you for sharing, Pat!


Carson-Newman University has an annual performers contest consisting of a keyboard category, vocal category and instrumental category. This year, our very own Tyler Roberts (SCO first chair clarinet) won the instrumental category! We are so proud of him and all of his achievements with the Carson-Newman University Music Department!!!!