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Guitar, engineering spur Hough High’s Landry

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Diedra Laird - dlaird@charlotteobserver.com
Alec Landry with his guitar outside the Summit Coffee Shop in Davidson, one of the places he has performed. Landry, of Hough High School is headed to N.C. State University as an engineering student, but music has been a big part of his life. He's a Christian rock guitarist who says music will have a role in his future somehow.

Last in a series of stories about outstanding high school graduates

Mention “electrical engineering,” and the words “guitar-playing rock musician” might not be the first thing that comes to mind.

But Alec Landry, who graduated Saturday night from Hough High School in Cornelius, says it all fits together.

Landry, 18, teaches guitar, has played in a Christian contemporary music group and has attended camp the past two summers in Nashville with some of the industry’s top musicians.

But mixed with the creative arts is a love of math and science that is taking Landry to N.C. State University on scholarship to pursue a career in engineering.

First came the music. Landry came to that while listening his mother, Regina, play Beatles CD’s. “One day I said, ‘Mom, I’d like to have a guitar.’ ”

First came lessons. Then Landry became good enough to teach at Creative Ej in Cornelius.

He played in the band at his church, Assurance United Methodist, and twice attended Camp Electric in Nashville, where he worked with some of the leading Christian musicians.

Landry says his parents, David and Regina, have encouraged him to pursue his dreams. For him, that means both music and engineering.

“I always knew I was good in math,” he said. “At Hough, those classes went well for me. And I absolutely loved Physics.”

He took Advanced Placement Calculus and Physics classes and last summer attended the Robotics Engineering Camp at N.C. State University.

“That is what clinched N.C. State for me,” he says. “I think it’s a great school for what I want to do.”

And what does he want to do? Christian music? Engineering?

“Why not both?” Landry asks.

“I’m not into engineering just for the science aspect,” he says. “The job of an engineer is to make stuff that helps society. That’s what I plan to do.”

He sees himself possibly working as an engineer for a company that is involved in the music industry.

“I won’t be a touring musician,” he says. “That’s not for me. But music will always be a big part of my life.”

Lyttle: 704-358-6107; Twitter: @slyttle
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