Age: 14 // Ninth-grade student at Eustis High School
My passion in life is music. I play the piano for my school’s jazz band and play the clarinet in the school’s concert band. I always play with a great deal of enthusiasm.
I’ve been playing piano since I was a young boy. At age 7, I performed live on a local access channel in Massachusetts. I’ve also performed at the First Friday Street Fest in Eustis.
I recently finished a composition I’m entering in the Young Composers Challenge, a competition among young musicians. If I win, I will receive $1,000 and a professional recording of my composition.
I credit my success to Robert Cohen, my piano teacher of five years. There was a time when he gave me free lessons because he wanted me to continue playing.
I played the clarinet in my middle school concert band. It’s a fun-yet-challenging instrument because it has numerous keys and tone holes. I like the clarinet because of the high-pitch sounds it makes.
My advice for young aspiring musicians is to keep playing the instrument or instruments you love and keep practicing. Don’t let music become stressful; always make sure you’re having fun.
When I was in second grade, my sister Emily was burned and admitted to the Shriners Hospital for Children in Boston. The hospital does not charge patients or accept insurance. It makes money through donations. I wanted to help raise money for the hospital and started a fundraiser called Pennies for Shriners. I passed out fliers to my classmates and placed donation tubs at local barber shops and stores.
I raised $605 in pennies and was featured in local newspapers and on television. Wal-Mart heard about my fundraising efforts and wrote a check for $500 on my behalf. Altogether, I presented the hospital with $1,105.After high school, I hope to become a doctor or nurse. I like helping other people. Although being in the medical field is time-consuming, I’ll always find time to continue playing music.
PHOTO: Matthew Gaulin