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SHS Student Makes Prestigious Youth Winds Symphony Roster

Angel Lopez holding his trumpet inside the SHS AuditoriumSix years of hard work have paid off for Sherman High School senior Angel Lopez, who will have the opportunity to perform at Carnegie Hall in New York City after he made the cut for the Lone Star Youth Winds.

“When I first got the email, I saw the top that said ‘Congratulations,’ and I just started jumping in excitement,” Lopez said. “It feels wonderful to make into the Lone Star Youth Winds.”

The LSYW is composed of 60 outstanding high school musicians from around the North Texas area, and it serves to cultivate creativity, cultural awareness and a love of the arts in its members. Lopez is the first ever SHS student to join as well as the first SHS student to ever apply, according to SHS Band Director Ryan Jenkins.

“They play collegiate-level music and are the best of the best,” Jenkins said. “It’s absolutely the best ensemble he could make in this part of the nation.”

Hundreds of students audition for the LSYW each year, and auditions are submitted via videos. This meant Lopez could fine-tune and perfect the trumpet music pieces, but it also meant the takes added up.

“If I messed up ever so slightly, like a crack in a note and not playing the note long enough, I started over,” Lopez said. “It took almost two days, maybe over 20 takes.”

Lopez has played the trumpet since his middle school days at Piner, and while he’s tried other instruments like the trombone and saxophone, the trumpet is special to him.

“I’m of Mexican descent, and growing up, I’d listen to a lot of mariachi music or ranchera. I always thought the trumpet sounded nice,” Lopez said. “One day, possibly, I’d like to play with a mariachi band.”

Once he receives the concert pieces from the LSYW, Lopez will be rehearsing much on his own. In the weeks leading up to each concert, there will be only five group rehearsals, and Lopez and all of his peers will need to have their pieces memorized and near-perfect.

“I’m a fast learner with music, and sometimes my classmates ask me for help,” Lopez said. “But with this ensemble, I might have to ask some questions.”

The LSYW plays three concerts during the spring. Two will be at DFW performance halls, including Richardson’s Eisemann Center in March 2024 to start their season, and the final one will be at Carnegie Hall in NYC.

“That will definitely be an exciting experience,” Lopez said. “I don’t want to say it’s a ‘once-in-a-lifetime experience’ because, you never know, it could happen again.”