Senior Dylan Charlton is Westminster Christian School’s Silver Knight nominee in the Athletics category. For his Silver Knight project, Charlton took music to the people. He scheduled bands for numerous events.
“We played a bunch of concerts,” he says. “We played at the Palace and charity events. Playing for those people you could see the joy on their faces. You could see them light up. Even if for just for a few minutes or an hour, it makes such a difference.”
He played the concerts with a number of different groups. He also played with the school chapel band.
“I really loved that. It has an effect on me, being able to see their joy and excitement. It was a two-way street, them getting the joy of listening and me, being able to see them.”
Charlton plays all the percussion instruments, piano and he also sings.
“I was probably four years old when I got my first drum set,” he says. “I played all through elementary middle and high school in different bands and ensembles. Now I’m in symphonic band, jazz band, drum line and the choir. I’ve also been selected for numerous honor bands.”
In fact, he’s been selected to All State six years in a row, which is orchestrated by the Florida Bandmasters Association.
His freshman year, he even participated in the Greater Miami Youth Symphony but he couldn’t keep up the pace with all his Westminster commitments and sports.
“I play football, I’m in wrestling and with all the other ensembles I was in, it was a lot,” he says.
As a kid, he played baseball and basketball. When he went to high school, his freshman year he played football, baseball and basketball. His sophomore year he dropped basketball, playing football and baseball. His junior year he dropped baseball and tried wrestling for the first time.
In football, he played defensive tackle, offensive line and linebacker. He was First Team All-Miami Dade last year for offensive line.
Although he’s only wrestled for a year, he ranked 15 in the preseason state rankings in the 220 weight category.
“I love playing football, I love doing wrestling and music I’ve always loved doing,” he says.
For most teens, doing all that would make it difficult to keep up with school but he’s learned how to manage his time and succeed in all areas.
Charlton has a number of options for college. He’s looking at music schools, including Belmont University in Tennessee and the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami. But he’s also applying to West Point and the United States Merchant Marine Academy. He also has a few schools on his list where he could major in music and play football. That list includes Appalachian State, Florida Tech, Randolph, Carlton and Liberty University.
“I want to major in commercial music,” he says. “Or maybe a music minor in recording arts and music technology.”
Perhaps one day he’ll be able to record his own songs. He’s been writing songs for about a year and has 15-20 original songs written. Few people have heard his original music.
“It’s difficult for me to share. I know I need to start doing it,” he says.
When it comes to singing, he likes to sing a variety of music, rock, country, pop, basically any genre he says. In choir, they sing more classical music and he also sings theater arrangements from Broadway plays.
Linda Rodriguez Bernfeld