Senior trumpet player enjoys instrumental role in school band

Senior Emma Cryer has been an All State member every year since she was a freshman and had a solo in last year’s All State performance.

Senior Emma Cryer has played the trumpet ever since the fifth grade, going on her eighth year now pursuing the instrument. Although now it’s hard for her to imagine a life without that golden instrument in hand, Cryer didn’t always see herself as a musician. “When I started band, I don’t think I considered myself a musician. In fact, I played many more sports and did theater throughout my life. However, as my life has gone on, the trumpet has become something that is both fun and hard work for me,” Cryer said.

Not only fueled by the everyday magic that happens in band rehearsals, Cryer also finds motivation in trying to perfect the sounds created by her favorite players in the game today. “I think little victories in my playing inspires me to work even harder. I also listen to other trumpet players to imitate some of their techniques, such as Alison Balsom or Tine Thing Helseth, two of the best female trumpet players alive,” Cryer said.

Cryer is a well accomplished musician, making it to All State each year since her freshman year. Her greatest accomplishment of all though took place last year when she had a substantial solo in the All State orchestra. It was stressful for Cryer to audition, but once she had the solo in the spotlight, she was ready to perform like it was any other day. “The only time I was nervous for it was when I was auditioning for it. I was mainly excited and honored to be able to play. Even before All State auditions I worked on it,” Cryer said.

Just like students master a course’s material and athletes work to perfect an aspect of their game, Cryer works to become a better player but also sees herself in a crucial leadership role that goes beyond just perfecting a piece. “Besides becoming a better player, band helps me become a better role model and team player by building relationships within my section and outside of it. It also grows my persistence and perseverance because even if I run into a problem in my playing, I work very hard to make sure it is the best playing I can do,” Cryer said.

Cryer dedicates a lot of time outside of normal band rehearsals to better herself as a trumpet player. Depending on the season, whether it be marching band, jazz band or concert band, Cryer spends one to three hours a day playing her horn. Cryer said band director Kyle Engelhart has contributed most to her success as a musician. “Emma has achieved outstanding results in high school because she has worked incredibly hard, practicing diligently every day and working on her playing ever since she was in junior high. She helps influence our program and the players around her on a daily basis by always performing with a great sound, having a positive attitude and helping everyone around her by being an excellent leader. She is a selfless leader and an excellent musician,” Engelhart said.

As a section leader in the band, Cryer tackles many more tasks outside of mastering the notes on the sheet. “Being a section leader in the band has many duties, including maintaining good relationships with my section at the same time as making sure my section sounds the best it can be. In order to have a good performance, we have to be able to play the music as flawlessly as we can, and if the people in my section have positive relationships with one another, it is easier to play more cohesively. It’s my job to make sure this happens,” Cryer said.

Cryer finds playing more enjoyable when she sees that those around her are equally as passionate. “I enjoy band because the music we produce is fun to play and work on. I also love the family I’ve grown to know both in my section and in the whole band in general. The band is full of amazing people who enjoy music as much as I do,” Cryer said.

Cryer wants to continue with music as she plans to attend the University of Iowa to study trumpet performance or possibly music education after graduation.

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