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Knight Times

Shelby Johnson’s Exceptional Concert Performance


Music evokes emotions and when it is instrumental, it gives people a way to communicate without words. From classical to R&B and everything in between, music has long been used as an outlet for people to express their true, raw selves. It has become an incredibly important aspect of daily human life, and it is part of everything we do. Some people discover their passion for music later in life, while others, such as senior Shelby Johnson, realize it early on. Flute and piccolo player, Shelby Johnson, was given the opportunity to play with the Phoenix Symphony. She has been playing the flute since she was in 6th grade and has been passionate about it ever since. The National Flute Association Gala Concert consisted of 20 Arizona students who were part of a flute choir and played in front of 2000 people. Shelby’s passion was inspired by her first band director. She stated, “He cared about music so much and shared his love of band with each of his students, and his passion fueled my passion. He taught me how to express emotions and tell a story through music…” 

The concert with the Phoenix Symphony was a national performance in which people from across all the United States came to the flute convention. Shelby received this opportunity through her private flute instructor. Her instructor recommended her because of her experience with the Regional and All-State Bands in Arizona, and she was able to join the group. When I asked Shelby how she felt when she was given this opportunity, she eagerly responded, “I was in shock. I was super excited to play on the Symphony Hall stage because it has been a dream of mine to play on a professional stage. Playing with a famous, professional group is something that I never thought would happen to me.” Shelby is currently in the Symphonic and Marching band and will continue to play the flute, as well as piccolo. She plans to participate in more events, play in college ensembles, and audition for Regionals, All-State, and Solo this year. With a large variety of instruments, it can be challenging to know which one you want to play. However, ever since Shelby was young, she knew flute was the right choice. She described, “I always enjoyed the flute parts when I heard movie soundtracks. I thought the flute was a beautiful instrument, so I decided that I wanted to play it. It has now become one of the most important aspects of my life, and it always will be.” 

I had the chance to ask Shelby what advice she would give to other aspiring musicians in high school, to which she responded, “My advice comes from something that my current band director told me once. There are two things that you can control in music: your attitude and your effort. If you put in your best effort to practice and you do it with a positive attitude, then you are putting your best work out there every time. You will improve your skills as you continue to practice, and this all starts with the right mindset and effort.” The entire ACP family could not be more proud of Shelby and her fantastic achievement! Thank you, Shelby, for being such an amazing example and showing us the significance of music. Go Knights! 

Author: María Tapia, Staff Writer

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