While one musician prepares to release a single with his band from their new album, the other musician plays four different instruments with rotating practices Monday through Thursday. While one manages his academic workload such that he doesn’t need to study much at home, the other takes honors classes and AP Computer Science.
While their personalities and approaches to school may differ, both are serious musicians looking to continue their passion in college and beyond.
Guitarist Aidan Bartholet ’21 and trumpeter Ryan Jones ’20 were recently selected for the Metro 8 District Band, an honor extended to top musical students in the area culminating in a concert performance and the chance to audition at the state level.
“It’s pretty cool because you know that everyone in that band is going to be interested enough to practice the music, prepare it, and make it sound good,” said Ryan. “Plus the music that you’re going to be playing is at a level that a typical high school band probably wouldn’t be at.” Taking on such a challenge appeals to Ryan who began playing piano in first grade, trumpet in fifth grade, and violin last year. When his former grade school music teacher asked him to join the parish bell choir, Ryan didn’t back down from that challenge either.
“Ryan Jones is a dedicated senior,” said Mike Karpowicz, Band Director at De Smet Jesuit. “I appreciate his perseverance and determination and hard work.” Such characteristics will serve Ryan well as he intends to double major in computer engineering and musical performance next year in college.
“They’re both very focused on their music,” said Mr. Karpowicz on Ryan and Aidan. “It’s a big part of their daily life.”
For Aidan, who began playing guitar at age 12, his daily life now includes 4-6 hours of practice, in addition to band rehearsals and private lessons. “If you want to be good you’ve got to practice a lot,” said Aidan. “I took band as an elective because I wanted to be doing as much music as I possibly could.”
“I’ve been playing a lot of jazz lately because it’s very hard to get good at it,” said Aidan. “Jazz gives you the ability to kind of completely express yourself on an instrument and be able to really play what you want to hear.” As a junior, Aidan doesn’t have specific plans yet for his future…but he knows music will be a part of it.
“Aidan always works hard and is really dedicated to playing the guitar,” said Mr. Karpowicz. Having two such devoted musicians in class has enhanced the level of play for fellow band students. “They take on a leader role by setting the example,” said Mr. Karpowicz. “With their daily practice and commitment, they show us, this is how It’s done.”