Entering Mr. Vandyke’s room during NEST, one is hit by an array of sounds; however, one instrument rises above the rest. This empowering sound derives from that of the saxophone, played by leading symphonic duo Jacob Longoria (17’) and Ben Busch (16’). The two utilize valuable time on their own part by practicing at home and in class. However, during their practice time at NEST, the two draw attention, looks, and ears at their ardent ability to play each of their parts boldly, correctly, and in unison.
In the past, Longoria and Busch have proven their hard-work and practice hours, most recently in a duet they performed at a local district solo and ensemble at Davis. The two took 1st place, which permitted them to advance to the upcoming State solo and ensemble at Towson University. The judging at the State competition will test the two, as it will be more critical and the competition more advanced. “For me, playing the saxophone has always been about the fun. My parents, who are both professional saxophone players, have always inspired and supported me to the fullest. I appreciate the opportunity Ben and I have to play at the State solo and ensemble because it doesn’t just prove we have talent, but more importantly that we have good work ethic.” said Longoria (17’). “I think my inspiration derives from hearing professional musicians and saxophone players. I also enjoy the competition factor, which drives me to practice like there’s no tomorrow.” said Busch (16’).
Overall, rigorous practice hours have earned the two past accomplishments, and their upcoming opportunity to play at the State solo and ensemble. While their competition and the judging will become tougher, the two are playing their cards enthusiastically and intelligently, using the majority of their free time to perfect their craft. Ultimately, the two will perform at Towson on May 16, with confidence and determination, to hopefully take home a high rank if not 1st.