I wanna be like Miles | NevadaAppeal.com

I wanna be like Miles

Becky Bosshart
Appeal Staff Writer

It’s their first year of band, and many of the Fritsch Elementary School students are just getting their fingers on the right keys. To the Carson High Blue Thunder Marching Band, this is the future.

The cacophony gets to Erin Kellogg, 17, a trumpet and mellophone player at Carson High School. Even though you’d think she’d be used to the sour notes inherent to a group of young musicians, she turned and yelled:

“You guys are so loud!”

They ignore her. Tony Xie, 10, who plays his saxophone with his chin tilted sharply down, and Elsa Maples, 11, continue with “Galactic Episode.”

Later, Kellogg attributes the volume to the inherent nature of a saxophonist.

“They never grow out of it – the playing loud and annoyingly,” she said with a sigh.

Here, everyone has a nature that corresponds with their instrument. The drummer keeps hitting even when a teacher motions for quiet. The flutist is tall and willowy and extremely polite to her students.

A trumpet player? Sure, she plays loud, but she doesn’t squeak like the saxophone.

Chris Robertson, 17, who has played the saxophone since he was their age, is teaching his two young students dynamics and rhythm. For him, teaching younger band students and encouraging them to continue through to high school is more important than playing video games and hanging out with friends.

After prompting from him, Elsa remembers the name of her favorite jazz player.

“Miles Davis – I like him,” she said.

Kristin Holland, 16, the willowy flutist, adjusted the posture of Devani Vasquez, 10. The little girl is like clay beneath her hand. This is something that Kristin wishes someone would’ve shown her when she was in fifth grade. She also started at Fritsch, so many years ago.

“They don’t tell you everything when you’re that age, but if I had known that, it would’ve helped,” Kristin said about posture. “You’re too worried about even playing your own instrument.”

High school band students travel to other schools in the area to recruit the next generation.

• Contact reporter Becky Bosshart at bbosshart@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1212.