Student Musician of the Week: Jakob McCormick

Student Musician of the Week: Jakob McCormick

Kayla Dell, Staff Writer

Seventeen year old senior Jakob McCormick has had an interest in music his entire life.  Starting in 4th grade, he picked up the alto saxophone and has been a musician ever since.

In 7th grade, Jake switched instruments and began playing the tenor saxophone. Tenor sax produces lower pitches whereas alto sax creates higher, brighter pitches. Nonetheless, Jake says the switch was easy for him considering that both instruments have the same key positions and fingerings.

He still plays tenor sax today along with piano, guitar, bass, and most recently, clarinet. Jake is a member of, by audition, Jazz Ensemble, Symphonic Band, and Top 21. He also is in Concert Choir and the marching band. Jake says that Jazz Ensemble is easily the best part of his school day.

Jake began singing in his church choir around the time he was 9 years old. He joined Bethel’s concert choir last year and began singing more complex music, which he fell in love with. This led him to audition for Top 21 last May. Jake is vocally a bass 1 in both concert choir and Top 21.

In the marching band, Jake is a saxophone squad leader and also a head quartermaster. He was inspired to join the marching band because it is a fun way outside of school to play music, spend time with friends, and exercise.

This year, Jake looks forward to auditioning for the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association competitions and hopes to be widely involved in their program. He is also eager to travel with Bethel Park’s Music Department to Disney in Orlando where he will compete in Jazz Band, Symphonic Band, and Top 21 and will march down Main Street in the Disney parade with the marching band. Each ensemble will be adjudicated and taught by elder music leaders which will aim to show each group their music in a new light and give them suggestions to improve upon.

Anyone who has ever had a conversation with Jake knows of his passion for music– it truly radiates through him. Jake says that his goal for high school is to be remembered as one of the best tenor sax players to pass through the school.

Patrick McCall, a fellow saxophone player, says, “Jake has a very widespread set of talents and takes what he does very seriously. He works hard to be the very best he can be.”

After high school, Jake aspires to attend Duquesne University to study music education minoring in music therapy. Jake says that music always has been and always will be a part of his life.

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