Trotter, a recent Walker High School graduate, was one of 111 students from across the United States selected to participate in the Grammy Foundation’s music industry camp this summer.
Trotter was notified that he had made the cut for the second year in a row shortly after parts of Walker County were devastated by tornadoes on April 27.
“They actually called to check on me and then invited me back,” he said.
Trotter spent two weeks in July at the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music working with other young musicians as well as Grammy-winning artists and industry professionals.
His schedule of activities kept him busy from 7 a.m. to midnight.
“Everything about this experience is unique and challenging in the best possible sense, and as we enter our seventh year, I take great pride in the role Grammy Camp has played in helping teens achieve their musical goals, as well as fostering friendships and musical collaborations that continue beyond the program,” said Neil Portnow, president and CEO of The Recording Academy and the Grammy Foundation.
Trotter said he arrived at camp this year with higher expectations and fewer nerves.
On the first night, he was placed into the band that he would be performing with in a showcase concert at El Rey Theatre on July 17.
They called themselves Imminent Day. Trotter played keyboard, provided some vocals and also helped write one of three songs that the band played in the finale.
The piece, a progressive rock instrumental, caught the attention of one accomplished producer during rehearsals.
“After the song was over, he had chill bumps. He said, ‘That song moved me. I haven’t heard anything like that since I was a kid,’” Trotter said.
The director of Trotter’s ensemble also noticed his talent and offered him a job when camp ended.
However, Trotter insisted on coming home to pursue a degree in vocal performance at the University of Alabama.
Trotter said that his experiences at Grammy Camp got him closer to his goal of one day working in the music industry, whether on the stage or behind the scenes.
In the meantime, he hopes to encourage local youth who share his love of music.
Trotter added that he appreciates all of the people who have been mentors for him along the way.
“We have a lot of talented people in this area, and we can hold our own in Los Angeles. That’s a testament that we’re doing something right in Walker County,” Trotter said.