Practice pays off

Senior’s dedication leads him to Indiana All-State Band


Elizabeth Valadez

Senior Andrew Nguyen practices his music for Indiana All-State Band on Feb. 20. He is the first person from SHS to make it to this band in 26 years.

After auditioning for Indiana All-State Band, senior Andrew Nguyen went home and the anticipation began. For two weeks, he checked their website in hopes to see a list of who made it with his name on it. Finally, after three weeks, the list was posted.

Auditioning for the Indiana All-State Band was a stressful experience for Nguyen, but he says he feels very accomplished for achieving this. He is the first SHS student in 26 years to be chosen to play with the Indiana All-State Band.

“I was very stressed,” Nguyen said. ”(The audition) was after the first week back from school and two weeks after I had been in California visiting my family and I wasn’t able to play at all for the week I was there.” 

Indiana All-State Band is a special band with members from all over Indiana. Since auditions are open to all of the state, the pool to be chosen from is very large. The ones who are chosen will be given music to learn to be ready by the performance at Purdue on March 15. 

Band director David Copeland says that there were over 100 trumpet players who auditioned. However, there were only 20 chosen. 

SHS graduate Nicole Whitman is a friend of Nguyen’s. She has known him since middle school and was a band member just like him. 

“(Getting into the Indiana All-State Band) is definitely something you don’t take lightly,” Whitman said. “And it is a huge honor and responsibility.” 

Since Whitman has known Nguyen since middle school, she has been able to see his ability grow. She said that his technique has been developed and he is a better musician.

“He has a passion for music that I hope never dies,” said Whitman.

Nguyen says the audition in general was a fairly nerve-racking experience. Since he was unable to play for a few days before, he was unsure of how well the audition would go. 

“Once I found out that I got in I was very excited,” Nguyen said. “I almost didn’t believe it because of how bad I felt after auditioning.”

However, he says the stress still has not gone away. According to Nguyen the stress is not as intense, but he has a long road of work in front of him. 

Due to players being in many different parts of Indiana, the amount of time they have to rehearse together is very limited. Nguyen says this does not help the stress he already feels. 

“I’m still stressed because of the amount of music I have to prepare and how difficult it will be to prepare and perform, with only two days of rehearsals with a full ensemble,” Nguyen said.

Even though Nguyen does not plan on pursuing music in college, he is grateful for the opportunity this has given him. 

“It’s really rewarding to know that all that (hard work since middle school) is going towards something,” Nguyen said.