By CADEN CHOW
The stage spotlight glimmers against the golden saxophone as fingers clasp the smooth instrument. Coming from the soul of the player, music flows through the air, bouncing off the walls of a performance hall. Pride and determination are engraved in every note played by the shining instrument. The saxophone and player synergize to create beauty in every note.
Junior Samuel Dishon, a musician since age 5, was nominated by Band Instructor Mr. Corey Heddon for September’s Artist of the Month. Samuel has held first chair in the saxophone section of Wind Symphony since his freshman year. In addition to his leadership role, he is vice president of the Band Executive Council and co-section leader for the saxophones in the school’s marching band. Samuel’s involvement as a saxophone player does not stop at marching band and Wind Symphony, as he participates in the school’s saxophone quartet and is president of Musical Interactions club. Taking his playing outside of school, Samuel is also co-principal of the saxophone section in the Pacific Symphony Youth Wind Ensemble.
There are a variety of reasons for why many musicians pick up their instruments, ranging from parental pressure to genuine curiosity.
“I remember in fifth grade when they played all the instruments for us, the saxophone looked shiny and cool, so I chose it,” Dishon said, “It’s a part of me. I was raised on music.”
Throughout the stress and chaos of school, Samuel still exhibits his best effort every day in marching band and Wind Symphony.
“He’s just constantly thinking about music. It’s like he lives it,” Heddon said.
When playing in the band at school and the saxophone quartet, his peers respect his high levels of leadership and determination among many other qualities.
“When he starts something, he wants to finish the job well,” sophomore Yoomin Choi said.
As co-section leader of the saxophones in marching band, Samuel collaborates with his fellow section leader, junior William Huang, in order to ensure the success of the group as a whole. His diligence as a leader is greatly valued by his section.
“He is always on top and is dedicated to his work. Sam always uses his leadership position to make everybody better,” Huang said.
Samuel’s qualities exceed the duties of being an excellent music player or leader.
“You can tell that he is thinking about how to fix the problems before they get to me, and that just makes a teacher’s life fantastic when students do that,” said Heddon, “He speaks to adults as if he is an adult and just goes through in such a professional way.”
When asked about his favorite moment in his saxophone career so far, he said his summer camp experience at the University of Michigan was a highlight in his saxophone journey.
“I feel like [the best moment of my saxophone career] was when I was at the camp in Michigan” said Dishon, “I was selected for [a special recital] and actually had a good performance.”
Regarding his passion for music, Sam hopes that he can continue playing in the future.
“I definitely do not want to stop playing ever,” said Dishon.
Catch a glimpse of Samuel playing in the Wind Symphony on October 16 for the Fall Band Concert in the UHS Theater.