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|A Clipper Visit: Christian Dow|
|Written by Gillian Smith|
|Wednesday, 23 October 2013 11:47|
Duxbury senior Christian Dow has been selected to perform with the NAfME All National Orchestra at the end of October, an honor bestowed upon few in the music world.
Dow, 18, started playing in eighth grade after he switched out his trombone for the lower-pitched baritone horn. He spends at least 40 minutes of each day building upon the basics and honing his technique and continues his lengthy practice sessions working on solos.
“I enjoy playing my instrument, so I view practicing more as fun than hard work,” he said.
The National Association for Music Education All-National Honor Ensembles represent the top performing high school musicians in the United States. In order to be eligible, students must be high school sophomores, juniors or seniors, must have already been accepted into their states’ All- State Festival, be a member of his or her school’s choral, string or instrumental ensemble and receive endorsement from his or her music director.
After being selected to the All-State band, Dow was able to apply to the All National Band by submitting a two- minute video of himself playing a piece. He got the word of his acceptance during a mission trip in West Virginia and was pleasantly surprised.
“I could not believe I got in the band,” he said. “It was very exciting.”
Jill Noerenberg, music director for Duxbury public schools, said she was happy, but not surprised, Dow had been selected.
“I found out just before he did and we were both very excited,” she said. “I kept at him to apply, but he’s the one who has really been pursuing this since last year.
Noerenberg has been Dow’s band director since the fifth grade. She said he showed great promise as a trombone player, but really hit his stride when he picked up the baritone. Dow will be one of about 20 students selected from Massachusetts and Noerenberg said she was sure he would stand out.
“It’s a great experience for him to be able to practice and perform with the best of the best,” she said.
With help from principal Andrew Stephens and the Music Promoters, Dow and his mother and sister will stay at a hotel in Nashville for the week as he practices and prepares to perform with the orchestra. With nearly 20 students from each state participating, the orchestra will be very large.
Noerenberg said Duxbury students have been accepted to the NAfME All-National ensembles in the past, Dow will be the first student in nearly a decade to be accepted.
“I had a feeling he would be accepted,” she said. “He does very well with auditions and is very involved outside of music, as well, so he performs particularly well under pressure.”
The festival will take place Oct. 27-30 in Nashville, Tenn. Dow will spend the week rehearsing and preparing the music for the shows and will perform on Oct. 30 in the Gaylord Opryland Hotel.
In addition to playing in various music groups at the high school, Dow is also the president of the wind ensemble, vice president of the National Honor Society, and plays varsity soccer, track and rowing.
Dow said he plans on pursuing music education in col- lege and credits his success to the quality of the Duxbury schools’ bands.
“The band program has done wonders for me developing me as a musician and a person,” he said. “I hope to become a music teachers to help kids become respectable and well-rounded individuals.”