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Watertown High School senior trumpeter heading to ‘Honors’ program, Carnegie Hall

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A Watertown High School senior has been selected to perform at the Honors Performance Series this week at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

The series was established to showcase some of the most talented high school performers in the country. Students rehearse and perform under master conductors and have the opportunity to perform before invited representatives from collegiate and professional music programs.

The Performance Series runs today through Monday. The highlight is on Sunday with the Performance Series students performing at Carnegie Hall.

Trumpeter Joshua G. Shannon, son of James and Dawn Shannon, 211 Flower Ave. E., was nominated for the program by Andrea Wischerath, director of bands at Watertown High School. He’ll be performing in the Honors Performance Band Ensemble.

“I nominated Josh because he is intrinsically driven by a love of music and a drive to learn all that he can about performing, and writing music,” Mrs. Wischerath said. “Exposing him to as many musical opportunities as possible will help him grow as a musician, as well as a person.

After being nominated, Mr. Shannon had to send Performance Series organizers an audition recording. He’s been playing trumpet for about seven years, but he started out with French horn at H.T. Wiley Elementary School.

“Not having any idea what I wanted to do, I volunteered to take up French horn,” Joshua said. “A week after getting the instrument, I absolutely hated it.”

He told H.T. Wiley Elementary band director Thomas R. Machuga that he wanted to switch instruments and was thinking of the drums.

“I thought that would be the coolest thing in the world at the time,” Mr. Shannon said. “But Mr. Machuga looked at me and said, ‘You aren’t going to be a drummer.’”

So Mr. Shannon took Mr. Machuga’s suggestion that he take up the trumpet.

“For some reason, I fell in love with it and I’ve stuck with it since,” he said.

Mr. Shannon has been accepted to Roberts Wesleyan College in Rochester, where he plans to study music. He said the college works closely with Eastman School of Music.

His parents will be traveling with him to New York City. The fee to attend the five-day program is $1,775 per student.

Mr. Shannon thanked the community for helping him to raise funds allowing him to attend the program.

The Honors Performance Series consists of the Honors Instrumental Ensembles and Honors Choir. There are approximately 300 students in the choir and about 100 each in the instrumental band and orchestra.

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