Graduate earns highest honor in computer engineering as debut single climbs radio charts
Will Hedgecock received Vanderbilt University’s Computer Engineering Program Award in ceremonies held on the campus May 8. The School of Engineering award recognizes Hedgecock for the highest degree of excellence in his field.
Hedgecock, who is also a recording artist, was surprised during the award presentation when his professor, A. B. Bonds, director of computer engineering, held up a copy of Reflections, Hedgecock’s debut CD, and bragged about how the first single from the CD, “I Don’t Know” is presently climbing the national Adult Contemporary radio charts.
“I had no idea he was going to do that!” Hedgecock exclaimed afterwards. “I know I was turning bright red at the time!”
Hedgecock, 22, earned an engineering degree and was graduated with honors from Vanderbilt on the following day.
It was quite a whirlwind week for Hedgecock. In addition to his academic honors, Hedgecock’s previously mentioned CD, Reflections, was released May 6. The album was produced by Grammy award-winning producer Larry Butler, who has worked with Kenny Rogers, John Denver, Johnny Cash and others.
Hedgecock’s single, “I Don’t Know,” has made an explosive climb up the Adult Contemporary radio’s Friday Morning Quarterback radio charts where it achieved the #8 position. The song is presently gaining early support on R&R/BDS Billboard Mediabase radio reporters across the United States, where at press time it is printing at #39.
In addition, no less than five tracks from Hedgecock’s Reflections are presently garnering nationwide exposure in the Adult Standards format, with recent airplay on numerous syndicated radio shows, including Shake Rattle Showtime with Jim Parsons; Story Behind the Song; the Bill Miller Show; Gregg Hunter’s Nightside; The Gene Martin Show; The Joey Reynolds Show; Big Band Jump and others – whose combined audiences number in the tens of millions, and reach listeners all across North America and Canada.
Hedgecock was born and raised in Pensacola, Florida. Both of his parents are music fans, and very early on he developed a love for the music that played in their home, including the sounds of Elton John, Celine Dion, Gloria Estefan and songs from musical theater.
When Hedgecock was 9 years old, he joined the Pensacola Children’s Chorus and for 10 years he sang and toured with the group throughout America, England, Canada, France and Mexico, performing at many prestigious venues, including the White House.
Hedgecock will return to the Pensacola Children’s Chorus to perform his breakthrough hit “I Don’t Know” when he appears with them as a special guest artist for “Showtime 2008 – Flying High on America” at the National Naval Aviation Museum, at Pensacola’s Naval Air Station May 15-17.
Hedgecock was first discovered by Butler, his producer and a fellow Pensacolan, at a hometown performance of the children’s chorus after he was alerted by a local studio owner.