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Listen to the music

February 13, 2007|by ROBERT KELLER

Music is something that we all know and love. But for two students from North Hagerstown High School, music is more like a passion.

Quinn Gelestino, a 17-year-old senior, and Ethan Jones, a 16-year-old junior, earned seats in the Maryland High School All-State Band. Both of them play clarinet in the All-State Band's concert Sunday, Feb. 25, at the Baltimore Convention Center.

Both had different opinions on the music they received for the all-state auditions, though.

"I knew it was a challenge," Ethan said. "It was one I could overcome. It took a lot of work and I had to sacrifice, as well as commit myself. I knew if I overcame this, I could excel in everything."

"I saw how fun the audition piece was," Quinn said. "It wasn't easy, but it was fun to play. I had to think about how to practice."

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Speaking of practice

"I put in around 90 minutes to two and a half hours of practice," Ethan said. "I practice four to six days a week. I practice everything from scales (and) arpeggios (to) solos. If there's anything I can't do, I put extra focus on it."

"In truth, I don't practice nearly as much as I should," Quinn said. "I had to cram in the last few weeks of practice. I try to imagine (I'm playing) a fantasia; it helps to express. I do something incredibly hard, but make it seem effortless."

Even the band director of North High, Mr. Jeremy Karacz, had a few words to say.

"I know that Ethan and Quinn put a lot of time and effort into making all-state," he said. "They worked on what they had to and on making it. My expectations are high. I want to see them perform at a high level and give interest in practice and effort. I like to see students exceed their expectations as well as mine."

Who knew that music could inspire you to play more?

"It's amazing that humans can create something so beautiful. It makes me want to try (playing a piece) when it's for the clarinet," Ethan replied. "Someday, I want to be able to play anything and everything on the clarinet."

"I love listening to music. My favorite kind is techno," Quinn said. "My passion is jazz. I eventually want to play in a jazz band and practice classically."

Next time you listen to music, dig a little deeper. Listen to what the music is saying to you.

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