Curt Carman

Curt Carman plays the saxophone

It’s not often you find a student who is both a Mississippi State athlete and member of the Famous Maroon Band.

Thankfully, Curt Carman didn’t have to choose between his love for music and sports when he came to MSU. The sophomore aerospace engineering major plays in the band’s alto saxophone section and runs with MSU’s Track and Field team.

An Iuka native whose parents met in their high school band, Carman grew up in a musical family and started playing the keyboard at a young age. Eager to join the band himself, he picked up the saxophone in the sixth grade, followed by the xylophone, marimba, guitar and more.

At the same time, Carman played as many sports as possible and was inspired to start running by his dad, who ran triathlons. Carman became faster and faster and eventually won the state 800-meter championship in his junior and senior years, setting a record Class 4A time in each event —and earned a spot on MSU’s team.

“When I got the call from MSU after my last race in high school, I was so excited,” he reflected. “I’m so grateful for the opportunity to run for Mississippi State and am trying to make the best of it every day.

“It’s inspiring to be around so many great athletes at MSU and see how hard everybody works. We even have an Olympian who trains with us and helps coach us, which has been very encouraging.”

Carman is also surrounded by a hardworking, talented team in the halls of the Famous Maroon Band and expressed great appreciation for the band directors and fellow musicians.

“The staff knows how to challenge us, but they’re also so kind and write such great music,” he shared. “We’re all working toward a beautiful sound, and I think the energy we bring is unmatched. The sound is so beautiful that sometimes I walk a little slower up to the band hall just to listen to it because it never fails to give me chills.”

When asked how he juggles band, track and pursuing his degree, he said it can be difficult but comes down to time management.

“It probably wouldn't be possible if we didn’t have directors who are so mindful of everyone’s time and efficiency,” said Carman. “The more you put on your plate, the smarter you have to be with your time. People just don’t realize how much time they waste during the day. When it comes to the things you care about, you’ll make it work.”

By Bethany Shipp on April 5, 2024

Photo by Jaden Powell, Mississippi State Athletics

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