Former astronaut now thrives as standout musician, educator


Capt. Winston Scott is enjoying life as a musician after a successful career as an astronaut.

Viera Voice photo


Capt. Winston Scott is more than just an astronaut. He also is an accomplished musician.

Scott, who has logged more than 24 days in space and three spacewalks, plays the trumpet and performs with several local ensembles. One of those ensembles is the Winston Scott Cosmic Jazz Ensemble on the Florida Space Coast.

At 2 p.m. Jan. 14, Scott will perform in the Space Coast Jazz Society’s concert at the Rockledge Country Club. It also will feature vocalist Shyrl Johnson, Ron Teixeira on the keyboard, Al Dodds on bass and Doug Grover on drums.

Scott is the senior advisor to the president for External Relations and Economic Development at the Florida Institute of Technology (FIT). He also is a retired U.S. Navy captain and naval aviator. Scott earned a bachelor’s degree in music, a master’s degree in aeronautical engineering and has been awarded honorary doctorate degrees from Florida Atlantic University and Michigan State University.

As a musician, Scott was awarded a teaching certificate for music education from the state of Florida. He was inducted into the Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity (Professional Honorary Fraternity for men in music). He has been a composer, arranger and performer for numerous musical organizations.

Scott was minister of music for First Baptist Church of Pacific Grove in Pacific Grove, Calif. from 1978 until 1980. He has performed with recording greats such as soul singer Betty Wright, who won a Grammy in 1972.

In 2012, Scott was awarded the Edwin Franko Goldman Award. This is a national award presented annually by the American Bandmaster’s Association to the individual, outside of professional bandmasters, who has rendered conspicuous service in the interest of bands and band music in America.

Recently, Scott appeared as a guest lecturer and performer with Florida Tech artist-in-residence Christian Tamburr in his highly acclaimed Sonic Leadership program. Scott also recently was featured on recordings released by Johnson and singer Billy Lee.

Scott also has been featured as a guest conductor for the Stetson University Wind Ensemble; a guest soloist for the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra; a guest soloist for the Melbourne Municipal Band; a composer and arranger for the Florida Tech faculty band Twitchy (three compositions on Twitchy’s second CD release); a director, composer and arranger for the Florida Tech Jazz Syndicate; and a guest lecturer for the Brevard Symphony Orchestra Guild.

During his Navy career, Scott served as an anti-submarine warfare helicopter pilot, Top Gun fighter pilot, test pilot and NASA astronaut. He accumulated more than 7,000 hours of flight time in more than 25 different aircraft and more than 200 shipboard landings. As an astronaut, Scott logged more than 24 days in space, including three spacewalks. 

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