Local Winston-Salem Difference Makers: Matthew Troy

I had the pleasure of watching Matthew Troy conduct a concert with another famous Winston-Salemite, Ben Folds, this past December at The Lawrence Joel Coliseum (Video of Rock this Bitch with Ben Folds, Matthew, and The Piedmont Wind Symphony). Matthew came to the the Winston-Salem Symphony in 2008 as the Associate Conductor. In January of 2015, he became the Artistic Director and Conductor of the Piedmont Wind Symphony.


After earning his bachelor’s (music as violist) and master’s degrees (orchestral conducting) from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Matthew has conducted orchestras all over the country from New York to the Pacific Northwest. Although he travels frequently, he has always called Winston and the Triad his home.

Along with his work with the Piedmont Wind Symphony, Matthew also currently works with the Oklahoma City Philharmonic as their Education Director. He is an advocate for music education, and created an innovative program partnered with the African Library Project, which helped to to raise over 50,000 books for 50 libraries in Botswana (Read his full bio and see videos of his performances here).


Read Matthew’s thoughtful answers about his time in Winston-Salem and his favorite parts of our great city:


Winston-Salem Questions:

Where all have you lived besides Winston?
Although I have traveled extensively around the world, I have always lived in Greensboro or Winston-Salem. The Triad area has been a wonderful place for me to call home.

 What did you miss most about the Triad when you were gone?
Often when I travel to other cities I notice the energy and the pace of my surroundings, and also the character that you find through people, restaurants, architecture, etc.  So, when I am away I always think about the incredible vitality of Winston-Salem that is literally growing before our very eyes, and I think about the joy of running into my friends and colleagues on every street corner.

When all have you lived in Winston-Salem?
I have lived in Winston-Salem since around 2007…my how time flies!


What are three things that you think make Winston-Salem a great place to live?
I love that our city embraces the old and the new. That is something very appealing to me as a musician, and more specifically a classical musician.  I love the new restaurant, bar/brewery scene; not only does it help the local economy but it adds personality to our city. And finally, the people that make up the fabric of the city. It has always been my goal to provide great art and musical experiences to the larger public to help enrich the community.

Which Winston-Salem streets/neighborhoods have you lived in?
Too many to name! But, I have lived in West End, near Robinhood Rd., Ardmore, and in the Washington Park/Sunnyside neighborhoods.  They all have their charm!

Are there any music teachers/musicians in the area that have been a key to your success?
I think that my musician colleagues have helped me nurture and develop my talents here in Winston-Salem, and for that I am forever grateful.  The truth is that there are too many to name, but names like David Levy from WFU, and Scott Rawls from UNC-G come to mind by being great role models. Also, Bu Scherf for being a great “idea” person and even better conversationalist.

Where all have you had jobs in Winston-Salem?
Currently, I am the Artistic Director & Conductor of the Piedmont Wind Symphony. Previously, I have been the Associate Conductor of the Winston-Salem Symphony, the Music Director of the Winston-Salem Youth Symphony, taught conducting on the faculty at UNCSA and conducted the orchestra, and I have taught on the faculty at Wake Forest University and conducted the orchestra there. Additionally, you can still see me perform as a violist with various string quartets.

What are your top three local Winston-Salem restaurants?
Truthfully I have more than three, but here goes.

  1. Foothills Brewery
  2. Sweet Potatoes
  3. The Porch

If you were on a stranded island and could just have one breakfast for the rest of your life, which would you choose: Moravian sugar cake, Bojangles biscuits, or Krispy Kreme doughnuts?
Moravian Sugar Cake!


What is your favorite North Carolina Beach?
Topsail Island

Where is your favorite place in the mountains of North Carolina?
I love the Boone/Blowing Rock area.  But Asheville is always a fun place to visit!


What are some of your favorite shows that you have conducted since you took over as the Artistic Director and Conductor for the Piedmont Wind Symphony?
I loved conducting our “Frankenstein” concert which showed the old black-and-white starring Boris Karloff while we played the soundtrack live! It is always a challenge as a conductor to work on a project like this, but it was very innovative and unique!  Also, our holiday concert a few months ago with Ben Folds is a real standout in my career as one of the most artistically gratifying and fun evenings I can imagine! We finish this season with an all Gershwin program featuring the original jazz version of “Rhapsody In Blue,” this promises to be a very memorable and entertaining concert!