Music Student of the Month: Mikey Collins
Mikey Collins, senior at Colchester High School (CHS)

Mikey is one of our busiest students in the music program, just from the sheer amount of ensembles/classes he is enrolled in! Mikey has shown an increased interest and enthusiasm for music since the start of this year in several ways.

He is in the middle of arranging a piece on his own for our jazz band to play later in the year. This is an ambitious project that takes an incredible amount of time.

Mikey is also working on jazz improvisation and theory in a more in-depth way this year. He has expressed interest in auditioning for several festivals, as well as interest in playing in the pit orchestra for our upcoming production of Seussical: The Musical. On top of all of this, Mikey is an enthusiastic, fun-loving student that can easily bring a lot of positive energy to a rehearsal. Congratulations, Mikey!

-Evan Peltier, Director of Bands and Music Teacher, CHS

  • instrument: baritone saxophone, clarinet, voice
  • ensembles: wind ensemble, concert band, jazz band, concert choir, chamber singers, mens chorus

“What have been some of your favorite memories/experiences involving concert and jazz band, from 5th grade to now?”

Things have certainly come a long way since fifth grade… I remember I used to hear Meghan (my sister) practicing her Jazz Ensemble music on alto sax her freshman year, which also happened to be my fifth grade year of band. At the time I was also playing my beginner Yamaha alto which still, to this day, makes me cringe. The alto sax never suited me very well. Fortunately, I found the baritone sax when it was needed for a part in my middle school jazz ensemble.

That to this day is my favorite memory. The first time I heard that low-A come out of Bertha (my bari sax at the time), I knew I found my voice in the band.

More recently, I joined Jazz Band in my Junior year. At our fall concert, we played a tune called Blueberry Jam, and wow I just loved this chart. I loved it so much I decided to flavor my Vandoren Java 2 reed blueberry. That has to be my favorite memory when it comes to high school Jazz Band—well that and decking out Ray (my current bari sax) with string lights on my instrument for the holiday concert. Let’s just say I have a good time in Jazz Band…

“How do you think playing an instrument has helped you develop as a young person?”

Without the music classes that I have had in my schedule throughout my time since fifth grade, I do not think I would have any positive thoughts associated with coming to school in the morning! My music classes have taught me so much more than I would have ever thought, and not just about music, but also about life. I have had such a great time learning from the wonderful music teachers we have, all the while enjoying many laughs. Music has helped guide me through some hard times, and I think there is something for everyone to gain from it. It has helped me mature through some pretty rough times and learn from those obstacles instead of putting my head down. I have learned to push through obstacles of life in much the same way as I learn to push through those parts in music that look impossible at first. As long as I keep pushing through, I always get it figured out.

“What do you think students gain from being involved in school ensembles?”

This year I made the choice to participate in all six of the performing ensembles I was eligible for. I am a member of the Wind Ensemble, Concert Band, Jazz Orchestra, Men’s Ensemble, Concert Choir, and Chamber Singers. I look forward to every day of school because of them. Yes, I have a lot of recording and listening assignments, but they do not feel as much like work as homework for other classes. I think by pushing yourself as a student to participate in as many musical activities as possible, you will find yourself doing better in all of your studies outside the music room. I could not be more happy in life knowing I always have music to come back to, which I think speaks to what others have to gain from music.

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