Band

Junior shines in his music abilities by mastering multiple instruments

Katelyn Mitchell | Staff Writer

Music is something that has been passed down from generation to generation, telling the stories of previous generations. Music keeps the culture alive and lets the diversity show through. While many are only accustomed to listening to music, junior Nathan Rakes prefers to play and create music with the flute.

“In fifth grade, we had people come in from the middle school to test if we were going to be in choir, band or orchestra,” Rakes said. “I personally liked the sound of the higher instruments, such as high woodwind or brass. During that time, I was given the choice of either playing the flute, oboe, or joining choir. I chose the flute because I had gotten the lowest score and I didn’t think that I would play it past the sixth grade.”

Even though Rakes did not have confidence in his abilities to play the instrument, he continued playing it throughout middle school and high school.

“I stuck with the flute because I developed a liking for it. In times where I’m feeling sad or upset, playing the flute makes me happier,” Rakes said.

As Rakes progressed, his talents and abilities grew and gathered the attention of both his teachers and music companies.

Rakes has earned the position of first chair in both the wind symphony and wind ensemble, and participates in marching band and jazz band at the high school. He’s also involved outside of school, having participated in the New World Symphony Orchestra, Clifford Ratliff Big Band, Symphonic Youth Orchestra of Greater Indianapolis, Indiana Band-Masters Association All State Honors Band, National Band Association All Star Marching Band, Martinsville Community Band and the Genna Paige Flute Choir.

Even though Rakes is well-known for his flute playing, he is also prolific in other instruments, playing the piccolo, clarinet, alto saxophone, trombone and euphonium.

Currently, Rakes is looking forward to playing flute in college and potentially as his permanent career.

“I am planning to do music and college, preferably IU,” Rakes said. “I’m deciding to go into music performance and composition. I’m heavily motivated and ready to perform and display everything that I have accomplished to my peers.”

Categories: Band, Features, Our Students

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