FARMINGTON — Music has always been part of Taylor Woodard's life, and he is hoping it will continue to be his primary focus.

Woodard, a 2012 Piedra Vista High School graduate, is putting on a concert Saturday at the Totah Theater in Farmington, to raise money to pay for his tuition at Berklee College of Music in Boston.

In November, Hollywood Reporter ranked Berklee the top music school. Former Berklee students have worked on music for movies such as "The Hunger Games," "Pirates of the Carribean" and "The Avengers."

Woodard, 19, is studying vocal and song writing at Berklee. He started attending Berklee in May and returned to Farmington for the first time in December.

Taylor Woodard, a former Piedra Vista High School student, is performing in a concert Saturday to raise money to help him pay his college expenses.
Taylor Woodard, a former Piedra Vista High School student, is performing in a concert Saturday to raise money to help him pay his college expenses. (Courtesy of Taylor Woodard)

In additional to attending Piedra Vista, Woodard has performed in two Sandstone productions in Farmington.

Prior to enrolling at Berklee, Woodard was a student at University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, Colo., where he was studying theater. He said he began feeling sad.

"It was not what I wanted," Woodard said. "I wanted to live in a city, and I wanted to go to my dream school."

Woodard talked to his family about Berklee, although he said it wasn't really a reality at that point. He continued at UNC and began talking about switching majors to a more practical one. He said he even thought about doing real estate.

When his family found out, they told him he had to do music, and they bought him an audition.

Two weeks later, he was in Boston auditioning. He said that audition changed his life.

"Living in a city was always what I should have been doing," Woodard said.

He said he immediately felt as if he belonged in Boston.

However, he admits that he once in a while gets homesick, especially for his family.

"I usually just put on my music and deal with it," he said.

Woodard said while his family is not very wealthy, they are extremely supportive.

"They tell me 'I want you to do what you want to do,'" he said.

Attending Berklee costs more than $60,000 a year, including room and board, and Woodard's family is not certain if they will be able to pay for him to finish college at the school.

At one point, his grandma, Emolene Carpenter, suggested he transfer to the University of New Mexico, where he could still study music.

Woodard decided he needed to find a way to continue studying at Berklee.

In October, he called his family and suggested putting on a concert, along with some of his family members and friends.

By November, he was working on putting it together.

He said the concert will provide a variety of music that will appeal to people of all ages.

While the concert is free, he will accept donations to help pay his college expenses.

"If I were to not have this (Berklee) in my life, I don't know if I could do what I want to do with my life," he said.


What: Taylor Wayne Woodard in Concert

When: 7 p.m. Saturday

Where: Totah Theater, 315 W. Main St. in Farmington

Cost: Free. Donations accepted to help pay college expenses

Hannah Grover covers news, arts and religion for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 and Follow her @hmgrover on Twitter.