Bruno Mars' trumpet player tells area students to aim high
WAGENER — Wagener-Salley High students found themselves a bit star-struck on Friday after Bruno Mars' trumpet player James King made an appearance at their school.
King was the guest speaker for the school's annual Black History program and made a special trip from Atlanta to talk to students about accomplishing their goals. King even did a small performance that students and faculty members alike enjoyed.
Bruno Mars is a Grammy-winning pop musician from Honolulu who performed at this year's Super Bowl Halftime Show.
King has also performed and recorded with Angie Stone, P.J. Morton, Monica, Mary J. Blige, Janelle Monae and more.
King told students that his journey started with the quote, “Doubt has killed more dreams than fear ever will.” King bases most of his success off of the “three C's,” which he said are commitment, consistence and confidence.
He asked students to repeat those words several times and said he believes that civil rights leaders, like Martin Luther King Jr., lived by those same words themselves.
He said that while he was trying to achieve his desired goals, he worked in retail and delivered pizzas. He told students that just because they aren't living their dream at that very moment, that doesn't mean they won't accomplish it.
“You have to stay committed and stay consistent,” King said. “Your purpose will never leave you. Your purpose will always chase you all throughout life.”
At the end of his speech, he reminded students that every decision they make will impact their life in some way. He told students to hold on to their dreams and aim high.
“Once you pursue your passion, there will be a fulfillment in life that won't be obtained through anything else,” he said. “One thing about being confident is to love yourself, to believe in yourself.”
Before he left, he played “When the Saints Go Marching In” on his trumpet and had the audience stomp or clap to set the tempo.
Wagener-Salley High School Principal Ute Aadland said they were very thankful to King for taking the time to speak to students, adding that if he ever decided to “hang up his trumpet,” he should pursue a career as a motivational speaker.
“I think he's just a shining example of having a vision for yourself and having an idea for your future,” Aadland said.
Amy Banton is the County reporter for the Aiken Standard and has been with the publication since May 2010. She is a native of Rustburg, Va. and a graduate of Randolph-Macon Woman's College.