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Alicia Keys picks Radford University student to play for her on Instagram Live

Published: Sep. 23, 2020 at 6:56 PM EDT
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RADFORD, Va. (WDBJ) - A local college student had the chance of a lifetime - to play piano for Grammy Award winner Alicia Keys. He’s been studying music for years and finally got to preform for one of his musical icons.

“I’m still kind of coming off cloud nine still but I think I had anticipated that moment for a long time,” said Terrance Shepherd, a Radford University graduate student.

He got his first keyboard at 14 years old, but didn’t know how to read music yet.

“Then I just kind of plucked away at it a little bit and just kind of make it my time, pour my energy into it,” said Shepherd.

He says his first music book was from an Alicia Keys album, so it was a dream come true to play the music he’s been practicing for nearly a decade. Keys was promoting her seventh album when she asked the audience to name a song—and Shepherd named the right one.

“So I just went ahead and just played. As they say, ‘go hard or go home.’ So that was just my moment to just show,” said Shepherd.

The entire university is proud of his accomplishment.

“I am proud of how Terrance is representing the Radford family through his hard work, dedication and pursuit of his passion,” said Radford President Dr. Brian Hemphill. “His opportunity to perform live for Alicia Keys, an internationally acclaimed artist, is a true testament to his commitment to his art and educational pursuits.”

Radford’s music department adds opportunities like these are a chance for students to grown beyond the classroom.

“In a day where we are dealing with so much with COVID and so on, being able to have this outlet of music to connect with an international star is such a wonderful opportunity for Terrance,” said Tim Channell, the chairman of the Department of Music at Radford University.

Terrance said now he’s had the chance to play for Alicia Keys, it has given him a bigger platform to share his music with the world.

“Just for that little moment, just for seven minutes, a lot can make a difference,” said Shepherd.

Shepard hopes to collaborate with Alicia in the future. You can follow Shepherd’s music on Instagram here.

Copyright 2020 WDBJ. All rights reserved.

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