I have been a musician for seven years; and saxophonist for five of those years. I started my music learning experience on the tenor saxophone when I was in the seventh grade. My first choice was to play alto, but the band had sufficient altos and not enough tenors. I was nervous because I was smaller than my instrument. I am a rising senior in the Center for Visual and Performing Arts Program at Suitland High School where I am in the advanced and jazz bands as well as the jazz combo. I take International Baccalaureate (IB) and Advanced Placement (AP) classes, as well as AP Piano Theory — and I love it. The class has challenged me to think about the structures of music and how to put them together in order to create beautiful melodies and rhythms. Also, I have learned to look at a piece of music and do a complete harmonic and melodic analysis where I use the terms learned in the class and determine where they fit within the piece. I am first chair tenor in the jazz band, first tenor in the marching band, and clarinetist in the concert band.
Personal Statement: As a FAME Jazz Band member I am learning from renowned pianist Nat Adderley, Jr., gaining a deeper insight into the jazz world and improving my improvisational skills. One of my biggest goals right now is to find my sound. I want my sound to be unique and fit my personality in and outside of music. I am gaining more knowledge on how to become a better player and how to look at a piece of music and play it well enough to give emotion and “color”. I want to be able to play with more emotion, captivate the audience and become a smooth and more lyrical jazz player.
John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, Grover Washington Jr, and Lester Young have all been great inspirations to me. Their styles are contrasting in so many ways that when I listen, I can tell who is playing. I want to create my own distinct sound and maybe even start a new genre of music that is influenced by jazz primarily. I have had the opportunity to play with Jane Monheit and Christian McBride; they are really great at their craft. Those experiences have helped me become a better player. They motivated me to become more determined to practice, work hard, and become an amazing musician like them.