Tourtellotte High School valedictorian finds inspiration everywhere

By Denise Coffey - Staff Writer
Thompson - posted Thu., Jun. 23, 2011
Tourtellotte Memorial High School valedictorian Ryan King. Photos by Denise Coffey.
Tourtellotte Memorial High School valedictorian Ryan King. Photos by Denise Coffey.

It's easy to imagine Ryan King playing guitar at small café for a group of folk music aficionados. The Tourtellotte Memorial High School valedictorian with long, golden hair and an easygoing manner wants to pursue his love of music and writing.

“More recently I've zoned in on the folk music scene,” King said. “I find the music is pure. There's more to the lyrics. I feel the musicians are better and the music is better.”

King began his love affair with music when he took piano lessons with Marilee Morse, a woman he credits with building up his confidence in his abilities. “She had a big influence on me,” he said. “But there are just so many people to thank. If someone didn't make a musical impression on me, they've made impressions that will inspire me to express myself musically.”

King will attend the University of Connecticut in the fall, where he has a full four-year scholarship to study English and music. He is well aware of how hard it will be to get a job in the field. 

“I like writing, whether it's in music or something else. I think I can have a career in it one day. I decided to double major in English and music. If one doesn't work out, the other could,” he said. “The career field is tough.”

Eventually, he'd like to work in record production or work in a music production studio. He’d like to continue writing lyrics and playing the guitar, piano and a host of other instruments. While he loves performing for an audience, King believes his strength is his writing. “I'm more comfortable when I'm not in front of an audience,” said King. “I'm more comfortable writing for something, when I'm in my own work space and I have all the time in the world - when I don't have to worry about being rushed on stage.”

King stays on top of the folk music scene by constantly listening to artists from across the country. “I try to improve my music library,” he said. “I like to go around to cafés.” Two weeks ago, he went to a concert in Putnam that featured several local bands. “It’s fun to go to those and see the local talent. I'm always looking for people to hook up with, not necessarily to start a band, but to just collaborate with, because it’s such a small town,” he said. “You always want to improve your horizons.”

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