Fine Arts Student of the Week: Trumpet is senior’s prized possession

Advisers in the fine arts programs at Brainerd High School name a Fine Arts Student of the Week every week.

noah joque
Brainerd High School senior Noah Joque smiles during a virtual interview with the Brainerd Dispatch about being named Fine Arts Student of the Week for his work in Wind Symphony and Jazz Ensemble. Jennifer Kraus / Brainerd Dispatch

Noah Joque

Grade: Senior

Age: 17

Art focus: Brainerd High School Wind Symphony.

Adviser nomination: “Noah is the principal trumpet in Wind Symphony, the lead trumpet in Jazz Ensemble I, a member of the Minnesota Music Educators Association All-State Band, a fantastic AP Music Theory student and a very creative composer. Oh ... and he's a band officer as well! He is an absolutely wonderful musician and leader in the band program.”

Most memorable fine arts achievement: Getting accepted to MMEA and being able to jam with Allen Vizzutti, an American trumpeter, who came to the high school last year and performed with the jazz band students.


Artist most admired: Adam Neely, a bassist, composer and YouTuber.

Other fine arts activities: Jazz band and SOUP (Swanky Organization of Upstart Performers), a small jazz ensemble.

How tough has it been in band with distance learning? Last year, it was really difficult. I haven't actually performed in front of an audience since last February, our last jazz concert. But the one thing that's honestly been the most difficult, at least for me, is practicing over the summer. I've been prepping for music school and practicing for college auditions and I've been doing a lot of that stuff on my own. I have to set my own schedule and monitor my own practice and like, bounce it around my work. Where previously, when I went to school, everything's really organized. So a lot of (the challenge) is dealing with the organization aspect. And then also just getting used to not being able to play with other people. We did it for a little bit at the start of the year, because we had the hybrid model and now since we're back to full distance learning, it's like, I'm still just playing by myself again.

Any strategies you have for other band students? One thing I do a lot, which makes me feel a little less like I'm just playing in my room by myself, is I play a lot. I'll play along with recordings, like I'll put something on my phone, and then just put my headphones in and play over that. Like, if I play a jazz tune I know, I'll play the melody. And then I'll take a solo, while the other musicians are playing and ... it actually feels like I am playing with other musicians.

How do you do classes virtually? Normally what we do is everyone joins and mutes (their sound) except (Christopher) Fogderud (the band director). He'll have us open up our books and do a warmup. We’ll do some scales and stuff like that, and some sight reading exercises, and usually we'll play a chorale. The way it works is because like the latency from the Zoom call, it's just Fogderud playing and then everybody will play along with him with their mics muted. So they at least get a sense of what's going on.

On Monday (Nov. 16) in Wind Symphony we did a recording together. And the difficulty there is, it's honestly hard to tell because we're so spaced apart, that I could only hear like, three or four other people playing and not the whole band like I'm used to. So it's a lot different. … Sometimes you struggle, it might be because we struggle as an ensemble and sometimes it’s because we can't hear each other. I know, personally, I feel a lot better just because I've had so much free time to just focus on practicing and stuff.

Your biggest achievements? Well the biggest achievements are really with the band as a whole. Last year, one really big one for me was my solo ensemble, where I got best in sight, which is essentially ... the highest score selected. I was selected for the trumpets live performance. So I was pretty proud of that. But honestly, a lot of (the accomplishments) has been the stuff like getting into MMEA and the performances we've had as a group with our jazz band, and with Wind Symphony.

What’s a highlight of this year in band? The one big thing we're really working on that I'm really excited about right now is with jazz. Last year, we got accepted when Fogderud submitted our recordings and we got accepted to MMEA, which is this big conference of educators across the state. So we're essentially recording a bunch of pieces and submitting them for that. So right now, that's like the big thing I'm excited about. And then other than that, I'm mainly focusing on my college auditions, and just getting through all that.


After high school plans: I'm not entirely decided yet, but my main choice would be University of Wisconsin, Madison to be a jazz study major.

Dream job: Professional musician.

Favorite TV show: “Your Lie in April.”

Favorite book: “The Name of the Wind.”

Favorite song: “Longing” by Galneryus.

Music genre you can’t stand: None.

Favorite restaurant: Culver’s.

What food will you not eat: Peanut butter, I have a nut allergy.


Most treasured possession: My trumpet.

Phrases you overuse: “Bruh.”

Sports/clubs: Tennis.

Hobbies: Magic and video games.

Parents: Laura Joque and Simon Joque of Brainerd.

Noah Joque bigger photo
Brainerd High School senior Noah Joque plays his trumpet during a virtual interview with the Brainerd Dispatch about being named Fine Arts Student of the Week for his work in Wind Symphony and Jazz Ensemble. Jennifer Kraus / Brainerd Dispatch

What To Read Next
Get Local