Dave Carson of Poulsbo isn’t one to toot his own horn, but his students and their parents sure will drum up support for him.
Carson teaches private clarinet and saxophone lessons at his studio. And while many young musicians likely lost some ground this year due to lack of playing during COVID-19 at home learning, his students excelled.
Seventeen of his students auditioned for All-State and All-Northwest Band, made up of students from Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming. All 17 made it: five All-Northwest, 10 All-State and two Junior All-State.
Carson said he has been impressed with all of his young musicians.
“I am extremely proud and inspired by the effort these students have put forth under the stresses from the pandemic,” Carson said. “Their perseverance shows the ability of the human spirit to adapt and the desire to advance no matter what challenges present themselves. Going to work with these talented individuals everyday is pure joy.”
One of his students, Maria Powell, a tenor and alto sax player, has been taking lessons from Carson at the Music Mansion in Poulsbo since the summer before 7th grade. Now a high school sophomore, Maria was accepted into the All Northwest Band.
“It gave me something to work for. It was a place for me to play music when nothing else was happening,” Maria said.
Last year Maria qualified for state in Solo and Ensemble Competition, but was unable to compete in Ellensburg as it was canceled due to COVID. She was disappointed not to be able to perform before judges, get feedback, support peers, and hear other young standout musicians.
Maria’s mom, Carla, said Carson’s lessons helped her daughter make it through a tough time.
“Maria’s weekly lessons provided a much needed sense of normalcy and comfort during a not so normal time,” Powell said. “The stress of school shutting down and not being able to see friends was softened a bit by taking lessons.”
She knows the lessons also helped his other students.
“The success of his studio as a whole gives us hope that not only is our child succeeding, but other students are succeeding as well, and that certainly makes the world a better place,” she said.
All-State: Sax — Anekin Davis, Landon Nelson, Johny Cota, Ellie Lewis, Langholm Armstrong and Elana Memke. Clarinet — Iona Larson, Jasmine Borja, Trevor Jones and Kelsie Lacey.
All-Northwest: Sax — Maria Powell and Ariana Becker. Clarinet — Carsten Onarheim, Lila Schroer and Eamon Nalefscki.
All-Northwest Jazz Band: Barret Lahmoln
Junior All-State: Sax — Isaiah Beyer and Noah Weiss