BOONSBORO - When Dondi Ellis had to choose a musical instrument to play in middle school, he decided on the piccolo.
His music teacher said that the piccolo's high-pitched sound could break glass, and Dondi thought that was cool, he said.
But the piccolo isn't an instrument for beginners, so Dondi started playing its larger cousin, the flute.
Six years later, the 17-year-old junior at St. Maria Goretti High School, practices his flute four hours a day and hopes to attend a music conservatory after graduation.
Every morning, Dondi practices tone exercises for an hour before school. He also has an hour for practice during the school day. St. Maria Goretti doesn't have a band, but Dondi plays for school functions and church services, he said.
In the evening, Dondi spends two hours working on his repertoire. He studies Mozart and Bach, and loves all types of classical music, he said.