Sitting with his fellow euphoniums, freshman Justin Lum lubricates his valves and raises his instrument to his mouth. With music on stand, he prepares to play a concert F as Mr. Wilson stands on the podium to start warm-ups.
“Band’s fun,” Lum stated. “There are plenty of trips and you make connections with people you otherwise wouldn’t have.”
Lum started considering joining theatre arts when he was in fifth grade. After carefully thinking over his schedule options for sixth grade, Lum chose band instead of his other options.
“I started playing trumpet in six grade with Mr. Julian,” Lum said. “I mean, I thought choir was for girls, the art teacher didn’t like me, theatre arts was no longer offered and technology was for nerds.”
In eighth grade at Rogene Worley Middle School, Lum switched from playing trumpet to playing euphonium, a conical low brass instrument which resembles a small tuba. He also plays baritone horn in marching season and bass for the jazz band.
“I felt that [the muscles in] my face were developing,” Lum said. “It was better for me to be able to play on a larger instrument and, besides that, I play what I want.”
Along with playing in the school’s bands, Lum also takes all AP and Pre-AP classes.
“I always have a whole bunch of homework, if I decided to do it,” Lum joked. “I have band, like, everyday too, so I don’t hang out with people very often.”
Despite the stereotypes, Lum says that band kids are not at all geeky.
“People in band seem geeky, but they are really not,” Lum said. “Just, the non-geeky people in band don’t say they are in band.”
Lum loves music and loves playing his instrument, even though it consumes most of his time.
“I like music,” Lum finished. “You can feel it when you play, all through you. It’s nice.”