Shelby and Shayne Johnson’s Journey as Musicians

Shelby and Shayne Johnsons Journey as Musicians

Since the beginning of time, music has been a huge part of humanity, accompanying through generations of musicians from the Renaissance to the 1920s. So, it is no surprise that a lot of youth take part in music, and the students at ACP High School are no exception. Earlier this month, ACP High School’s band and orchestra students, Shelby and Shayne Johnson, were absolute stars this February. They performed at SW AMEA Regional Honor Band and Orchestra auditions, got the chance to perform at the Regionals competition on February 18 and 19, and also played at Arizona‚Äôs High School Solo and Ensemble Festival. We’ll be getting a glimpse into their experience as high school musician prodigies.

Shelby is a junior this school year and got into band due to her sixth grade schedule needing a musical elective, so she chose band. She enjoys playing the flute because she loves the beautiful sound of it, and she thought it would be fun to learn how to play it. She’s continued ever since. Shayne is a freshman, who became interested in band when she saw the musical Jersey Boys. After watching the trombonists in the musical, she knew that she wanted to play the trombone just like they did. Shayne joined the school band and played the trombone and has been playing the instrument for five years. When the girls are not in school or practicing their instruments, they enjoy puzzles, reading, spending time with their family and four cats, traveling to places like Disneyland and Hawaii, and watching movies and TV shows.

When Shelby went to the All-State Band Festival last year, all of the participants were able to watch the Solo and Ensemble finalists perform. “I was impressed at the skill these musicians had, and I wanted to try it because it looked like so much fun,” she comments. “This was my first time performing a solo for a judge, so it was a new and fun experience for me. I definitely enjoyed performing in this festival, and I would love to do it again next year.” On the contrary, Shayne has never performed a solo before and thought that the festival would be a great opportunity for her to get feedback on her playing and improve as a trombonist.

“This new experience,” Shelby recalls, “and has also opened me up to other new solo opportunities. I plan on performing a solo with Metropolitan Youth Symphony (MYS), which is the orchestra I perform in outside of school. I am the first chair flute and piccolo player at MYS, and I just participated in the Southwest Regional Festival Band where I was the second chair flute and will be auditioning for All-State in a few weeks.

Shayne also explains her takeaways. “I definitely learned a lot from the Solo and Ensemble experience. It helped me learn to play with an accompanist, which is an important skill to have. Additionally, I received great feedback from my judge that I have used to improve my playing.”

Finally, when asked about their experience as long-time musicians, the girls describe the many things they learned from being a musician. “Being a musician has taught me to take risks,” Shelby confesses. “Auditioning for this and other festivals like Regionals and All-State have been difficult, but I work hard and have fun while doing it. I have also learned to deal with the stress and anxiety related to auditioning better, thanks to my private flute instructor. She has taught me how to prepare myself mentally before an audition and get into the right mindset. Since then, I have been less nervous for auditions and chair tests in school.” Similarly, Shayne says how she has “become even more hardworking and confident through music. I have performed in front of more people and learned to manage my nerves while playing alone. I have also learned how to manage my stress while preparing for auditions. Even though it can be stressful, I have so much fun playing music and being part of musical groups. I love playing the trombone and plan to continue playing for the rest of my life.”

Amazing job, Shelby and Shayne, for all the effort and hard work that you have put into perfecting your pieces and practicing your instruments. We can’t wait to see you both grow into extremely talented musicians by your senior year. A huge round of applause to the girls, and as always, Knights, remember to strive for the impossible and be extraordinary!