This month, the school
was represented on one of the biggest musical stages in the world: The Grammy’s. Senior trumpeter Andrew Stephens was chosen as one of a 32 piece jazz ensemble slated to play at the awards with the likes of Vampire Weekend.
Every year, the Gram- my Foundation picks from hundreds of applicants via YouTube to participate in this prestigious band.
“I got a call, and it was someone from the Grammy Foundation, and they said you’ve been accepted to play in this band,” Stephens said.
“I like jumped around. I was pretty ecstatic.”
So from Jan. 17th to Jan. 27th, Stephens spent his time in an all expenses paid trip to Los Angeles to rehearse, often for up to 7 hours at a time.
“Parts of the pieces are really difficult. They’re
really high and really fast, but mostly they’re just all really, really good pieces of music,” Stephens said.
The band was directed under world-renowned di- rector, Justin DiCioccio.
“He came off as weird at first,” Stephens said. “But he quickly became one of the best directors I’ve worked with. He knew exactly what the band needed to sound
Even as talented as
Stephens is, he still felt that most of his fellow bandmates were better than him. But that was a sentiment they all shared.
“Every person in the band was likely the best musi-
cian in their high school or community band, so to come from that, it was big shock,” Stephens said.
All the hard work led
up to a performance at the Grammy Nominee Recep- tion, Recording an album at Capitol Studios, and biggest of all, attending the 56th Grammy Awards.
However, not all parts of the trip were good.
“We were three rows in
front of the last row at the awards,” said Stephens. “The lights from the stage were so bright I nearly went blind and the music was so loud it shook your entire body.”
Regardless, the experience was very rewarding.
“I was treated like a celebrity everywhere I went,” Stephens said. “I got a taste of that life and I had the very influential experience of being around veteran musicians.”
And Stephens had
no shortage of celebrity sightings. Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and Yoko Ono were among the audience at his first performance at the Foundation.
“I didn’t meet anyone
too famous, but I saw a lot
of famous people when we walked down the red carpet,” said Stephens. “Like Paris Hilton, Cee-lo Green and Giuliana Rancic.”
But even after all of the fame, Stephens is happy to be home.