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Trumpet now a bigger hit than softball
Morris, former Lady Ad softball pitching ace, looks to join Va. Tech’s ‘Marching Virginians’

If the mouthpiece fits, play it.

For Margaret Morris, her trumpet mouthpiece is now a more appropriate fit than a softball glove on her hand, as the former Farragut High School standout pitcher has turned down softball scholarship offers to seek a trumpet position with Virginia Tech’s “Marching Virginians Band.”

As for the spark that ignited her trumpet playing passion, which happened as a fifth-grader, “a bunch of instrument mouthpieces [were] laying out on the table, and the trumpet one was the only one I could make a sound out of,” Morris said. “So I picked trumpet.”

Morris said she picked Virginia Tech because of it’s academic reputation, campus atmosphere and the Hokies’ powerful football program, adding about marching before and during games, “That’s what I’m really excited about.”

Hearing about her combined softball and trumpet skills, Virginia Tech band director Dave McKee contacted Morris and invited her to the university’s annual August band “tryout” camp, the 18-year-old said.

Morris said she made her decision for Virginia Tech last September upon returning from a visit to Francis Marion University in Florence, S. C.

A three-year Farragut Middle School band member, Morris earned distinction as a four-year member of the FHS Marching Admirals Band under the direction of Ron Rogers.

As a senior Morris earned “Green Band” status, or in sports terms was a “third-team” All-East Tennessee trumpet player. She was also “third chair” with the Knox County Honors Band.

Morris credits Rogers for nurturing her passion for trumpet. “He was a really big inspiration to become a better trumpet player,” she said. “He’s pretty much the reason I’m doing college band.”

She will take trumpet skills and a 4.0 grade point average to Blacksburg this fall after a enjoying a European vacation to England, France and Italy just after graduating from FHS.

It was a vacation made possible by her softball “retirement.”

“We took the money we would have spent on [summer] softball and we just went to Europe. It was just great,” Morris said of her trip with parents John and Renni Morris.

“Playing softball in [previous] summers, we had already pretty much spent as much money as we would in tuition just traveling to tournaments.”

Morris said she came to realize that in college, “I knew it was pretty much impossible to do band and softball,” adding that by choosing band, “I can do other things at college, like other organizations and stuff you can’t do if you play athletics.

“I knew that it was going to be a hard decision all along, you know ...,” she added. “But when it actually came down to it, it was a lot easier than I though it would be because like, with softball, you’ve got to practice five hours a day.

“It’s such a commitment, and you can’t have a normal life, that just really didn’t appeal to me.”

Morris said participation in the Virginia Tach band will only give her limited financial help.

“I’m pretty much the only kid at Farragut with a four-point-O not getting any scholarships academically,” she said.

Beginning her softball career as a fourth-grader, Morris said she looks to rekindle softball passions as part of her life’s work.

Preparing to major in psychology, “I want to be a guidance counselor, and I want to coach high school softball,” she said.

Morris said her coaching desire reflects the positive influence of FHS softball head coach David Moore.

“I’ve had the best coaches, the whole time frame, and we’ve played teams where the opposing coaches are not so nice, not as constructive as coach Moore has been,” Morris said. “I just really want to be that type of coach.

“Really, he’s the best coach I’ve ever had,” she added. “He always knows the right thing to say, he’s not overbearing.”

Morris looks to be a positive “mouthpiece” in trumpet and softball pursuits.


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