Monroe High School junior Evan Wang was selected this winter to participate in the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) All-Northwest Honor Band.
Wang joined more than 1,000 music students from Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming in Portland, Ore. in February to rehearse and perform in concert under the direction of world-renowned conductors.
Wang, who plays the French horn, auditioned for this event.
“I was pretty surprised when I found out I had made it in,” he commented. “All-Northwest is very competitive, and there are some very good French horn players out there.” But he wanted to participate, so he put in a lot of time practicing the audition music, playing it well over 100 times.
Wang first began the French horn in the 8th grade, after starting out on the trumpet in 6th grade. He plays in the Monroe High Wind Ensemble and takes private lessons from Lisa White.
“I doubt I would have had a chance of making All-Northwest without Ms. White being such a great private teacher,” he said. “I wouldn’t have been able to get where I am without her help.”
He was selected to play in the Washington All-State Honor Chamber Orchestra last year as a sophomore, playing for the first time with string instruments.
“I learned a lot from the conductors there,” he said, “All conductors have their own teaching and musical style, and they all have something different to offer.”
Making time for music has become more challenging this year, as Wang has enrolled in Running Start at Cascadia Community College. He is taking Engineering Physics and Computer Science at Cascadia, as well as Advanced Placement (AP) U.S. History, Spanish III, and AP Language and Composition at the high school.
“Definitely the class I look forward to the most is Wind Ensemble,” he said. “It’s my least stressful class, though calling it ‘easy’ wouldn’t do justice to how much time we have to put in.”
He also plays with the band at basketball games, participates in Knowledge Bowl, Key Club, Tri-M, National Honor Society, Hi-Q, and volunteers through the Local Y at their before and after-school child care program when he has free time.
“Schoolwork and extracurricular activities become so busy,” Wang said. “Music is a really good way to relax. I find that a bit of music always helps me to concentrate and allows me to focus on my work.”