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Jazz musician makes all-state

posted Jan 17, 2013, 1:55 PM by webmaster dhs

DeKalb High School junior selected

By Octavia Lehman of The Star

            Auburn-Kipton Hall did not have his heart set on playing the trumpet when he was younger, he said.

            “I couldn’t get a sound of the trombone,”  Hall said.  So, he went with the trumpet, something he considered a “regal instrument.”

            The 16-year-old student at DeKalb High School now hopes to have a career in music.

            Hall was selected for the 2013 All-State High School Jazz Band and will perform Friday at the Allen County Public Library Theatre at 2:30 p.m.  The event is open to the public.  Robert Lark, director of jazz studies at DePaul University in Chicago, will direct the band. 

            The Indiana Jazz Educators Association selected Hall for the all-state band based on an audition tape that features him playing scales, etudes and improvisations.  The last time a DeKalb student was named to the All-State High School Jazz Band was nearly nine years ago, said DeKalb band director Terry Fisher.

            A junior, Hall is involved with DeKalb’s pep band and jazz band.

            “I don’t just do jazz, but its one of the things I do,” he said.  He plays the bass in the pep band.

            He spent one year in DeKalb’s marching band, but said that style of music is not his favorite.  He prefers jazz because it is intellectually stimulating, calling it “complicated.”

            It’s a lifestyle – it really speaks,” he said.  “there’s a whole story behind it.”

            He listens to jazz greats such as John Coltrane and Lee Morgan to find inspiration, and enjoys music from the bebop era.

            Hall wants to continue with music after high school, but he does not have a specific career in mind.

            “I just want to do something professional with music,” he said.

            DeKalb band director Terry Fisher said Hall practices and creates new ways to musical goals.

            He is creative and fun to work with in a musical setting,” Fisher said.  “He doesn’t set limits on what he can achieve, so he’s never bored.”

            Hall started playing music in the fifth grade, but he didn’t get as involved until he reached high school, he said.  He credits his high school teachers with giving him more direction.

            Hall also plays the piano, guitar and drums, but he is modest about his ability, saying the trumpet is what he does best.  “I’m not really masters of those,” he said about the other instruments.

            Hall has considered colleges such as Ball State University and Temple University in Philadelphia, where one of his favorite jazz musicians is an instructor.

            Hall said he enjoys meeting other musicians around the state at jazz competitions and festivals.  “We have a community,” he said.  “We have an openness.  We are a part of something.”

            Beyond the classroom, Hall and his friends have started a funk band with him on trumpet, an alto and tenor saxophonist and a drummer.  The group still needs a bass player “who can keep up with us,” he said.

            His family also enjoys music.  His father plays the guitar and his sister, also a DeKalb student, is involved in choir.

            Hall’s goal with music is to balance creativity and thought.

            “It’s supposed to be an expression,” he said.  “Balancing music is the hard part.  Some people get too into thinking about the chord structures and forget that they’re making music and it’s supposed to move people.”