Within the first year in their respective ensembles, freshmen Sophia Myers and Jared Haftel have hit the right notes, demonstrating exceptional musicianship and talent.
Myers, who has been playing violin since she was nine, is the sole freshman in the first violin section of the upper-level symphonic orchestra. Instrumental teacher Jon Eising explains that Myers’ potential was clearly evident in her audition video, reflecting her ambitions and merit for a seat in the advanced orchestra. Mr. Eising says, “[Myers] is talented, dedicated, and has attention to detail in her music….music is more than just a class for her, it’s a passion.”
Having always known her calling lay within the music department, Myers chose the violin, captivated by its sound, vibration, and resonance. Myers says, “My favorite part is when all parts come together in the orchestra….I really enjoy how you can tell a story with music.”
Haftel, a member of concert band and jazz band, has similarly found his forte in music. While he has played the euphonium since age nine, Haftel began trombone this year in efforts to fulfill the lack of trombonists in band.
Despite being new to the instrument, not only is Haftel one of the only students from the area to qualify for all-county jazz band, but is also first chair, or the leader, of that ensemble. Haftel admits his success hasn’t come without work. He says, “I usually practice anywhere from two – five hours a day.”
Having Haftel as a part of Blake’s marching band as an eighth grader, Mr. Eising has been able to vouch for Haftel’s work ethic, dedication, and talent. Mr. Eising says, “It takes great years to be a good trombone player. It’s just crazy how scary-good he could be if he continues to grow as he has over the past two years.”
For Myers and Haftel, their love of music transcends the classroom, both expressing interests of pursuing music-based careers. Also a member of honors concert, Myers hopes to be a part of a professional chorus organization or the Baltimore symphony orchestra while Haftel plans on majoring in music education in college.
Haftel and Myers stress the importance of remaining hopeful regardless of the level an instrumentalist is performing at. Haftel says, “[an instrument] can be hard to play at first, [but] you’ll get used to it over time.” Myers echoes these sentiments, adding “Don’t play because you are forced into it. You have to be passionate and want to do it. That’s what makes you a better musician.”