By RAVINA PATEL
February’s artist of the month, Madison Chen (Sr.), has been a part of the band and marching band program since her freshmen year at UHS. The UHS band program consists of three bands: Concert, Symphonic and Wind Ensemble. Chen currently plays trumpet in Wind Ensemble, UHS’s most prestigious band. When asked about why she chose to play the trumpet, Chen said that as the loudest kid in her elementary class, her logical choice of instrument was the trumpet, one of the loudest instruments.
Chen enjoys band not only for the music but also the atmosphere. She said, “I’ve increased my family by 120 people and made friends that are just as crazy and fun loving as I am. I have to say some of my best memories are from bus rides to and from band competitions. I definitely would not have had as good a time in high school if I hadn’t joined band. Shout out to my bandos!” Chen has been inspired to pursue her passion and drive for music by her private teacher, Mr. David Washburn, and the UHS band director, Mr. Corey Heddon (Visual and Performing Arts Dept.).
When asked how Chen stands out among other students, Mr. Heddon said, “As soon as things start getting serious in rehearsal and I start fixing problems with the piece we’re working on, she is able to insert some amount of humor to hijack the entire rehearsal. It is impossible to be upset with her, not only because there is nothing in life more valuable than a good sense of humor to share with your friends, but also because she is a brilliant player. She is a great balance of talent and hard work.” According to Mr. Heddon, Chen has improved her skills as a trumpet player steadily since her freshman year.
Many band members appreciate Chen for her ability to lead and help others as a musician. Tina Zhou (Sr.) said, “She’s a very reliable musician. She plays both accurately and musically, which isn’t easy because being the lead trumpet in a band is a lot of pressure.” Additionally, Chen has been a source of encouragement for younger band members throughout her high school experience. Shana Lim (Fr.) emphasized that Chen is more than a great trumpet player and said, “Back when we were in band camp, I wanted to give up on marching band because it was too hard, but she motivated me to continue.”
Chen recommends those who are considering playing in band to “Go for it! Bandos are welcoming and will make sure you get everything you need. Also don’t worry if you can’t play an instrument or if you don’t own one; we’ll get one of whatever you want to play in your hands and playing as soon as you’re ready. Don’t let any fears hold you back! We welcome everyone and everyone has a place in the band family.”