A musical journey


Neha Shetwal

Mrs. Devyn Grimes instructs RCMS’s Concert Orchestra.

Neha Shetwal, Writer

Whether she is vigorously rehearsing beautiful pieces of music or attempting to devour seven tacos in 12 minutes, Mrs. Devyn Grimes shows the students of RCMS that orchestra is never a dull place to be.

Mrs. Grimes is an orchestra teacher at Carson who strives to create a productive and enjoyable environment for her students after starting her own musical journey in the sixth grade.

“There were only four students in my orchestra class. And since my last name started with W, I was the last to pick [my instrument],” she said. “My teacher told me to pick the cello so that we’d have a string quartet.”

Mrs. Grimes said music was something she had always been passionate about, and she had aspired to pursue a career as a performer. 

“I took a degree in education because it seemed like the right path at the time,” she said. “I wanted to go back to grad school to get a degree in cello performance. Student education was always my backup plan.” 

However, after thoroughly enjoying her time teaching at Rocky Run Middle School, she decided to change the course of her career to education.

“It’s always fulfilling to see that level of growth,” she said.

Students say that as a teacher, Mrs. Grimes has had a profound impact on them.

 “She has high expectations,” said Brandon Lin, a violinist of the Chamber Orchestra. “But she knows how to get on your level.”

He adds that the positive and productive class environment allows students to improve and refine their skills as much as possible. However, students note moments of fun and excitement.

“I may have told a student I was capable of eating 12 tacos in seven minutes,” said Mrs. Grimes. “I only got to three and a half. But the tacos were delicious.”

Following the end of assessment season, the RCMS orchestras have been pushing their limits for their spring awards concert. 

“It’s something we’ve all been working towards,” said Mrs. Grimes. 

In addition to her profession as a teacher, Mrs. Grimes is the assistant principal cellist of the Piedmont Symphony Orchestra. This orchestra is made up of both professional and amateur musicians, as well as advanced students, and provides audiences with music ranging from classical to rock contemporary. 

“I’m very involved,” Mrs. Grimes said. “I’ve been playing there since high school.”

She noted that the orchestra greatly shaped her into the musician and educator she is today.

“They mentored me because I didn’t take private lessons,” she said. “And now I’m a principal player.”

Furthermore, Mrs. Grimes was a key participant in many of the Piedmont Symphony Orchestra’s projects, including a large fifth grade strings program.

“I enjoy seeing where we start and where we end,” she said.

Beyond music, Mrs. Grimes enjoys being outdoors, spending time with her dogs, and decorating sugar cookies and other items.

 She said, “Next year, I’m looking forward to doing it all again.”