Casey Blackwedler was a 24 year-old trumpeter and a 2017 graduate of UNC Charlotte. Help us honor Casey's legacy with a scholarship in his name. Your gift in Casey's memory will help us share his enthusiasm for music and life with other Niners pursuing a music degree.
Excerpt below is taken from The BleuzLetter.
Casey Backwelder was a man that was well known and will never be forgotten. He gave his all to those that he loved and would strive to be the best version of himself. In just twenty-four years, Casey's life was packed with cinematic stories and rich with heart-warming fulfillment.
Casey was a goofball, a hard worker, a disciplined student, and (most importantly) a selfless human being. His infectious personality was worked into the DNA of every person who shared an interaction with him.
The 24 year old trumpeter was a recent graduate of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (2017). Upon achieving a Bachelor's degree in Music Performance, Casey's plan was to make a humble, yet significant contribution with his music, specifically to the world of Jazz.
The freedom of improvisation spiked his interest in such a way that he spent hours on end practicing to play the right notes over any given chord at any given tempo. Although there were a number of rehearsals that left him frustrated, he was never defeated. His maturation as a musician was showcased at every performance. His concerts and recitals leading up to graduation proved him to be proficient. He was a musician who had the support of his family, hometown, colleagues, and professors all at once. Everyone rooted for Casey Blackwelder.
The gentle giant celebrated his birthday on June 18 at Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Cherryville, North Carolina, where he served as the Minister of Music for the past three years. The entire church come synchronized in singing him 'Happy Birthday'. Later that night, Casey passed away from a heart attack.
To the musicians, remember Casey by adopting his habits. Be intentional with your practice. Be dedicated to your plan. Be committed to the fact that your art is bigger than you. Honor Casey by improving in all aspects. Remember him by remaining a student.
To everyone, life is too short to waste time. Be sure to document your memories, make decisions that you won't regret later on, but live in the moment as well. Be a goofball, work hard, study diligently, be selfless. Be like Casey Blackwelder.